Andris Nelsons & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig Southbank Centre, 8th and 9th October
The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig is one of the world’s great orchestras. Now you can hear the ensemble under the direction of their newest Kapellmeister, Andris Nelsons, in two concerts. The first sees Nelsons conduct Mahler’s emotionally-charged Fifth Symphony, joined before that by trumpet virtuoso Hakan Hardenberger for Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Nobody knows de trouble I see—a powerful statement against racism. Nelsons’s ex-wife, soprano Kristine Opolais, is the guest on the second night, singing the much-loved letter scene from Eugene Onegin.
English Touring Opera Autumn Season 2018 Venues across the UK, 6th October to 28th November
Every year English Touring Opera travels the length of the UK (from Exeter to Durham in 2018), spinning small budgets and young casts into high-quality productions, often throwing in some unusual repertoire. You can expect good things from a season that brings Handel’s celebration of married love Radamisto and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas together with Carissimi’s Jonas—a vivid retelling of the story of Jonah—and I Will Not Speak, a sequence of madrigals by composer and murderer Carlo Gesualdo.
Porgy and Bess English National Opera, 11th October to 17th November
The Gershwins’ “folk opera” Porgy and Bess is one of the great pieces of music-theatre. A score that melts from jazz and ragtime into blues and spirituals has the songs “It ain’t necessarily so” and “Summertime.” John Wilson conducts, with an exciting cast including (above) soprano Nicole Cabell—a former Cardiff Singer of the World—as Bess and US baritone Eric Greene as Porgy.