Baroque at the Edge, LSO St Luke’s, 4th to 6th January
At this festival, now in its second year, musicians from all genres are encouraged to respond to works by Purcell, Handel, Monteverdi etc. The result is a series of musical conversations, collisions and confrontations that bring baroque music together with jazz, electronica and folk. The festival opens with virtuoso Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, whose improvisations have a beguiling freshness to them, and includes a new “concert-drama” inspired by the life of Henry Purcell, and recitals by genre-defying soprano Nora Fischer and American violinist Elicia Silverstein.
Anthropocene, Scottish Opera, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, 24th January to 9th February
The Devil Inside put Scottish composer Stuart MacRae on the operatic map in 2016, and there has been a lot of buzz about the follow-up. Anthropocene reunites MacRae with librettist Louise Welsh for a tense musical thriller about a group of scientists who find themselves trapped in the Arctic. With a cast that includes rising-star soprano Jennifer, tenor Anthony Gregory and baritone Benedict Nelson there’s every reason to try and catch a performance.
The Queen of Spades, Royal Opera House, 13th January to 1st February
Eugene Onegin may be Tchaikovsky’s most popular opera, but The Queen of Spades is surely his best. Based on a Pushkin story, this dark psychological drama explores the destructive power of obsession. Premiered to rave reviews in Amsterdam, Stefan Herheim’s production now comes to London. Antonio Pappano conducts a superb cast, including Aleksandrs Antonenko as Gherman, Eva-Maria Westbroek as Liza, and Felicity Palmer as the aged Countess.