Death in Venice, Royal Opera, 21st November to 6th December It’s been over 10 years since London saw a new production of Britten’s disquieting masterpiece Death in Venice. An evocative adaptation of Mann’s novella about an aging writer obsessed with youth, Britten’s late opera hums with exotic sounds—balanced by the spare beauty of the vocal lines. A new staging by David McVicar pits tenor Mark Padmore (Aschenbach) against baritone Gerald Finley as the Traveller who haunts him. Countertenor Tim Mead is the Voice of Apollo. With Mark Elder in the pit expect to hear the orchestra at its best.
Mrs Peachum’s Guide to Love and Marriage, Venues across Wales, 7th November to 7th December Mid Wales Opera deploys minimal forces to maximum effect. This autumn MWO tours a new adaptation of John Gay’s 1728 The Beggar’s Opera—a sharp-tongued satire on art and life. It’s given new spirit and contemporary claws here by Richard Studer and Jonathan Lyness, whose reworking features familiar tunes including “Greensleeves” and “Lillibolero.” Mezzo Carolyn Dobbin leads a cast of three, supported by a pocket-sized orchestra.
Jamie Barton, Wigmore Hall, 30th November This brilliant young American mezzo has been compared to Kirsten Flagstad. Soloist at this year’s Last Night of the Proms, Barton returns for an intimate recital at the Wigmore Hall, accompanied by pianist Kathleen Kelly. Her programme roams over 200 years, including works by Haydn and Strauss as well as female composers including Nadia and Lili Boulanger, Libby Larsen and Amy Beach’s rapturous Three Browning Songs.