the best classical and opera to see in 2022
The Barbican and its resident group, the London Symphony Orchestra, have forecast a promising season, with charismatic Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan leading the artistic programming. Her performances began on the platform with an evocation of New York and Paris of the 1930s through music written for the stage by Copland, Rosenthal and Kurt Weill, then she gave two performances of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, which dealt with the love, jealousy and suicide.
From February 17, Barbican, London
With its heartbreaking emotional sweep, the small-town tragedy of Leoš Janáček returns in the acclaimed production by Katie Mitchell. Rising soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn sings the title role, with Peter Berger and Peter Auty as competing lovers. After opening in Cardiff, the show toured Bristol and five other cities.
March 5-18, Wales Millennium Center, Cardiff, then on tour until May 10
Director Deborah Warner’s Billy Budd was imbued with a sorry tenderness, so there are high expectations for his production of Britten’s other nautical tragedy. The cast is led by heavyweights Allan Clayton, Bryn Terfel, Jacques Imbralo and the great John Tomlinson.
March 17-31, Royal Opera House, London
Founded by Benjamin Britten in 1948, this annual jamboree on the windswept Suffolk coast has always been famous for new music. This year’s festival features a feast of premieres and an impressive cast of artists led by Nicola Benedetti, but its USP lies in how its audiences are enticed to participate.
June 3 to 26
This festival takes place on the fishing coast of Fife in ‘found’ places including village churches, a barn and picturesque outdoor locations. The program includes leading pianists such as Elisabeth Leonskaja, Pavel Kolesnikov and Boris Giltburg, as well as the excellent Elias and Pavel Haas Quartets.
June 29-July 3
No better place than Glyndebourne to see this Baroque masterpiece set on an enchanted island, as Glyndebourne itself is an enchanted island. Handel’s insanely convoluted story of jealousy, disguise and interlocking deception will bring a stunning cast led by coloratura soprano Jane archibald in the title role.
July 2-August 24, Glyndebourne Festival Opera