10 Classical Music Events To Book This Summer

There are once again some exciting classical music events to add to your calendar. From one-off performances at the Royal Festival Hall to opera festivals around the country, here’s what to book now.
Beethoven's Ninth, Royal Festival Hall
MORLEY VON STERNBERG

Glyndebourne Festival, Lewes

Glyndebourne is the world-class opera festival which takes place every year near Lewes in East Sussex. This summer, there are six new productions, including a double bill of Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and La Bohème. The dress code is black tie and guests are encouraged to bring picnics (or rent equipment and buy food from Glyndebourne) to eat on the lawns. Performances take place inside the modern 1,200-seat auditorium.  

Lewes, East Sussex; 21st May-28th August

Visit Glyndebourne.com

Beethoven's Ninth, Royal Festival Hall

London’s Southbank Centre has a roster of classical events this summer, including a performance of one of western music’s most famous works, Beethoven's Ninth, at the Royal Festival Hall. Performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Bach Choir, the famous Beethoven symphony is one of the composer’s longest and most complex – it was one of the first of its kind to include a chorus and vocal soloists. 

Southbank; 28th May

Visit SouthbankCentre.co.uk

Opera Holland Park

This three-month summer festival takes place at Holland Park’s canopied open-air auditorium, surrounded by beautiful formal gardens and woodlands. There are no fewer than 16 productions and events this summer, including Georges Bizet’s Carmen; the UK premiere of Little Women based on Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age novel; and the family-friendly Peter and the Wolf. There will also be performances by The Royal Ballet School, plus ‘Sunday in the Park’ with esteemed speakers like Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Opera Holland Park Theatre; 31st May-28th August 

Visit OperaHollandPark.com

Verdi's Requiem Royal Choral Society 150th Anniversary, Southbank Centre

The Royal Choral Society is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Southbank Centre. The composer conducted the UK premiere of the work with the Royal Choral Society in 1875 and, since then, the choir has performed it several times in its long history. Now, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a quartet of soloists will take to the stage to bring Verdi’s greatest work to life.

Southbank; 1st June

Visit SouthbankCentre.co.uk

Garsington Opera, Buckinghamshire

Last year, Garsington moved from its original Oxfordshire location to a new pavilion on the grounds of the Getty estate in Buckinghamshire. The festival was founded by impresario Leonard Victor Ingrams in the 80s and now boasts The Philharmonia Orchestra and The English Concert as its two resident ensembles. There are five productions to watch, including Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Dalia: “a community opera” and The Turn of the Screw. Guests can bring a picnic, dine at the estate’s restaurant or enjoy afternoon tea overlooking the grounds.  

Wormsley, Buckinghamshire; 2nd June-20th July

Visit GarsingtonOpera.org

Opera Holland Park

Haydn, Mozart, Gershwin & John Adams by London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Hall

Sir Simon Rattle will conduct a special concert at the Barbican Hall to celebrate the music of four composers: Haydn, Mozart, Gershwin and contemporary American composer John Adams. “The world is always better with Haydn,” says Sir Simon Rattle, whose work will kick off the show, before audiences listen to music that spans the centuries.

Barbican, London; 12th June

Visit LSO.co.uk

Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk 

Tom Coult and Alice Birch’s new opera Violet will finally debut on Aldeburgh’s stage this summer after a two-year delay. Other highlights at the Suffolk festival include clarinet quintets by Mozart and Mark Simpson, and performances by pianist Dame Sarah Connolly and violinist Nicola Benedetti. You can also take part in singing masterclasses and visit several art exhibitions. 

Aldeburgh, Suffolk; 3rd-26th June

Visit BrittenPearsArts.org

Andrea Bocelli World Tour

Andrea Bocelli begins the UK leg of his world tour in July. The Italian tenor has sold over 75 million records worldwide, and has a Golden Globe, seven Classical Brit Awards and seven World Music Awards to his name – plus a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Expect to hear a selection of his top hits in Italian and English, plus a special rendition of songs from Sacred Arias, the biggest-selling classical album of all time. 

Various locations; 1st July-1st October

Visit TicketMaster.co.uk

Grange Park Opera, Surrey

This is one of Europe’s major opera festivals which takes places on the West Horsley Place estate in Surrey. This year, there are five productions to look forward to, plus a free staging of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer. Other highlights include The Final Fling by Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy, and Verdi’s Otello, based on the Shakespeare play.

West Horsley, Surrey; 9th-17th July

Visit GrangeParkOpera.co.uk

Katherine Jenkins, Mote Park Proms

Katherine Jenkins OBE will perform a one-off show at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent. One of the biggest selling classical artists of the century, the soprano has sold over 4 million records in the UK and has performed with the English National Opera. Now, audiences can watch Katherine headline the Mote Park Proms with a symphony orchestra and special guests. Expect to hear songs from her 13 studio albums, plus a finale to commemorate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Maidstone, Kent; 23rd July

Visit VisitMaidstone.com

Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk 

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