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Our London music team recommends...

  • Date: 1 October 2009
  • Area: London
Le Grand Macabre, English National Opera, 2009

Le Grand Macabre, English National Opera, 2009. Credit: Photo: Stephen Cummiskey

Looking for some music highlights this autumn? Look no further - our music team in London have some great recommendations.

Head of music, Helen Sprott and music officer Stefanie Williams round up this season’s operatic treats, showing that London really is the home of great opera:

‘Our capital city is a chocolate box of operatic treats this season with enticing productions from a host of companies. We’ve already enjoyed British Youth Opera’s annual season at the Peacock Theatre, a Rossini double bill of pitch-perfect comic opera – silken ladders, mistaken identity, secret trysts – and The Rake’s Progress, a dark morality tale charting the rise and fall of a young bachelor, brought to you by the next generation of operatic talent.

'Look out for the crazy Le Grand Macabre at English National Opera, created by La Fura del Baus, the team that designed the opening and closing ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympics. For those that love a tune, how about Turandot, directed by enfant terrible, Rupert Goold making his opera debut? If you're into magical realism, Eleanor Albergha's Letters of a Love Betrayed based on the novel by Isabella Allende, has its world premier at the Linbury on 1 October.

'Or if your tastes run more to Classical styles, we would recommend catching English Touring Opera’s Handelfest from 15 October at the Britten Theatre, before it goes on tour. A unique chance to see five Handel operas, all written for a London crowd: love, death, betrayal, magic and mythology. A real treat.’

If you're after singing but you’re looking for something other than opera, then Andrew McKenzie, senior music officer in London, says this year’s London Jazz Festival, with a focus on vocal artists, is the place go.

‘Every September I always have a great sense of expectation and excitement when I receive the London Jazz Festival programme brochure and straight away I mark the events I hope to attend. This year has a particular focus on vocal music and many excellent singers will be performing at some of the best jazz clubs in London.

'A few of my recommendations include: Jazz Voice, a Century of Song at the Barbican; Rebirth of the Cool at Blackheath; and Polar Bear at Jazz Café. The London Jazz Festival runs from Friday 13 November to Sunday 22 November, but my recommendation is to book early if it's a ticketed event or make sure you get there early if it isn't avoid disappointment! Find out more at'