In a programme that incorporates everything from Cole Porter to the Pet Shop Boys, and from Schubert to Steve Reich (via quite a lot of Richard Strauss!), we’ve picked out a few of our highlights from this year's BBC Proms, which begins on Friday 18 July.
Tuesday 22 July, 6.30pm
Glyndebourne marks its 80th anniversary, and Strauss’s 150th, with the composer’s Der Rosenkavalier – the first of the trilogy of Strauss operas at this year’s Proms. First performed in 1911, Strauss’s tragicomedy offers a stunningly beautiful showcase for both voices and orchestra.
Glyndebourne’s new Music Director Robin Ticciati conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra and an international cast led by soprano Kate Royal, mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught and soprano Teodora Gheorghiu in her BBC Proms debut.
Wednesday 6 August, 7pm
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales and its former Music Director Mark Wigglesworth (who will take over as Music Director at English National Opera from the 2015/16 season) will perform the exuberantly rhythmic overture to Wagner’s early comedy Das Liebesverbot and Elgar’s richly orchestrated First Symphony.
One of Britain’s leading young violinists, Matthew Trusler makes his BBC Proms debut with the rarely performed Violin Concerto by Welsh Composer William Mathias.
Saturday 9 August, 7.30pm
A celebrated Elgar champion, acclaimed conductor Sir Mark Elder will be joined by British mezzo-soprano Alice Coote for Sea Pictures: Elgar’s only orchestral song-cycle. The concert will also include Berlioz’s swashbuckling overture Le corsaire, the London premiere of Helen Grime’s Near Midnight and Beethoven’s much-loved ‘Eroica’ Symphony.
We look forward to welcoming Alice Coote back to ENO in September as she takes on the title-role in Nicholas Hytner’s much loved production of Handel’s Xerxes.
Sunday 10 August, 7.45pm
See Prom 43 below for more information.
Monday 18 August, 7.30pm
ENO Music Director and BBC Proms regular Edward Gardner will conduct two concerts in this year’s season.
He’ll begin by leading the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain a virtuosic programme of 20th-century orchestral showpieces. The first half will see BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Louis Schwizgebel take the lead in Prokofiev’s youthful First Piano Concerto.
In his second Proms performance, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus and Crouch End Festival Chorus, Gardner will conduct an all-Russian programme that ends with a cannon-fire, bells and brass as Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812’ Overture celebrates the defeat of Napoleon. Stuart Skelton, winner of Best Male Singer at the International Opera Awards 2014, sings the tenor solos here alongside soprano Luba Orgonášová and baritone Mikhail Petrenko .
After making her Proms debut last year, young Latvian violinist Baiba Skride returns to perform Stravinsky’s neo-Classical Violin Concerto.
Tuesday 26 August, 10.15pm
The unique atmosphere of a Late Night Prom creates the perfect setting for one of the greatest of all choral works – Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Monteverdi Choir and its founder-conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner will be joined by a cast of star soloists, including Lucy Crowe and BBC Proms debut artist Michael Spyres, who sang a ‘heroic’ Benvenuto Cellini (The Guardian) at ENO this summer.
Saturday 30 August, 7.30pm
See Prom 59 below for more information.
Sunday 31 August, 7.30pm
To celebrate Richard Strauss’s 150th-anniversary year the BBC Proms will present his two great psychological operas across two consecutive nights.
Salome will be conducted by Donald Runnicles, who will lead the orchestra from the Deutsche Oper Berlin and a cast led by star soprano Nina Stemme.
Elektra, Strauss’s harrowing retelling of the Greek revenge myth, will be brought to life by Strauss expert Semyon Bychkov. The international cast will include ENO favourite Dame Felicity Palmer as Clytemnestra and American soprano Christine Goerke, who recently dazzled in the title-role at the Royal Opera House.
Saturday 6 September, 7pm
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in Peter Sellars’s innovative staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion – confronting suffering, torture, salvation and redemption in some of Bach’s most moving and powerful music.
A starry line-up of soloists is led by Mark Padmore’s Evangelist, and includes celebrated German baritone Christian Gerhaher singing the words of Christ.
Every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and selected Proms and highlights from the season will be available across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four throughout the summer. For more information, visit the BBC Proms website.