Lily Allen’s second album, Jude Law as Hamlet, Michael Sheen as Brian Clough, Martin Amis on feminism – 2009 promises a variety of treats in the arts. Our critics predict what will make waves in the coming months
By Edward Seckerson, The Independent, Friday, 2 January 2009
Venezuelan passion guarantees the arrival of spring in the capital during April when the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra touches down under their extraordinary young conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. They conclude the second of their two South Bank concerts with The Rite of Spring, the Stravinsky ballet with more than a little kinship with the rhythmic attitude of their own musical culture.
Another less well-publicised but hardly less talented young conductor, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, now principal guest of the London Philharmonic, returns in May. He slips into the second half of what has been the most innovative season in years for this orchestra. That’s thanks to Vladimir Jurowski, the sharpest intellect in town. I’m especially looking forward to his «Soviet» programme in April – an opportunity to experience the cult of Valentin Silvestrov whose hallucinatory Fifth Symphony might once have been regarded as «quite a trip». Jurowski is also bringing us the UK premiere of a song cycle by Torsten Rasch, a composer with roots in rock music, described by its conductor as the next «Big Bang».
Jurowski is, of course, music director at Glyndebourne where the 75th Anniversary will be celebrated with two mouth-watering prospects: Verdi’s Falstaff in a new production from the ever challenging, ever subversive, Richard Jones, and Dvorak’s glorious Rusalka directed by Melly Still who gave us Coram Boy at the National Theatre.
English National Opera continues its strongest season in years with what promises to be another Jonathan Miller long-runner – a new La Bohème. There’s also a new Britten Peter Grimes to look forward to from David Alden, and another sojourn for ENO at The Young Vic where controversial theatre director Katie Mitchell will offer After Dido, her take on Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Prepare for the fall-out.
Over at the Royal Opera there’s the rare treat of Erich Korngold’s gorgeous Die tote Stadt and Bryn Terfel, dropping anchor in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.