[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/56415?ns=guardian&pageName=Christmas+2009+going+out+guide%3A+classical+and+opera%3AArticle%3A1305159&ch=Music&c3=Guardian&c4=Classical+music+%28Music+genre%29%2COpera+%28Music+genre%29%2CBallet%2CMusic%2CCulture+section%2CChristmas+%28Life+and+style%29%2CLife+and+style%2CFamily+%28Life+and+style%29&c6=Andrew+Clements&c7=09-Nov-16&c8=1305159&c9=Article&c10=&c11=Music&c13=&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FMusic%2FClassical+music[/img]The most sumptuous symphonic sounds this Christmas, chosen by our classical critic
ENO promises a "powerful new relevance" will be brought to Handel's ageless oratorio. The soloists are John-Mark Ainsley, Brindley Sherratt, Sophie Bevan and Catherine Wyn-Rogers. Coliseum, London WC2 (0871 911 0200), from 27 November to 11 December.
Composer David Sawer and director Richard Jones package the Grimm brothers' savage tale in a mixture of music, mime and dance. CBSO Centre, Birmingham (0121-767 4050), on November 14. Then touring.
Mackerras, 84, remains at the height of his powers, and a pair of concerts provides opportunities to hear this great conductor in an all-Wagner programme, and conduct extracts from Hänsel und Gretel and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0844 875 0073), December 10 and 13.
Jonathan Dove launches his new family opera, based on the Finnish Kalevala myth of Lemminkainen and the swan. In rep at Howard Assembly Room, Leeds (0844 848 2706), until 22 November. Then touring.
The Tsarina's Slippers
The Royal Opera's main Christmas programme involves revivals of Bohème and Rosenkavalier â€“ but this new production of Tchaikovsky's opera, directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Alexander Polinichko, is more seasonal fare. Royal Opera House, London WC2 (020-7304 4000), from 20 November to 8 December.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's new principal conductor makes his debut with programmes of Henze, Mahler and Brahms, and Fauré, Berlioz and Haydn. City Halls, Glasgow (0141-353 8000), on 11 December. Then touring.
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Guardian: Christmas 2009 going out guide: classical and opera
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