Critics’ Choice: Music

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Macbeth - NEW

The interest in this Verdi revival lies less in Phyllida Lloyd’s lame production and more in the opportunity to hear Violeta Urmana as Lady Macbeth and Joseph Calleja as Macduff - and to gauge the impact of Russian-born conductor Yakov Kreizberg in his Royal Opera debut. As for the title role, Thomas Hampson has many qualities - but a Verdi baritone he ain’t. Royal Opera House, London WC2, 020 7304 4000, tonight to March 9.

Shostakovich quartets - SERIES

The composer’s centenary throws a welcome spotlight on his 15 string quartets, with two cycles in the offing. The Emersons fit their five London concerts into a fortnight. The Brodskys take a longer view in Bristol. The only direct comparison comes in mid-March, when the Brodskys include the Sixth Quartet in their Wigmore recital. QEH, London SE1, 0870 380 0400, March 5-23; Wigmore Hall, London W1, 020 7935 2141, March 18; St George’s, Bristol, 0845 402 4001, March 31 to September 29.

Gustavo Dudamel - ONE NIGHT ONLY

The 24-year old Venezuelan already has a Deutsche Grammophon contract in his pocket. He conducts the Philharmonia in a lively 20th century programme - including Sensemaya, a Latin American classic. QEH, London SE1, 0870 380 0400, Thursday.

Opera North - BOOK NOW

The Leeds-based company has kept a low profile while its home theatre is renovated, but the spring tour has two tempting revivals - Figaro in English and Puccini’s La rondine with Janis Kelly - and a UK transfer for David Pountney’s Bregenz staging of Weill’s 1930s operetta Arms and the Cow. Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, 01274 432000, March 3-April 1; then touring.

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