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T+L's Global Guide to Arts & Culture 2005

EUROPE Austria Salzburg Festival (July 25–Aug. 31; 43-662/804-5500; www.salzburgfestival.at). Franz Schreker's apocalyptic opera, Die Gezeichneten (The Marked Ones), about a hunchbacked nobleman's longing for beauty, provides a climax to several seasons devoted to composers banned in Nazi Germany. Nikolaus Lehnhoff directs; Kent Nagano conducts. Riccardo Muti returns to the festival's opera podium after several years' absence, for Graham Vick's new production of Mozart's Zauberflöte. Finland Savonlinna Opera Festival (July 8–Aug. 6; 358-600/10800; www.operafestival.fi). Evenings at Olavinlinna Castle, set in the middle of a lake, make a spectacular backdrop for classic and contemporary operas, from Verdi's Aida to Jaakko Kuusisto's Canine Kalevala (based on the Finnish national epic, but with cats, dogs, and wolves as its heroes). France Festival d'Aix-en-Provence (July 8–31; 33-4/42-17-34-34; www.festival-aix.com). Dark passions and ghost stories take the lead, with the world premiere of Philippe Boesmans's opera Julie, based on the play Miss Julie by August Strindberg, and Benjamin Britten's Modernist Turn of the Screw, inspired by Henry James's haunted Victorians. Germany In Transit (June 2–18; 49-30/3978-7175; www.in-transit.de). A Mexican theater troupe's version of the legend of Joan of Arc, a survey of the Japanese dance scene, and Irani vocalist Sussan Deyhim's jazz riffs on the Sufi tradition are among the promised pleasures of this Berlin festival, where eclecticism is the rule. Italy Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (April 30–July 8; 39-0424/600-458; www.maggiofiorentino.com). This Florentine institution boasts dance performances as well as operas like Tosca (conducted by Zubin Mehta, who also leads the festival orchestra in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony), set amid the noble architecture of the Piazza della Signoria. Tuscan Sun Festival (Aug. 5–21; 212/994-3537; www.tuscansunfestival.com). Where else but in Cortona can one enjoy the artistry of soloists such as pianist Hélène Grimaud and violinist Midori, Roman thermal baths, and the sensual delights of Tuscan wine and cuisine—all in sublime hillside surroundings?Russia Moscow Easter Festival (May 1–11; 7-095/933-7559; www.easterfestival.ru). Russia celebrates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II with a festival of heroic music (including Prokofiev's War and Peace), the debut of the International Youth Orchestra, and a concert on Poklonnaya Hill. Stars of the White Nights Festival (May 27–July 24; 7-812/326-4141; www.mariinsky.ru). In St. Petersburg, artistic director Valery Gergiev conducts Wagner's Parsifal with a cast that includes the remarkable German bass René Pape and tenor Oleg Balashov. The Mariinsky Theater also plays host to ballets by Forsythe, Balanchine, and the immortal Petipa. Switzerland Verbier Festival (July 22–Aug. 7; 41-21/925-9060; www.verbierfestival.com). At this Alpine retreat, the hills are alive with a recital by soprano Kiri Te Kanawa; all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, performed by American pianist Garrick Ohlsson; and percussionist Andrei Pushkarev's Vibrations, riffs on Bach's Inventions inspired by jazz musicians. United Kingdom Glyndebourne Festival (May 19–Aug. 26; 44-1273/813-813; www.glyndebourne.com). This season's new opera productions range from Giulio Cesare, Handel's vision of Roman imperial glory (conducted by William Christie), to La Cenerentola, Rossini's comic "Cinderella."

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