EUROPE Porto, Portugal Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon, Casa da Musica (www.casadamusica.com) is more architectural fun house than cozy "house of music." The concrete faceted polyhedron holds a 1,250-seat Grand Auditorium with glass walls and views of the city; a 315-seat Small Auditorium; and a Cybermusic Arena, where artists can install multimedia projects and composers produce electronic works. The interiors are pure Koolhaas: jarring textures, colors, and patterns, including the VIP room's Portuguese-tile murals. Performances by resident ensembles begin April 14.
EUROPE London National Anthems Old Vic Theatre (Feb. 1-April 23; 44-8700/606-628; www.oldvictheatre.com). In a role he first performed 15 years ago, Kevin Spacey plays a working-class character who intrudes on the suburban household of an affluent couple, portrayed by Steven Weber and Mary Stuart Masterson, in the British premiere of playwright Dennis McIntyre's parable of American materialism. Macbeth Almeida Theatre (through March 5; 44-207/359-4404; www.almeida.co.uk). Three luminaries of the English-speaking theater join forces in a new production of Shakespeare's Scottish play. Simon Russell Beale takes on the title role, with Emma Fielding as Lady Macbeth; John Caird directs. A Life in the Theatre Apollo Theatre (opens Feb. 2; 44-207/494-5070). In the West End, art still imitates life. Joshua Jackson (best known as Pacey on Dawson's Creek) makes his London debut in the role of a young actor who learns at the feet of a stage veteran, portrayed by Patrick Stewart.
UNITED STATES New York City Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Imperial Theatre (opens March 3; 212/239-6200; www.dirtyrottenscoundrelsthemusical.com). A rollicking musical version of the movie that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin comes to Broadway. This time around, John Lithgow and Norbert Leo Butz are the scheming gigolos who con women on the French Riviera. Moonlight and Magnolias Manhattan Theatre Club (March 29-May 22; 212/581-1212; www.mtc-nyc.org). Playwright Ron Hutchinson's comedy acts out an apocryphal scenario: What happens when producer David O. Selznick demands a rewrite of Gone with the Wind two weeks before shooting and locks a writer and director in a room to accomplish the seemingly impossible?Lynne Meadow directs the mayhem. Los Angeles As You Like It Ahmanson Theatre (Feb. 7-March 27; 213/628-2772; www.taperahmanson.com) Sir Peter Hall directs Shakespeare's enduring, gender-bending comedy for the first time in his distinguished career. At least one member of the cast is familiar: his daughter, Rebecca Hall, luminous in the role of Rosalind.
UNITED STATES Los Angeles Roméo et Juliette Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Jan. 29-Feb. 23; 213/972-8001; www.losangelesopera.com). This adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy by 19th-century French composer Charles Gounod has two of opera's most glamorous and talented young singers, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, in the title roles. Conductor Frédéric Chaslin leads this new production at the Los Angeles Opera. Houston Lysistrata Wortham Theater (March 4-19; 800/626-7372; www.houstongrandopera.org). The Houston Grand Opera is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a series of premieres, including Lysistrata (or, The Nude Goddess), by American composer Mark Adamo, based on Aristophanes' renowned make-love-not-war satire. New York City Visions of the Beyond New York Philharmonic (March 17-April 16; 212/875-5656; www.nyphil.org). As part of a four-week festival that considers questions of existence, guest conductor Kent Nagano will conduct the New York Philharmonic, March 24 through 26, in performances of Messiaen's luxuriant Éclairs sur l'au-delà (Illuminations of the Beyond), which requires 130 musicians. A who's who of conductors lead other concerts: Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Riccardo Muti. A Festival of International Competition Winners Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium (April 14-17; 212/570-3949; www.metmuseum.org). For more than 50 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has helped launch the careers of leading musicians. In April, it produces an unprecedented event: four days of recitals by six young first-prize winners. Among them: Severin von Eckardstein (the Queen Elisabeth, in Belgium), Boris Giltburg (Spain's Paloma O'Shea Santander), and Olga Kern (the Van Cliburn in Texas). Call the festival a prelude to the highly anticipated Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which this year meets May 20 through June 5 in Fort Worth (Bass Performance Hall; 800/462-7979; www.cliburn.org).
EUROPE London 1984 Royal Opera House (May 3-19; 44-207/304-4000; www.roh.org.uk). Conductor Lorin Maazel is also a composer, and his first opera, with a libretto by J. D. McClatchy and Thomas Meehan, is based on George Orwell's mordant novel of government gone bad. Robert Lepage directs baritone Simon Keenlyside as the doomed Winston Smith and soprano Nancy Gustafson as his love Julia, with Richard Margison as O'Brien, the evil instrument of Big Brother.