Traced Overhead: The Musical World of Thomas Adès The Barbican (Mar. 7-Apr. 22; 44-20/7638-8891; www.barbican.org.uk). The young British composer has almost too many musical ideas for his own good. At this in-depth festival, some of Adès’s most talented compatriots—conductor Simon Rattle, tenor Ian Bostridge, the BBC Symphony Orchestra—explore his mercurial, expressionistic, and very hip works.
Manon Vienna State Opera (Mar. 3-19; 43-1/513-1513; www.staatsoper.at). Anna Netrebko is the darling of the international scene: her Russian Album debuted last fall at number eight on the German pop charts. Now, the soprano brings Massenet’s heroine to life in a new production by Andre Serban.
El Viaje a Simorgh Teatro Real (May 4-17; 34/902-244-848; www.teatro-real.com). Opera in Spain is flourishing these days, and Madrid’s principal opera house is committed to works by Spanish-born composers. José María Sánchez-Verdú’s latest mingles 16th-century Spanish traditions with Muslim influences. Jesús López-Cobos conducts.
Orfeo ed Euridice Metropolitan Opera (May 2-12; 212/362-6000; www.metopera.org). The choreographer Mark Morris makes his Met debut, directing Gluck’s opera, with costumes by Isaac Mizrahi and a cast led by stellar countertenor David Daniels.
A Flowering Tree San Francisco Symphony (Mar. 1-3; 415/864-6000; www.sfsymphony.org). For Mozart’s 250th birthday, John Adams, one of America’s most celebrated composers, turned from political subjects (Nixon in China) to this unabashedly lyric tribute to The Magic Flute; his lush opera-oratorio draws on all the resources of a large orchestra.
The Tristan Project Los Angeles Philharmonic (Apr.12-24; 323/850-2000; www.laphil.org). Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde led by conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and staged by Peter Sellars, with video design by Bill Viola—part multimedia installation, all opera—returns to Los Angeles this spring, then travels to Lincoln Center in New York for performances on May 2 and May 5 (212/721-6500; www.lincolncenter.org); it should be the ticket of the season.