Perhaps the biggest draw is Beethoven’s Fidelio (Prom 50, 22 August), with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The great Waltraud Meier will sing the title role and is joined be Simon O’Neill as Florestan and John Tomlinson as Rocco.
Prom 4 (19 July) will be Handel’s Partenope, with Concerto Copenhagen and Andreas Scholl as Arsace. The same composer’s Samson, with Mark Padmore, Lucy Crowe and Iestyn Davies, is on 20 August. There will be excerpts from Semele, sung by Carolyn Sampson, one of our finest Handelians, as part of Prom 36 on 12 August.
Another of the year’s anniversary composers, Henry Purcell, is celebrated in a performance of The Fairy Queen on 21 July. William Christie will conduct The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with Crowe and Sampson taking part in what is this year’s Glyndebourne visit to the Proms.
Contrasting moods will be struck with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, conducted by Charles Mackerras (Prom 35, 11 August) and Harrison Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus, Act 2 (Prom 39, 14 August).
In addition, there will be appearances by mezzos Magdalena Kozena, Susan Graham and Joyce di Donato.
Full details of the 2009 season at www.bbc.co.uk/proms- Simon Thomas
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