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Cultural events worth travelling for

Revving up for the Ring Cycle in London

Our pick of the season’s events worth travelling for

Our pick of the season’s events worth travelling for

August/September 2018

LONDON TICKET TO RIDE
September 24th–November 2nd
As an operatic endurance feat, sitting through 15 hours of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (albeit divided into four distinct parts) takes some beating. But for opera lovers there’s nothing quite like it and they’re already revving up for September, when four iterations of the whole cycle will be played out at the Royal Opera House in a revival of a celebrated 2004 production (above), conducted by the charismatic Antonio Pappano. Tickets can only be bought for a whole cycle – it is rarely performed in its entirety outside the annual Bayreuth Festival in Germany. Most of these are already sold out, but the truly dedicated – or mad – can still get in through the ROH’s Friday Rush system.

TOKYO AND OSAKA BIG IN JAPAN
August 18th–19th
Flower crowns, crochet and tassels are de rigueur for Glastonbury but in Japan, festival-goers mostly wear band T-shirts. This crowd uniformity does nothing to dampen the fun at Summer Sonic, Japan’s coolest festival, which takes place simultaneously in Tokyo and Osaka. Tokyo’s all about the beats; Osaka is more laid-back. Hip-hop’s golden boy, Chance the Rapper, tops the bill. Other must-see acts include electro-dance DJ Marshmello and indie virtuoso St Vincent.

VENICE TINTORETTO’S RENAISSANCE
September 7th–January 16th
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Tintoretto, the Italian Renaissance master. To celebrate, two exhibitions open in his home city. At the Galleria dell’Accademia you can find pictures from his earlier years; the Doge’s Palace houses his mature work. They will merge for a show in Washington, DC, in 2019. The size of some of Tintoretto’s paintings (“Madonna of the Treasurers” is five metres long) has hindered exhibitions and partly explains why his popularity has dipped. The Venice shows – the first of his work in 80 years – should help to restore his standing.

NEW YORK THINK PINK
September 7th–January 5th
Some today associate pink with sugar and spice and all things nice, but in the 18th century little boys (and grown men) wore it too. Time to redress the current imbalance. “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour”, at the Fashion Institute of Technology, questions the colour’s reputation as the most girly stripe on the rainbow. Featuring an array of outfits stretching back 300 years, and including designers such as Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, as well as children’s clothes, visitors to this candy-coloured exhibition will learn the history of this divisive hue.

ORKNEY ISLES OF SCIENCE
September 6th–12th
The beautiful, blowy islands off north-east Scotland have real pulling power when it comes to Nobel-prize-winning scientists. This year two of the greatest will head there for the archipelago’s annual science festival: theoretical physicist Professor Peter Higgs will talk about his Higgs boson particle, and Sir Paul Nurse about human genetics. Other scientific stars will tackle black holes and blue carbon, submerged forests and an early Uzbekistani observatory. The island’s spectacular landscape and un-lab-like venues, such as Skaill House and St Magnus Cathedral, lend ancient history to thrusting, futuristic ideas. Days are peppered with music and feasting, culminating in a merry Orcadian ceilidh.