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A classic summer in Switzerland

Avenches has become a mecca for opera lovers

(Keystone Archive)

From small church venues to open-air stages - classical music festivals are getting underway across the country.

Opera lovers are making their annual pilgrimage to the Roman amphitheatre in Avenches, for Verdis Rigoletto (July 5 - 20). Aida is being performed under the starry skies at the impressive castle, Castelgrande, in Bellinzona (July 20 - 31).

For the first time in Switzerland, Verdis first opera, Oberto, will be staged at Badrutt's Palace hotel in St Moritz (July 5 - 16).

An international line-up of promising young performers are taking centre stage at various festivals around the country. The "Young Artists in Concert" festival runs for two weeks in Davos beginning on July 27. The atmospheric Baroque church in the village of Ernen in canton Valais is the setting for the "Festival of the Future" (August 4 - 17).

The Engadine Concert Weeks (July 15 - August 14) is putting the accent on chamber music in a number of churches in and around St Moritz.

The largest classical music events begin with the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad and the Verbier Festival and Academy. Both get underway on July 20. They're followed by the Lucerne Festival in the middle of August, which brings together some of the world's top symphony orchestras.


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