From picnicking at Glyndebourne to tippling a Riesling in the Rheingau region of Germany, summer is a great time to relax and hear an opera or a favourite jazz performer at festivals anywhere from the Swiss alps to Johannesburg. Here is a selection highlighted by Reuters journalists.
Glyndbourne, Lewes, England, May 17-Aug 24
It's famous for its traditional English-style hamper picnics on the beautifully manicured lawns and at tables on the exterior balconies of the opera house. But it is the music-making that goes on inside that really counts. Productions this year include Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier", Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin", Handel's "Rinaldo" and Verdi's "La Traviata". But what sets the Glyndebourne regulars' hearts aflutter are the productions of Mozart for which the house is justly famous, and the two this year are "Don Giovanni" and "La Finta Giardiniera" that had its premiere in 1775 just before Mozart's 19th birthday. Tickets 50 -215 pounds ($85-$360).
Rheingau Music Festival
Various venues, Rheingau region of Germany, June 28-Sept 13
This in some respects is a wine-region tour with a music festival attached, with so much going on it boggles the mind. Suffice to say that a festival that can encompass everything from an opening concert tribute to Shakespeare's birthday with sopranos Miah Persson and Golda Schulz to jazz great Bobby McFerrin "and friends" to a kiddie concert featuring Bert and Ernie, the Muppet characters from "Sesame Street", is eclectic, to say the least. Other names on tap include pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and violinist Julia Fischer, while the festival's composer and artist in residence is Jorg Widmann, a top-notch clarinetist and cutting-edge composer all in one. A rolling feast of fun, an hour's drive from Frankfurt and with ticket prices in the 15-to-80 euro ($20-$110) range. And don't forget to sample the Riesling.
Ilona Wissenbach/Michael Roddy
Istanbul Jazz Festival
Istanbul, Turkey, July 1-16
Fans of the TV series "House" can catch its star, Hugh Laurie, on the piano at Istanbul's annual jazz festival. The actor is a versatile musician who has settled on the keyboard with his blues-inspired Copper Bottom Band. Rising stars such as Cecile McLorin Salvant, the 25-year-old Grammy nominee whose vocals have been compared to Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, and Brooklyn-based, rock-influenced bandleader and composer Darcy James Argue also perform at the festival staged by Turkey's most venerable cultural institution, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV). Benin singer Angelique Kidjo and psychedelic Turkish folk rock group BaBa Zula also take the stage at venues across Europe's biggest city, including city parks that will host free concerts. Tickets range from 20 lira ($9.50) to 350 lira.
Ayla Jean Yackley
Aix-en-Provence, France, July 3-24
Cited as best opera festival at the International Opera Awards this year, Aix-en-Provence almost always provides at least one production that sets the opera world abuzz. In 2012 it was the world premiere of George Benjamin's searing "Written on Skin", last year it was the final production by the late French director Patrice Chereau of Strauss's "Elektra". What it will be this year is anyone's guess, but the offerings on tap are Mozart's "Magic Flute" directed by Simon McBurney, Handel's "Ariodante" in a production by Richard Jones and Rossini's "Il Turco in Italia" staged by Christopher Alden. All this is interspersed with a wide spectrum of musical offerings that will include a staging by artist William Kentridge of Schubert's song cycle "Die Winterreise" sung by baritone Matthias Goerne with Markus Hinterhauser at the piano and Katie Mitchell's staging of J.S. Bach's "Trauernacht" cantatas with soloists and instrumentalists of the European Academy of Music. Tickets 30 to 120 euros for recitals, 30-250 euros for operas.
Love Supreme Jazz Festival
Glynde Place, Lewes, England, July 4-6
With star attractions including Soul II Soul, Imelda May and De La Soul, this boutique event set deep in the Sussex countryside is stretching the boundaries of what might be considered "jazz" but there is plenty of instrumental twiddling elsewhere on the bill to keep the aficionados happy. It's a well-shod event, graced by a champagne-and-oyster bar as well as the more usual festival fare, and its location in a posh corner of rural England helps explain why many in the crowd - men in red trousers and women in cashmere pashminas - could be refugees from upper-crust events like the Henley Regatta. Its backdrop of the South Downs and Elizabethan-era Glynde Place are a picturesque setting for some top acts. Prices range from adult daily tickets at 60.50 pounds to family VIP including camping at 540 pounds.