An odyssey through time and music
Heather Neill looks forward to it all
Proms on parade
This year's BBC Proms programme (July 18-September 13) looks exciting with seven new commissions, including one from Joseph Phibbs, winner of the 1996 BBC Young Composers' Forum, and family events. Among these are David Attenborough narrating Peter and the Wolf (July 19), the CBBC Prom in the Park (September 14), which mixes classics with chart-toppers, and the Blue Peter Prom - Magical Journeys on July 26. This takes up the Odyssey theme and presents a journey through the universe of music, including "Mars" from Holst's The Planets, John Williams's Harry Potter music, and a contribution from the music and dance phenomenon, Stomp. Daniel Barenboim leads his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra of young Arabs and Israelis in Mozart and Beethoven on August 22. The Greeks inspire choices from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas to Richard Strauss's Elektra. Vote on July 19 for works to be sung in The Nation's Favourite Prom and televised the next day. All Royal Albert Hall concerts will be broadcast live on Radio 3. Information: www.bbc.co.ukproms.
Television's favourite historian, David Starkey, has done for Elizabeth I (who died 400 years ago this year) what he did so successfully for her father, Henry VIII. He has curated an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, designed to bring to life her dramatic story, including the importance to her of seafaring and her relationship with the City of London. In the Discovery Gallery, specially designed to appeal to young visitors, is a large mock-up of Elizabeth's ring which opens to show portraits of the princess and her mother Anne Boleyn. As well as Inset days, there will be chances for students and families which mix music, talks, demonstrations, workshops, and tours. Bookings: 0870 780 4552; www.nmm.ac.uktickets. Online learning will feature Tudor exploration, cartography and conditions on board ship: www.nmm.ac.uktudors.
Take the worst perversions, the cruellest betrayals, the filthiest vocabulary and set them to uplifting music sung sublimely by an energetic but odd-shaped cast and you have Jerry Springer - the opera. Salacious, blasphemous, voyeuristic, it is also hilarious, witty, pertinent and gloriously staged with Michael Brandon as the blond celeb who leads us (via the Hell of his trailer-trash show and the after-death equivalent) to a moral message: in the post-religious era we have to make our own morality and we'd better take care how we do it. National Theatre (Lyttelton).
Tickets: 020 7452 3000.
Seeing the light
5X5X5 is an exhibition which explores pre-schoolers'
perceptions of space, light and social relationships at the Walcot Chapel, Bath, until May 18. One of five projects in the show, it combines the skills of artist Deborah Jones with those of the cultural centre, Creative Arts at the University of Bath, and the staff and children of the Kinder Garden nursery, Bath. Sculpture, shadow play, collage and music make up the exhibition. Information: 01225 386777.