Classical music highlights of the week – from Hugh Lane Gallery to the Ulster Hall

Irish Opera Artists’ Christmas Gala and A Box of Festive Delights

SUNDAY 17

Irish Opera Artists’ Christmas Gala

Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin noon Adm free bit.ly/2BcSXz8

Irish Opera Artists is a new group of four singers – soprano Rachel Croash, mezzo soprano Kate Allen, tenor Patrick Hyland and baritone Rory Musgrave – who are joining forces to perform highlights from well-known operas. Their concert at Dublin's Hugh Lane Gallery focuses on Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, with a group of non-operatic seasonal numbers thrown in for good measure. Their pianist for the day is Dearbhla Collins. MD

TUESDAY 19

A Box of Festive Delights

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Ulster Hall, Belfast 1.05pm £7.50 bit.ly/2BRGY7e

The main attraction of German conductor Christoph Altstaedt’s festive programme with the Ulster Orchestra is that top Christmas favourite, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. His other offerings offer outdoor and indoor seasonal perspectives. Debussy Children’s Corner suite, in the orchestration by André Caplet, has a movement called The Snow is Dancing at its hart. Richard Strauss’s Träumerei am Kamin, a symphonic interlude from his opera Intermezzo is most definitely an indoor experience. The title translates as “Dreaming by the Fireside”. MD