Star critics cherry-pick some of the best on offer in the weeks to come
CARDIFF/TOURING OPERA: Magic Butterfly at the Millennium Centre, Bute Place. Until August 11
Magic Butterfly is an immersive virtual reality experience produced by Rewind and WNO. Staged in Cardiff Bay, it reimagines scenes from Madam Butterfly and The Magic Flute in a unique form of storytelling using classical music, art and technology. Featuring an original WNO recording, the free presentation is particularly suitable for anyone new to, or unfamiliar with, the world of opera. Also to be presented in Llandudno, Birmingham and Liverpool in the coming months.
CHICHESTER EXHIBITION: Women Artists: The Female Gaze at Pallant House, North Pallant. Until October 15
Historically idealised as muse to invoke a particular view of beauty, women have always been the subject of art produced by male artists. But this welcome new exhibition seeks to challenge and overturn these traditional narratives of femininity by looking at women artists’ representations of women. It includes works by Laura Knight, Cathie Pilkington, Paula Rego, Kiki Smith and Suzanne Valadon. Free.
MANCHESTER EVENT: Ceremony at NCP Bridgewater Hall Car Park, Little Peter St. July 16 (Sunday)
Friedrich Engels — co-author of The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx — is returning to his former home Manchester in the form of a Soviet-era statue, driven across Europe from Ukraine and permanently installed in the centre of the city in Tony Wilson Place by artist Phil Collins. To mark the occasion, performers, musicians and the people of Manchester will create an extraordinary live film to bring the city’s international festival to a close, mixing footage from the statue’s journey with live coverage of its inauguration. The welcome celebration will also include a soundtrack by Mica Levi and Demdike Stare, a new anthem by Gruff Rhys and stories of today’s Manchester workers filmed by Collins. Free — don’t miss.
MANCHESTER PERFORMANCE: The Welcoming Party at the Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road. July 15-16 (this weekend)
This immersive show from the European Theatre-Rites company, part of the Manchester International Festival, is a family-friendly journey through a historic hidden warehouse at the Museum of Science and Industry. You’ll walk alongside people who have travelled to the city from places far beyond Manchester, all looking for a place where they can feel safe and sound. Puppetry, performance, dance and live music combine in a show which invites audiences to think about what it means to feel different — and why we should all be proud of who we are.