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Summer festivals will get crowds dancing across Europe in July, with jazz-lovers bound for Montreux in Switzerland and rock fans heading either north to cool Denmark or south to sizzling Spain.
Wagner fans will flock to Bayreuth for the annual high mass in honour of the German composer, as theatre buffs converge on Avignon in France and dance-lovers rally in Vienna for a giant celebration of the art form.
Festivals aside, James Bond and his arsenal of gadgets go on show in London, a restored Caravaggio is unveiled in Rome, and a Portuguese artist ruffles some feathers with an edgy show at the Chateau de Versailles.
Following is a selection of what's on in Europe in July.
DANCE: An ecstasy of tribal drumming, conceptual Butoh from Japan or an ensemble led by a former Paris Opera etoile: top dancers and choreographers from around the world come together for Vienna's annual Impulstanz festival.
Workshops and star performances will run alongside a free-entry festival lounge on the theme of romance - beckoning the public to dance cheek-to-cheek to DJ sets or hold hands through screenings of classic love movies.
Runs from July 12 until August 12 at various venues across the city.
MUSIC: Vienna's City Hall once again welcomes its beloved Music Film Festival, with global foodstalls and an array of concerts, operas and ballet performances shown on a large screen under the stars.
This year's event, the 22nd edition running from June 30 to September 2, will step away from the classical register with screened concerts of Adele, Anastacia, Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones among others.
DESIGN: Agent 007 takes over London's Barbican Centre to mark 50 years of James Bond films, from 1962's “Dr No” to the forthcoming “Skyfall”. On show are more than 400 of the gadgets, costumes, weapons, and cars that turned the British spy from the hero of Ian Fleming's novels to a screen star.
Highlights include the 1937 Phantom III Rolls-Royce from “Goldfinger” - and a pair of swimming trunks worn by heart-throb Daniel Craig.
July 6 to September 5.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Veteran fashion photographer David Bailey takes us on a journey through the East End of London, the working-class district he has snapped regularly for 50 years.
The area has witnessed successive waves of immigration and, more recently, an invasion by avant-garde artists. Over the last seven years, the emergence of London's Olympic Park has transformed the landscape - and raised hopes of lasting regeneration.
Runs from July 6 to August 5 at Compressor House, on the Royal Docks in Newham, East London.
ARCHITECTURE/SOCIOLOGY: What does it mean to be Nordic? From politics to welfare, cuisine or design, the term has become increasingly widespread - and is the focus of a Danish show that asks what “Nordic” means, and how its rising use is shaping northern European societies.
“New Nordic - Architecture and Identity” runs at Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, in Humlebaek to the north of Copenhagen, until October 21.
FESTIVAL: Bruce Springsteen, Bjork, The Cure, The Roots and Jack White are among the world-class acts headlining the Roskilde festival near Copenhagen, an annual jamboree of music, performing art, design and architecture.
Founded in 1971, and now billed as Northern Europe's largest North European culture and music fest, the festival runs from July 5 to 8 in Roskilde, half an hour west of the Danish capital.
OPERA: The Savonlinna Opera Festival marks its 100th anniversary with a grand gala featuring Finnish and international stars including cello rocker ensemble Apocalyptica, held like each year in the town's medieval castle.
Popular favourites on the menu include Mozart's “The Magic Flute”, Ilkka Baeckman's version of Wagner's “The Flying Dutchman”, and Andras Miko's vision of Verdi's “Aida”.
Two world premieres are also on the cards: Kimmo Hakola's “La Fenice” and the first ever opera created by an online community, entitled “Free Will”.
Runs from July 5 to August 4.
THEATRE: Avignon turns into a giant stage from July 7 to 28 for the historic city's annual theatre festival, with actor-director Simon McBurney at the helm as associate-artist, the first Briton ever in the role.
McBurney's theatre company Complicite and its critically-acclaimed “The Master and Margarita” headlines the programme of 36 works, two thirds created specially as well as classics by Anton Chekhov or Luigi Pirandello.
Running in parallel the alternative Festival Off boasts more than 1,000 shows from all over France and the rest of the world.
ART: From a pink feather helicopter in the royal apartments to giant shoes made of pans and cutlery in the Hall of Mirrors, 16 contemporary artworks by Portugal's Joana Vasconcelos are on show at the Chateau de Versailles until September 30.
After Jeff Koons or Takashi Murakami, the 41-year-old is the latest in a string of artists invited to show often provocative works at the chateau west of Paris - though it drew the line at a chandelier made of sanitary tampons.
OPERA: The legendary Bayreuth Festival, the annual opera jamboree devoted exclusively to celebrating the works of Richard Wagner, runs from July 25 to August 28 in the composer's spiritual home in southern Germany.
With the countdown under way to the mammoth Wagner bicentenary celebrations in 2013, this year brings just one new production, “The Flying Dutchman”, while four are being revived, “Tristan and Isolde”, “Lohengrin”, “Tannhaeuser” and “Parsifal”.
Tickets are among the hardest to come by in the classical music world, with fans facing a 10-year wait for a chance to enter the hallowed Festspielhaus, the opera house built to the composer's own designs.
MUSIC: China is guest of honour at one of Germany's highest-profile classical music events, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, which kicks off July 7 with 138 concerts held from exquisite old churches to airport hangars or warehouses.
Lasting nearly two months, this year's event offers a veritable Who's Who of classical music, with song recitals and performances by chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras held across 77 different venues in the northern region.
From China the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and star pianist Lang Lang will share the spotlight with the singer Urna from Inner Mongolia, or the drum virtuoso Li Biao.
Runs to August 25.
ART: A Caravaggio masterpiece, “The Raising of Lazarus,” goes on show to the public in Rome after a meticulous seven-month restoration.
One of the Renaissance master's most important works, it was painted in Sicily soon after he fled from Malta, where he had taken refuge after being sentenced to death for killing a love rival in Rome.
From June 15 to July 15.
ILLUSTRATION: Ten years after the death of Renzo Vespignani, Rome's Villa Torlonia Museums host a tribute to the illustrator and designer best known for postwar sketches depicting the ravages of German-occupied Rome.
Paintings, drawings and photographs capture the spirit of an artist who bore witness to the tough life in Rome's outlying areas and whose work has been compared to that of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini.
From June 29 to November 18.
JAZZ: More than a thousand top jazz and rock musicians including Van Morrison and Lenny Kravitz give 150 performances across 13 different stages at the 36th annual North Sea Jazz Festival. From Friday July 6 to Sunday July 8.
ART: Paintings by some of the world's greatest impressionist masters including Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley are on display at the Hermitage Amsterdam, from the collection of its namesake, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Until January 13.
JAZZ: Desert blues band Tinariwen and Grammy-winning singer Dee Bridgewater headline the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway this month. Founded nearly half a century ago in 1964, the festival will draw the crowds to the town an hour west of Oslo from July 4 to 7.
ART: Dozens of artists aged under 35 take part in the third Moscow Biennale for Young Art with the theme “Under A Tinsel Sun” and aiming to show the common concerns shared by the young generation across the world despite geographical divisions.
From July 10 to August 10.
MUSIC: Spain hosts its edition of the international Rock in Rio music festival, headlined by Californian punk-funk supergroup the Red Hot Chili Peppers, dance-pop diva Rihanna and house music DJ David Guetta.
After the first day of the festival on June 30, the music continues the following week, July 5 to 7, at the Ciudad del Rock in Arganda del Rey, half an hour's drive southeast of Madrid.
THEATRE: As Spain and Greece battle the economic storm, the countries will be joined in on-stage solidarity this month as the Roman city of Merida in western Spain holds a classical theatre festival with a strong Greek flavour.
Spanish versions of classical tragedies by Euripides and Sophocles share the billing at the annual event, hosted in Merida's ancient ruins, with recitals of Homer's Odyssey and modern Greek authors like the poet Cavafy.
Runs July 5 to August 26.
FLAGS: Ever wanted to know more about flags? A new Stockholm exhibit explores the origin of the world's flags, the symbolism in their design, and their carefully considered colours, shapes and motifs.
Find out why flags can spark such powerful emotions, and how their meaning changes depending on how and when they are used.
At the Nordiska Museet until September 23.
JAZZ: The Montreux Jazz Festival, renowned for attracting the music industry's most accomplished performers since 1967, seals its reputation this year with concerts by Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett and Herbie Hancock.
Contemporary artists Jessie J, Lana del Rey and the Ting Tings are among more than 70 acts set to perform in the Swiss town's beautiful lakeside setting. June 29 to July 14.
MUSIC: A wedge of holey emmenthal cheese aside, there are few images more traditionally Swiss than alpine yodelling. On July 1 the Bernese Oberland region welcomes the Grindelwald Yodelling Festival on the Bachlaeger Alp, where experts and amateurs will put their vocal chords to the test.
www.grindelwald.ch - AFP