The complete Shostakovich string quartets among the 2013 Utzon Room offerings.

The Sydney Opera House today announced its 2013 series of ten solo and chamber recitals in the intimate surrounds of the Utzon Room.

The highlight, in July, will be a sprawling weekend marathon of five concerts encompassing all 15 Shostakovich quartets, performed by stalwart London ensemble the Brodsky String Quartet.

In October, the Opera House shares its 40th birthday celebrations with another long-serving British group, The Tallis Scholars, who will sound the magnificent high C of Allegri’s Misererein the Concert Hall. The Renaissance choir has soared in the chartsthis year, on the back of a reference to Tallis’ 40-part motet  Spem in Alium in the best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

Last year the Utzon Room Series suffered a blow when American soprano Deborah Voigt suddenly cancelled her highly anticipated recital to undergo emergency knee surgery. In 2013, there are two great Wagnerian sopranos on board, just for good measure: British Susan Bullock comes with her regular accompanist Malcolm Martineau ahead of her performances in the Melbourne RingCycle, while Brisbane-based Lisa Gasteen returns to the Opera House.

There are two intimate solo Bach programs:...