BBC Culture

May preview gallery: Global cultural highlights

  • The opening of the Mariinsky II

    On 2 May, St Petersburg's two centuries-old Mariinsky theatre ushers in a new era with the opening of the Mariinsky II. At 79, 114 sq m, it will be one of the largest theatre and concert venues in the world. With a limestone exterior, dramatic glass facade and materials such as onyx, marble and crystal, the new building promises to be as opulent as it is capacious. The grand opening involves a gala celebration taking place over two days, including a performance of Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta, Mozart's La Nozze di Figaro and Verdi's Nabucco. (Mariinsky)

  • Punk: Chaos to couture

    The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in New York presents a major exhibition examining the connection between punk and high fashion from 9 May. Featuring around 100 designs, the show celebrates punk's heroes and haunts, from CBGB in New York to Malcolm Mclaren and Vivienne Westwood's London boutique, Seditionaries. It will explore the relationship between punk's DIY ethos and the couture concept of 'made to measure', tracing punk's history from its 1970s explosion to its continuing cultural influence today. (David Sims)

  • Frieze New York

    Following its acclaimed inaugural edition last year, Frieze returns to New York for its festival of contemporary art and celebration of living artists. Located in a bespoke structure on Randall's Island, a park in the East river, Frieze will welcome members of the public from 10-13 May with an invitation-only event on May 9. The 2013 program is again curated by Cecilia Alemani. As well as displaying works by more than 180 established and newer artists, the program will include talks and readings, listening sessions and a sculpture park, which this year includes an 80-foot inflatable balloon dog created by Paul McCarthy. (Graham Carlow/Frieze)

  • Monet’s Garden

    Monet's Garden opens at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia on 10 May as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, in association with Musée Marmottan in Paris. The exhibition features more than 60 works centred on the artist's beloved plot at Giverny in northern France, fifty on loan from the Marmottan museum with others borrowed from collections around the world. The show explores a 20-year relationship between Monet and the garden, from Field of Yellow Irises in 1887 through the famous water lilies to some rarely-seen later paintings completed as the artist began to lose his sight. (The Bridgeman Art Gallery)

  • Cannes Film Festival

    Having celebrated its 65th birthday in 2012, the 66th festival returns from 15-26 May for the annual whirlwind of screenings, prizes and, of course, the collection of stars on the Palais' famous red carpet. Steven Spielberg has been announced as president of the jury, while Baz Luhrmann's long-awaited version of F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will open the proceedings. Amélie star Audrey Tautou will host the opening and closing ceremonies and the festival will close with a screening of Zulu, the first English language film from French director Jérôme Salle, starring Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker. (FDC / G. Thierry)

  • The Great Gatsby

    A soundtrack featuring Q-Tip, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z might not be the first thing which springs to mind when reading F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 jazz age novel of romance, excess and the American Dream. Then again, the latest adaptation, which comes to cinemas on 17 May is a Baz Luhrmann production. The man who successfully brought high camp and disco set pieces to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet promises yet another lavish and overblown spectacle, which should effectively capture the debauched, Bacchanalian society the novel portrays. Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mulligan play lovers Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, taking on the roles made famous by Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in 1974. (Moviestore/Rex Features)

  • Eurovision Song Contest

    An estimated 125 million television viewers tune in each year to watch the annual Europe-wide camp-fest-cum-music-competition that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Not bad for an event which has been running for almost 60 years. Lulu, Celine Dion, Dana International and Lordi are some of the contest's more memorable winners, although none can match the dizzy heights reached by Eurovision's most successful alumni, Abba. This year, the competition returns to Abba's homeland on May 18, with Malmö playing host to the singing nations who are all hoping to avoid the dreaded 'nul points'. (Getty Images)

  • Simon Hantaï

    From 22 May to 2 September, the Pompidou Centre in Paris will exhibit the first major retrospective of Hungarian painter Simon Hantaï's work in nearly forty years. The artist, best known for the 'folding as method' technique, retired from the art world in 1982, largely refusing to exhibit up until his death in 2008. The show will present more than 130 paintings in a chronological overview, from Hantaï's arrival in France in 1948, through early, surrealist works towards his development as a seminal colourist. (Centre Pompidou)

  • The Rite of Spring centenary

    Igor Stravinsky's ballet premiered on 29 May 1913 at the Théâtre de Champs-Élysées in Paris. For audiences used to traditional 19th Century ballet, The Rite of Spring marked a radical departure from musical, dance and narrative conventions. It immediately provoked dissent and even rioting among outraged theatre-goers. One hundred years on, Stravinsky's work is considered a pivotal moment in the history of ballet and music. In its centenary year, celebrations will take place all over the world, from Sadler's Wells in London and the Bolshoi in Moscow to the Joffrey in Chicago. The Théâtre de Champs-Élysées will present a total of 14 performances, including a visit from the Ballet of the Mariinsky Theatre on the day of the centenary. (Alastair Muir/Rex Features)

  • Yo Picasso

    Yo Picasso (I, Picasso) is the title of a 1901 self-portrait in which the artist broke with convention to present an audacious, almost defiant image, trumpeting his arrival at his debut show in Paris in the same year. It is also the title of an exhibition taking place at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona from 31 May, which will be the first major solo exhibition of Picasso's self-portraits. The retrospective covers the development of experimentation in his portraiture, covering a period of over seventy years from 1894 to his death in 1972. (Museu Picasso)