Anniversary is the theme for the classical music season in Baltimore. Mozart's been dead 200 years, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra turns a grand 75, life begins for the Baltimore Opera at 40, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Shriver Hall Concert Series both are 25 this year. Here are highlights of promising birthday concerts this fall.
* One of the best opening BSO concerts is also one of the cheapest. David Zinman leads the orchestra at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Sept. 26 in a concert that costs only 75 cents per ticket, a special anniversary price. On the program are three works by the young composer Michael Torke (which the BSO will record that week), as well as Barber's "Adagio for Strings" and Poulenc's Organ Concerto. Call 783-8000 for details.
* Bizet's steamy opera "Carmen" is one of the most popular operas in the repertory, and Baltimore Opera has decided to open its 40th season Oct. 13 with four performances of the tale of the impetuous gypsy. Soledad Salame, a Chilean artist who lives in Baltimore, was commissioned to design new abstract scenery for the new production. Isola Jones sings the title role, Carmen Balthrop is Micaela, John Absolom is Don Jose and Craig Heath Nim is Escamillo. Tickets for the performances at the Lyric Opera House are $15 to $65. Call 685-0692 for details.