The Washington Performing Arts Society's 1985-86 season was announced yesterday, with an increased number of events over the current season. One highlight will be a week-long run at the Kennedy Center by the Central Ballet of China, on its first American visit.

Next year's season includes 68 events, while this season's listed 44. The figures are not exactly comparable because two series of dance and music concerts announced yesterday were counted separately last year.

One reason for the increase is that the current season has been an unusually prosperous one for WPAS, despite the budget woes afflicting other Washington performing arts organizations. "We have had an unusual number of sellouts," said WPAS manager Craig Hosmer at a news conference.

The new season features some glittering operatic events -- including the first performance by Joan Sutherland for WPAS since 1971. She will sing the title role in a concert version of Donizetti's "Anna Bolena," with her husband, Richard Bonynge, conducting.

Other vocal events include a recital by Leontyne Price; Marilyn Horne and Montserrat Caballe' together in a concert; a program by Irish tenor Frank Patterson; and a concert by Janet Baker.

Kiri Te Kanawa will return as the soloist with the Detroit Symphony, under the direction of Gunther Herbig.

There is a profusion of orchestras and conductors: Munich Philharmonic (Lorin Maazel); Vienna Symphony (Wolfgang Sawallisch); New York Philharmonic (Zubin Mehta); Bavarian Radio Symphony (Sir Colin Davis); Cleveland Orchestra (Christoph von Dohnanyi); Amsterdam Concertgebouw (Bernard Haitink); the Boston Symphony twice (both times under Seiji Ozawa, with violinist Viktoria Mullova the soloist in the second).

Several other visiting orchestras will have soloists: Alicia de Larrocha with the Montreal Symphony (Charles Dutoit); oboist Heinz Holliger with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Armin Jordan); both Isaac Stern and Peter Serkin with the Baltimore Symphony (David Zinman); the duo-piano Labeque sisters with L'Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse (Michel Plasson); Mischa Dichter with the Atlanta Symphony (Robert Shaw); James Galway as both soloist with and conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada.

Four distinguished British early music groups will perform, the first three in their Washington debuts: Trevor Pinnock and his English Concert; the English Baroque Soloists under John Eliot Gardiner, with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson; the Westminster Cathedral Choir; and the Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood. The Vienna Chamber Orchestra with conductor Phillippe Entremont is also scheduled.

Among the other music events: pianists Rudolf Serkin, Earl Wild, Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel and the winner of this June's Van Cliburn Competition; violinist Itzhak Perlman; the Canadian Brass; guitarist John Williams; the Chieftains; soprano Chrissellene Petropoulos; and the National Folk Ballet of Yugoslavia.

A new program of avant-garde events, called "The New Series," will be introduced. It will open with the Fires of London, under composer Peter Maxwell Davies. Composer Steve Reich will present a chamber version of his "The Desert Music." The Love of Life Orchestra will appear under Peter Gordon, and the series will conclude with two performances by the Lucinda Childs Dance Company.

In addition to the Chinese dance company, other dance programs will include the Erick Hawkins Dance Company; the Mark Morris Dance Group; American Ballroom Theater; the Paul Taylor Dance Company; the Maria Benitez Spanish Dance Company; and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.