The Washington Performing Arts Society has announced a program of almost 60 concerts for next season, ranging from the annual visit of Rudolf Serkin and the return of the Chicago Symphony to the Washington recital debut of Metropolitan Opera soprano Carol Vaness.

Among the artists returning from the current season will be Dame Joan Sutherland, who will sing "Casta Diva" from Bellini's "Norma," as well as the mad scenes from Bellini's "I Puritani," Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" and Thomas' "Hamlet." Her husband, Richard Bonynge, will conduct.

Other singers scheduled for the season will include soprano Kathleen Battle, tenor Jose' Carreras, soprano Jessye Norman and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Among other events of the new season will be a concert by the famed Italian pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, his first here in 15 years. Pianist/conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy will perform no fewer than three times: once in a solo recital, once with the Cologne Radio Orchestra under Gary Bertini and once as both conductor and soloist with London's Royal Philharmonic.

Another London orchestra, the Philharmonia, under Giuseppe Sinopoli will appear in Sinopoli's Washington debut.

WPAS will also present in concert two orchestras that once had more extensive Washington seasons, the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti.

Among the other visiting orchestras: the Czech Philharmonic under Vaclav Neumann (with pianist Jeremy Menuhin as soloist); the Minnesota Orchestra with Edo de Waart; the Orchestre de Lyon with conductor Serge Baudo and pianist Pascal Roge'; the Moscow State Orchestra under Yevgeny Svetlanov (with pianist Natalia Guttman and cellist Oleg Kagan); the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada under Helmut Rilling; the Salzburg Musici with conductor Helmut Zehetmair and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg; the Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra under Kurt Vo ss; the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under Karl Mu nchinger; the Warsaw Sinfonia with Yehudi Menuhin as both conductor and soloist; and two orchestras under Zubin Mehta -- the Israel Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic (with pianist Murray Perahia).

Other performers: flutists James Galway and Jean-Pierre Rampal; trumpeter Maurice Andre'; guitarists Julian Bream and Christopher Parkening; violinists Viktoria Mullova, Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern; pianist Cecile Licad; pianist Bella Davidovich in a joint recital with her son, violinist Dmitri Sitkovetsky; the Canadian Brass; the Sistine Chapel Choir; the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble; the Festival of India; and the Kodo Dancers and Drummers of Sado.

The DanceAmerica series will include the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, the Bill Cratty Dance Theater, the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Dance Theater of Harlem.

The Evelyn Swarthout and Patrick Hayes Piano Series will include Jeffrey Siegel, Christopher O'Riley, Jeremy Menuhin, Jane Coop and the duo of Mary Kathleen Ernst and Dimitri Toufexis.