Nina Stemme performs as Isolde during a dress rehearsal in June, 2013, for a production of Richard Wagner´s Tristan and Isolde at the State Opera in Vienna

A role worth dying for

Swedish soprano Nina Stemme tells Jessica Duchen that playing the tragic Salome is one of her biggest challenges yet

James Rhodes: The concert pianist on mental illness and opening up about sexual abuse

Somewhere along the line, classical music has been appropriated A guy walks on in a monkey suit and perpetuates the "amazing scowling genius shrouded in my own artistry" thing. Instead, why not introduce this guy Bach, who was surrounded by death – 11 of his children died in infancy, and then the love of his life dies – then play a piece he wrote in her memory. People will get more from it than by reading an Oxford don's programme notes.

Off the wall: Tasmin Little busking at Waterloo station

Proms 2014: Tasmin Little is preparing for her 20th Proms - but busking is her real passion

The chart-topping violinist tells Jessica Duchen that her real passion is for performing for people who never set foot in a concert hall
Dance of death: rehearsals for 'Medea'

Medea: How Goldfrapp scored the Greek tragedy

The National Theatre's production of the Greek tragedy 'Medea' addresses itself to the modern condition, helped by music from the art-pop duo. Holly Williams goes backstage

Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte at the English National Opera

ENO's Cosi Fan Tutte opera is the new circus

Showman Gerry Cottle was dragged to see the latest production of ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ and had an epiphany

Proms 2014: Why the Proms are losing their director Roger Wright

This year’s concerts will feature the starriest names in classical music. But in the background is the sudden departure of director Roger Wright. We reveal the real reasons for his exit

David Lister: It’s right to relax concert rules, but try not to get carried away

Audience etiquette at classical music concerts has often been as fascinating to observe as the concert itself. Don’t clap between movements. Do cough between movements. Indeed, the louder the between-movements cough, the more it signals that the cougher is a music aficionado.

Body of work: Antonio Pappano

Sir Antonio Pappano: Conducting gave me Tennis elbow'

Covent Garden's musical director, Sir Antonio Pappano, tells Jessica Duchen about funding crises, new productions, cinema broadcasts, and the pain of wielding the baton

Steven Isserlis: The cellist on emotion, playing a Stradivarius - and personal hygiene

Music is a wonderful bonding agent Growing up, my older sister played the piano and my middle sister played the violin, while my mother was a piano teacher, so naturally I wanted to play an instrument too; the cello. We used to play together at these horrible competitive festivals as a family. Now, though, music keeps the family close as we have the same interests and know the same people.

All the world’s a stage: 'I'd like people to see that I'm passionate about what I do', says sex worker Charlotte

Sex Workers' Opera lets escorts, webcam performers and strippers tell their stories through performance and music

The sex workers will take to the stage tomorrow night to share their experiences, both good and bad. Frankie Mullin discovers why they're finding their voice

Second to nun: Sally Matthews in rehearsals with Alan Oke for Poulenc's 'Dialogues des Carmélites' at the Royal Opera House

Sally Matthews, the opera star who hates big egos

Soprano Sally Matthews sings the lead at Covent Garden next week, but she's no diva, discovers Jessica Duchen
Actress, novelist, journalist, violinist and radio presenter Clemency Burton-Hill
Thinking man’s trumpet: Alison Balsom

BBC Young Musician 2014: Forget the format, give us the music

The biennial competition showcasing the nation's finest young classical musicians is approaching its finale, but why the emphasis on looks over talent?
Upper crust: picnickers at Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne: Hot tickets that don't go for a song

Glyndebourne is the ultimate summer night out for opera fans – but it can come at a high price, says Jessica Duchen

Proms 2014: Tasmin Little, the Proms queen loyal to her subjects

Violin virtuoso Tasmin Little talks about her tireless championing of British music

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