Pandora: Burstein's new opera takes potshots at Iran

Stand by for fireworks. Keith Burstein, the composer whose last opera Manifest Destiny led to a David-and-Goliath-style High Court battle with the London Evening Standard, is back.

Last year, Burstein tried to sue the newspaper with the help of Rabinder Singh QC – a Matrix Chambers colleague of Cherie Booth – after one of its reviewers criticised the opera's "anti-American" tone. He lost the case and was declared bankrupt after being unable to stump up the estimated £67,000 in legal costs incurred.

Now, however, Burstein tells us he has almost finished work on a sequel to the controversial work. "It will be called The Empress of America and is set 10 years from now, when a country not unlike Iran appears to be about to launch a nuclear strike," says Burstein. "When they explode their 'bomb', it releases an explosion of love all over the world instead of destruction."

The production is likely to make use of the same company, Daniel X Opera, as last and Burstein hopes it will debut at the Edinburgh Festival. Even better, it appears a third instalment might be in the pipeline too. "It's in the offing!" he chirps. Critics beware!

Le Bon Jnr shows her rapid reflexes

*No faux nonchalance from Amber Le Bon, daughter of Duran Duran frontman Simon. Currently pursuing a career as a model, she clearly feels little need to distance herself from her father's legacy. Touring the dining room at the Grey Goose Character and Cocktails fundraiser for the Elton John Aids Foundation in a bespoke up-for-auction Roland Mouret dress, she fell victim to an impertinent heckler. "What's your favourite Duran Duran song?" he cried. Not a beat missed, Le Bon replied: "'The Reflex'." Rapid ones indeed.

Minister barking up the wrong tree?

*All together now. Recession? What recession? The Department of Health became an unlikely target for a horde of paparazzi yesterday afternoon when a written parliamentary answer from the Health minister Phil Hope revealed that it had managed to find £2,485 to spend on a single Christmas tree. The specimen in question can, apparently, be found at Skipton House, a ministry building near London's Waterloo, although Pandora has yet to ascertain precisely of which precious metal it is made.

News for you on Deayton

As 2010 rears its head, the makers of Have I Got News For You prepare to celebrate their 20th year of broadcasting. The current affairs quiz first aired back in 1990, with Angus Deayton as its host.

Earlier this year, it was suggested that Deayton – who was forced to stand down following a spate of unseemly hookers-and-drugs tales in the papers – might be invited back on to the programme as a one-off guest host. Alas, it seems the rumours are unfounded. We're told the stunt – unlikely to have won a fan in Ian Hislop, whose frequent on-air jibes at Deayton left little love lost between the pair – has not fallen into place.

"We won't be doing anything special, as it happens," says a spokesman.

Cowell rages as No 1 spot slips away

*Simon Cowell's defence of his right to a Christmas No 1 has done little to serve his cause. In the wake of the X Factor judge's comments that campaigns to stop him and competition winner Joe McElderry were "stupid", Rage Against The Machine climbed to the top of the charts. Meanwhile, the world breathed a sigh of relief as Gordon Brown, hitherto preoccupied with visiting the troops, finally weighed in on the weekend's results, reassuring us that he had, in fact, had time to congratulate to all three finalists – if only by post. Phew!

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Recruitment Genius: HR Consultant

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An HR Consultant is required to join thi...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable