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Italian luxury notebook maker Moleskine has picked Canary Wharf and Covent Garden for its first standalone UK stores.

Burberry and Dior scent success with beauty boutiques

Beauty boutiques are set to be all the rage for luxury brands as Burberry and Christian Dior begin a hunt for shops to sell their perfume and cosmetics collections in the UK.

St Modwen raises £49m to bankroll plans for market facelift

St Modwen has tapped shareholders for £49m to help fund the £2bn overhaul of the UK's biggest fruit, veg and flower market, in south London.

Carmen, Royal Albert Hall, London

Everyone loves Carmen, but no one ever quite brings it off because its delicate balance between public and private, large-scale action and intimate drama, is so tricky.

Michael McIntyre is the latest celebrity to reveal his reliance on delivery diets

Slimming: Eat, drink and be skinny

Cuddly comedian Michael McIntyre is paying £60 a  day to have diet meals delivered to his door. But is this  take-away approach healthy? Simon Usborne weighs in

Joe Allen, 13 Exeter Street, London WC2

Can theatrical hang-out Joe Allen – barely changed in decades – still put on a show?

Developer St Modwen keeps focus inside M25

Developer St Modwen — part-owner of Elephant & Castle’s eyesore shopping centre — says it is training its sights on more buoyant property markets down south this year as the rest of the country struggles.

La Traviata, Coliseum, London

We were promised surprises in Peter Konwitschny’s ‘La Traviata’, and the first comes at the start.

La bohème, Royal Opera House, London

Life has not been easy for Rolando Villazon these last few years. Invasive throat surgery stopped him singing, with no guarantee of any return to form. When he did make a come-back his performance was savagely dissected by the critics.

Vishnevskaya; she later directed operas

Galina Vishnevskaya: Soprano whose voice entranced Britten and who fled the Soviet Union

Galina Vishnevskaya was famous both as a singer and as the wife of the cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich. As a singer she was famous, in Britain at least, for being forbidden to take the soprano solos at the first performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem in 1962 in the newly consecrated Coventry Cathedral; and then for throwing a spectacular tantrum during the recording sessions of the same work in London the following year.

Polunin has been dancing regularly at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre

Runaway ballet star returns to dance in Britain

Sergei Polunin, the Ukrainian prodigy who stunned the dance world by walking out on the Royal Ballet, is to return to the UK for a brutal show "as far away from Swan Lake as you can get".

Behind the scenes: Royal Opera House’s High House

The only way is opera! Essex gets a cultural boost

The arts are flourishing in Thurrock, despite the town being voted the most miserable in Britain this year

Patrizia Ciofi performs during a rehearsal of Italian Giuseppe Verdi opera 'Rigoletto' last year

Royal Opera House makes a drama out of an opera with last minute replacement of leading lady with Patrizia Ciofi

It was always going to be a drama when the Royal Opera House staged its first production in more than 120 years of Robert le diable, Giacomo Meyerbeer’s epic opera.

Bitter rivals: Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) (left), and Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

The man who made Wagner mad

The Royal Opera House is staging Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable for the first time in a century. It's a welcome focus on a much maligned composer

Newsnight scandal review is delayed

The Pollard review, which is examining a shelved Newsnight report into the Jimmy Savile abuse allegations, is to take about a month longer to report than expected.

Editorial: Second time lucky at the BBC?

Chris Patten has lived up to his word. The chairman of the BBC Trust said he wanted a replacement BBC Director-General "within weeks". Now, just 12 days after the resignation of the hapless George Entwistle, Tony Hall – the chief executive of the Royal Opera House – has been named as his successor.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

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Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

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