News

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

Otello, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Two cheers for the leads - but save the roar for the chorus

Richard Verreau

Tenor whose career was cut short

Preview: Orphee, Royal Opera House, London

Music that outsings the birds

1984, Royal Opera House, London

Maazel's money beats the Orwellian machine to launch an opera triumph

Mesmerised by Mozart

Rebecca Evans promises a spellbinding Pamina in the Royal Opera's Die Zauberflöte

Ruth Packer

Dramatic soprano

The next Pavarotti, moi?

Juan Diego Florez is touted as the tenor to watch. After his triumphant Royal Opera run, he tells Michael Church he is shocked - but rather chuffed - at being compared to 'last century's greatest voice'

First night: Das Rheingold, Royal Opera House, London

Terfel triumphs in Pappano's boldest gesture

LSO / Lorin Maazel, Barbican London

Since his first emergence as a prodigy back in the 1950s, Lorin Maazel has established himself as a somewhat uncanny necromancer among conductors, while invariably delivering performances of glittering technical proficiency and vividness. Whether these have always transcended a certain narcissistic coldness is another matter. One would not, in any case, have readily associated him with the warmth and inwardness of Schubert and Bruckner.

Toy Story

'If you wake up on Christmas morning and you haven't got Robosapien under the tree, your parents don't love you.' Susie Mesure discovers how a 14in robot battled Barbie and beat the Beanies to become this year's must-have gift

David Kester: Forget Gherkins and ivory towers: design gets its hands dirty delivering the goods

Britain needs to tap its neglected talents to turn hi-tech innovation into winning products, the Design Council chief tells Jason Nissé
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Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
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David Ryall in Harry Potter
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Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
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Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
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Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

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