Arts and Entertainment In rehearsal: the Don is sung in Kasper Holten's new production by the Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien

As the Royal Opera opens its new Don Giovanni, Jessica Duchen argues that its theme of moral vacuity is as relevant now as in Mozart's day

Best of 2014: Classical and opera preview

Michael Church picks this years must-hear classical

Rufus Norris stands outside the National Theatre

Standing ovation for Rufus Norris as he's revealed as new National Theatre director

Norris, who recently staged The Amen Corner at the National, will take over from Sir Nicholas Hytner in 2015

Don Giovanni, Mozart, Opera North, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Despite its origins in Spanish legend, Spain is not important to Mozart’s and da Ponte’s Don Giovanni. So the placing of the story in the context of the early 1960s in Alessandro Talevi’s new production for Opera North is non-controversial.

Come as you are: ENO seeks a new audience by encouraging jeans and trainers and serving alcohol

Glyndebourne, this is not. Welcome to opera for the next generation; where jeans and trainers are encouraged, punters can drink in bars and the young audiences can even stick on their headphones if they do not like the music.

The Sinking of the Titanic, Barbican Hall, London / Jakob Lenz, Hampstead Theatre, London / Don Giovanni, Heaven, London

Moving musical memories of 'Titanic', a sodden mystic and a drooling Don make the going soggy

Elizabeth Connell: Mezzo and soprano acclaimed for her Verdi and Wagner interpretations

The opera singer Elizabeth Connell enjoyed 10 successful years as a mezzo before becoming a soprano and enjoying over two decades more of international acclaim.

Mozart, Don Giovanni, Royal Opera House

There is hell-fire enough at the close of Francesca Zambello’s 2002 staging of Don Giovanni to consume not just the Don but the entire production.

Album: Various Artists, Lumières: Music Of The Enlightenment (Harmonia Mundi)

It might seem a fool's errand to attempt to encapsulate the musical developments of the 18th century in a single package, given the era's heavyweight talents include Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn.

Don Garrard: Bass who made his name with the Sadler's Wells company

The Canadian bass Don Garrard sang in the UK for over 20 years, with the Royal Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, and above all with Sadler's Wells, now English National Opera. He had a natural authority, both of voice and bearing, that served him well in roles such as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Prince Gremin in Tchaikowsky's Eugene Onegin and the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi's Don Carlos. The warmth of his voice and personality also allowed him to play loving fathers with equal facility; among these Daland in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman and Arkel in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande are good examples. His singing was also much appreciated in Canada and the US.

Free drink and programme when you see ENO productions of The Elixir of Love or The Marriage of Figaro

Jonathan Miller’s triumphant staging of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece 'The Elixir of Love' returns to the London Coliseum this September for a limited run of only nine performances, while Fiona Shaw brings her unique creative flair to a major new production of Mozart’s immensely popular classic 'The Marriage of Figaro' in October.

Proms 47, 49 & 53, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>London Contemporary Orchestra, Roundhouse, Camden, London<br/>Don Giovanni, Soho Theatre, London

Orchestras made up of the world&rsquo;s present and future principals, the best orchestral players on the planet, dazzle at the Proms

Mozart&rsquo;s Don Giovanni, OperaUpClose, Soho Theatre

Fired by the Olivier-winning success of their miniature ‘Boheme’ last year, OperaUpClose have become fizzingly prolific. After three pocket productions at the Kings Head, they have now moved back to the slightly more spacious Soho Theatre with ‘Mozart’s Don Giovanni’, whose title reflects the fact that other cooks besides Wolfgang had a hand in its creation.

Saturdays in the park - it&rsquo;s not all rock&rsquo;n&rsquo;roll, you know

It&rsquo;s festival fever, but will you go for opera, vintage style or a children&rsquo;s day out? Kate Hilpern dons her wellies

London Symphony Orchestra/ Pires/ Haitink, Barbican Hall

Her appearances in this country are rare enough as it is so to discover that Maria Joao Pires was to be a late substitute (for the indisposed Murray Perahia) was precious consolation indeed.

David Price: The defence experts making big advances

The Business Interview: Chemring is proving resilient despite government cutbacks. Sarah Arnott meets its chief executive
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker