News Arms deals fixer Ziad Takieddine has been refused entry to Britain

A controversial fixer for arms deals linked to an alleged corruption scandal that engulfed Nicolas Sarkozy has been refused entry to Britain.

La Wally, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Prom 22, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 23, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 29, Royal Albert, London

A surefooted heroine should appeal to a modern audience, but this Italian reality show falls flat

Catalani La Wally, Opera Holland Park

The aria - "Ebben? Ne andrò lontano" - famously adorning the films Diva and A Single Man is almost as ubiquitous as the eponymous heroine's name - which features in the Guinness Book of Records as being mentioned more times in Catalani's rarely performed opera than in any other.

BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Manchester International Festival, Bridgewater Hall / Chetham's, Manchester

With Schubert to die for and a preposterous but sincere choral monolith, the Proms keeps giving its audiences a thrilling ride

Eugene Onegin, Blackheath Halls, London<br/>La Rondine, Holland Park, London<br/>The Turn of the Screw, King&rsquo;s Head Theatre, London

A community-based 'Onegin' has the children wide-eyed and draws gasps from pensioners

La Rondine, Holland Park, London

Things never go to plan in open-air opera.

Cendrillon, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Le nozze di Figaro, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Rinaldo, Glyndebourne, East Sussex

A picture-perfect production of Massenet's take on the enduring fairy tale brings the Royal Opera House season to a triumphant end

The marriage of Figaro and footie

I'm working-class, tattooed and a football fan. I also run an opera venue. So don't call me elitist, says Michael Volpe

Boxing: How the Klitschkos came to rule German fight game

Ukrainian brothers are box-office gold in unique world of boxing in their adopted nation, so Wladimir's fight against David Haye on Saturday will set new records.

L'amico Fritz, Opera Holland Park, London

It's all a little unlikely: Protestants and Jews in rural Alsace, Yiddish melodies given a distinctly Italianate spin, the longest and most infuriating foreplay in opera, and not one single death.

L'amico Fritz, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Rigoletto, Grange Park Opera, Hampshire<br/>Christophe Rousset / Tabea Zimmermann, Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk

An Italian rarity is sung with charm, looks a treat, and is conducted as if it were the greatest score ever written

Simon Boccanegra, Coliseum, London<br/>Tristan und Isolde, Grange Park Opera, Hampshire<br/>Don Pasquale, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Il Turco in Italia, Garsington Opera, Buckinghamshire

Garsington and Holland Park plump for a British seaside resort and the Med, but the forecast is rather gloomy

Mascagni, L&rsquo;amico Fritz, Opera Holland Park

It’s all a little unlikely: Protestants and Jews in rural Alsace, Yiddish melodies given a distinctly Italianate spin, the longest and most infuriating foreplay in opera, and not one single death.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

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In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

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The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
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While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
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The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

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