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Commissioned to celebrate the coronation of the present Queen, Gloriana was a rare flop for Benjamin Britten. Its story of silly, handsome Robert Devereux’s ascent and descent in the affections of the ageing Elizabeth I is doubly hampered by the Tudorbethan argot of William Plomer’s libretto and the composer’s garish orchestration of John Dowland’s lute songs. For every moment of beauty and brilliance, there is another of thumb-twiddling banality.
A poem which famously inspired Nelson Mandela during his decades of incarceration has been set to music by a rising opera star.
Comedy: I have been watching the HBO series Girls. It's my latest box set. It's extraordinary. Lena Dunham not only writes and stars in it but also directs it. Which is incredibly brave of her, but makes complete sense as it's totally her vision. And it's fantastic that a network has let her creativity flourish without interference. We need more of that in TV.
The umbrella title for English National Ballet’s latest triple bill suggests decadent abandon.
Hollywood A-listers jet in to add sparkle to Vienna's annual event with an image problem
Royal Festival Hall, London
Since the Polish-Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska returned to the stage three years ago after a long time out, her story has earned her legendary status.
'I'd love to see Mozart on stage playing vintage synths'
From candlelit concerts to the famous King’s College Choir, we pick the best of this year’s celebrations of song
Christianity is part of our history so should be taught to children - it's not indoctrination.
Arguments about what kind of music is best, what will survive the test of time, miss the point
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.
An international festival to celebrate the work of writer Samuel Beckett has begun in the town where the Nobel Prize winner went to school.
New English Ballet Theatre is an idealistic venture, a showcase company for young dancers and aspiring choreographers. It has influential patrons, including ballerinas Darcey Bussell and Marianela Nuñez, and a commitment to live music and new design. Synergies, NEBT’s debut programme, had some lively dancing and good music, but too much thin choreography.
Moving musical memories of 'Titanic', a sodden mystic and a drooling Don make the going soggy