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

Robert Tear: Tenor celebrated for his interpretations of Handel, Mozart and Britten

Robert Tear's very successful operatic career lasted for over 40 years. Renowned for his Handel and Mozart, the Welsh tenor was also particularly admired for his roles in operas by Britten and several other 20th century composers. Though mainstream Italian opera figured rarely in his repertory, Russian and German works offered him many opportunities to display his vocal and dramatic skills.

Malcolm Smith

Further to the obituary of Malcolm Smith (11 March), during the interval of Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland's 2006 performance in Cadogan Hall, I found a morose, pessimistic Malcolm reflecting blackly on the decayed state of the London musical world as he knew it, writes Robert Maycock. Not a hint of optimism from anybody listening went unchallenged.

Playing music to wine really makes it sing

Or so says an Austrian inventor. Scientists scoff, but his idea is one among many being adopted by vineyards around the world

The Week In Radio: High and low notes with the Mozart of Madras

Where would radio be, without the probing interview? Television may grab the headlines, as exemplified recently in a fabulous retrospective of John Freeman by Sue MacGregor, by making politicians cry or asking them the same question 14 times. But radio has the talent, intelligence and above all the time to make windows in men's souls. It's the intimacy of the radio studio that draws out the lurking childhood misery or the tension between the public and the private face. Which was why I lamented the demise of In the Psychiatrist's Chair and why I'll also miss On the Ropes, which is being axed in October on Radio 4 to make way for more science.

Berlin Philharmonic / Rattle, Barbican / Southbank, London<br/>Troy Boy, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London

A much-hyped musical visit lives up to expectations, and an operatic star is born

Hallé Orchestra / Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The connection between Verdi’s Overture to Luisa Miller and Mozart’s G major Piano Concerto No.17 may not immediately have been apparent but a few pages of both quickly pointed up operatic common ground. The curtain was duly raised on two very distinct and vivid dramas.

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall, London

Two perfect works in perfect equilibrium; Mozart and Mahler well met indeed.

Radio 3 - 'Every listener won't like every editorial decision'

Independent readers have been critical of Radio 3's treatment of Mozart and Handel. Its controller, Roger Wright, answers them and outlines his plans for live broadcasts

The Magic Flute, Royal Opera House

After the epic inanities of Mike Figgis’s cinematic take on ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ at the Coliseum - whose only saving grace was a trio of superb voices - it was sweet relief to encounter David McVicar’s ‘Magic Flute’ at Covent Garden. McVicar may have his own way of going over the top, but in this classic production, now in its third revival, he doesn’t put a foot wrong.

Dame Margaret Price: Opera singer noted for her tonal splendour and celebrated for her Mozart and Verdi interpretations

The Welsh soprano Margaret Price had one of the most beautiful voices of thesecond half of the 20th century. Lustrous in tone and smooth-textured, it was also extremely flexible – her trill was quite amazing – and perfectly graduated from a thread of sound to a full-blooded forte. In the earlier part of her career she wasfamous for her singing of Mozart, but as her voice grew in power, without losing its beauty, she widened her repertory to take on certain roles by Verdi and Richard Strauss. Always conscious of the dramatic importof whatever she was singing, whether German Lieder or Italian opera,Price never sacrificed words to sheer tonal splendour.

Terence Blacker: Why are we so scared of silence?

People are so afraid of silence that they are prepared to have their privacy invaded

Do we really need to sex up opera?

A new production about Anna Nicole Smith and the arrival of 3D broadcasts aim to widen the appeal of an art form that is perceived as elitist.

Juan Diego Florez/ Vincenzo Scalera, Royal Festival Hall

Ten years is a lifetime in singing and since his London recital debut, courtesy of Ian Rosenblatt, Juan Diego Florez has achieved superstar status in that highly specialised corner of the bel canto repertoire demanding suppleness and speed of delivery. Things don’t always go his way – even Florez is fallible -and this his fourth Rosenblatt recital was, as the football pundits love to say, very much a game of two halves.

Juan Diego Florez/Vincenzo Scalera, Royal Festival Hall, London

Ten years is a lifetime in singing and since his London recital debut, courtesy of Ian Rosenblatt, Juan Diego Florez has achieved superstar status in that highly specialised corner of the bel canto repertoire demanding suppleness and speed of delivery. Things don’t always go his way – even Florez is fallible -and this his fourth Rosenblatt recital was, as the football pundits love to say, very much a game of two halves.

Radio 3 - Low-brow, lightweight and losing its way?

What's happened to Radio 3? It seems to fear treating classical music seriously, says regular listener Nicholas de Jongh
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