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

Sophie Bevan: Born to sing

Fast-rising soprano Sophie Bevan comes from a family of eight musical children and an extended musical family of 60. Ahead of her landmark solo recital tonight, she talks to Jessica Duchen

The Week In Radio: The Bible and Mozart heal the January blues

It may be the grimmest month in all other respects, but January is an unexpectedly great time for radio listening. Unlike humans, radio programmes have disproportionately more birthdays in January, because that's when the broadcasting year starts, so anniversary editions abound – witness this week's Archers spectacular, of which more later. On top of that, there are anniversaries of other institutions, such as the King James Bible, which is currently receiving exhaustive attention from Radio 4 for its 400th.

Mozart Unwrapped, OAE/Bevan/Bezuidenhout/Cohen, Kings Place

Having just praised the Wigmore Hall for bravely flying the flag during most schedulers’ dead-time at Christmas, I must now give a similar accolade to London’s new chamber venue in the wilds of Kings Cross – Kings Place.

Matthew Bell: Rant & Rave (02/01/11)

Rant

Hugues Cuénod: Immensely versatile Swiss tenor who sang at Glyndebourne for over 30 years

Few singers can boast of a career lasting more than 65 years; Hugues Cuénod was one who could, but the Swiss tenor was in every way an extraordinary artist. Fluent in six languages, he had an unusually wide range of sympathies spanning four centuries, from Dowland, Monteverdi and Bach, to Berg, Honegger and Stravinsky, encompassing every type of vocal music from café chantant to oratorio. Equally at home putting across popular songs with Jane Laquien, as the duo "Bob et Bobette", or singing Satie's Socrate in the salon of the Princesse de Polignac, he had not one but several careers, as concert singer, recitalist, musical-comedy artiste, teacher and as a superb operatic character tenor. These careers overlapped each other, but after the Second World War the character tenor became the most important and successful.

Barefoot orchestra blows its own horn

Kinshasa, the chaotic capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is used to just about every noise imaginable.

Radio 3 clears its schedules for 12 days of Mozart

BBC Radio 3 is to dedicate its entire schedule to the works of Mozart for almost two weeks.

ENO under fire for 'Don Giovanni' rape scene

It is the story of an immoral Lothario, a tale which begins with sexual violence and ends with divine justice. You'd have thought seasoned opera-goers would be well prepared for the exploits of Don Giovanni. But that hasn't stopped a new production from being accused of "shock tactics" by suggesting scenes involving gang rape.

Roxana Briban

The Romanian opera singer Roxana Briban, who sang in Buch-arest, Berlin and Bangkok during a 10-year career, died on 20 November, apparently by her own hand, at the age of 39. Her husband Alexandru said she had fallen into depression after the Bucharest National Opera severed her contract in 2009.

Helene Grimaud, Royal Festival Hall

Put temporarily out of the game last year by illness, Helene Grimaud is one of the most exciting young pianists around, and one of a kind.

Une Flûte Enchantée, Bouffes du Nord, Paris

Brook's magic dust lights up a classic

Don Giovanni, Coliseum, London<br/>Spira Mirabilis, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

In his opera debut, director Rufus Norris offers a lothario implausibly making up for lost love with serial affairs

Laszlo Polgar

Laszlo Polgar, who died on 19 September 2010 aged 63, was a Hungarian bass and member of the Zurich Opera. His most famous role was probably that of Bluebeard in Bela Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, for which he won a Grammy Award for best opera recording in 1999 along with soprano Jessye Norman, conductor Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Mozart, Don Giovanni, English National Opera

In one respect at least Rufus Norris' new ENO production of Don Giovanni might truthfully be described as electrifying.

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