Opera singer out of work after surgery left her unable to sing due to chronic flatulence

Surgeons say the problem may be difficult to fix

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Royal Opera House, London

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Sir Thomas Allen, opera singer

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Tania Kross, "Krossover – Opera Revisited" (Challenge Classics)

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Some time ago I searched for the author of the brilliant first novel Here (Away From It All), by Maryann Forrest, which I’d owned as a teenager. When I asked Independent on Sunday readers to help me locate her, I received a letter inviting me to lunch.

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The warm crackle and hiss of AM radio lives on in the US, and is about to get a boost that could put it back at the heart of communities

Parsifal: Opera review

Royal Opera House, London

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The search engine's logo shows the diva singing against the backdrop of an opera house

The Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble

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The Berlin Phil, the Gewandhaus, and the CBSO have long done it, and now the Mariinsky are doing it too: sending a posse of top instrumentalists as chamber-music outriders to their main orchestral push. Making their British debut under Valery Gergiev in the Guildhall's new Milton Court auditorium, the Stradivarius Ensemble went through their paces with three works which showcased their instruments as much as their talent. For these were no ordinary instruments: Strads and Guarneris, Guandinis and Amatis, all from the golden age of string manufacture.

The Wasp Factory at the Linbury Theatre

Opera review: The Wasp Factory

A mind-numbingly pretentious 75 minutes

Digging deep: 'The Wasp Factory' at the Linbury Studio

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Iain Banks' cult novel is the unlikely source for a new show at Covent Garden

L'Orfeo at the Barbican

Classical review: Orfeo, Academy of Ancient Music/Egarr

Britain’s first Academy of Ancient Music was founded in 1726 as a private club of singers meeting in a London tavern to entertain each other: ‘ancient’ meant anything not in the contemporary repertory. Britain’s second AAM was founded in 1973 by harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood, to perform what was now called ‘early music’ on original instruments. Over the past four decades they have helped revolutionise early-music performance, blazing a trail followed by Baroque ensembles everywhere.

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