Fantasy stuff: Fflur Wyn as Alice

Alice the opera: Happy to watch her arrive, but sad to see her go

In this final report, Michael Volpe is overjoyed to finally see Alice on stage

Carroll singer: the Welsh soprano Fflur Wyn is set to take the lead role in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'

Why creating the perfect Alice is no tea party

Michael Volpe continues his monthly dispatch on staging a world premiere

Edinburgh Festival preview: Classical - Ludus Baroque, Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble and Oper Frankfurth

Ludus Baroque performs Bach's B Minor Mass in Canongate Kirk (canongatekirk.org.uk, 8 Aug), while Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble survey Schubert's symphonies at the Usher Hall (usherhall.co.uk, 14 and 15 Aug).

Lady madonna: Natalya Romaniw stars in I gioielli della Madonna

Classical review: I gioielli della Madonna - Incest and insanity... what an Italian job!

The first British staging since 1926 of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's mafiosi opera takes the crown for lurid incident and spectacle

Daniel Barenboim will conduct his first Wagner opera in the UK this summer

We have all the time in the world for Wagner

The audiences for this immense work ought to be disappearing. In fact, they're growing

Opera Holland Park - I gioielli della Madonna dir Martin Lloyd-Evans

Classical review: I gioielli della Madonna, Opera Holland Park, London

The action is grittier, the stakes (and skirts) raised higher, and the orchestral noises louder than anything else of its time: if Puccini’s realist operas are verismo then Wolf-Ferrari’s 1911 I gioielli della Madonna is verissimo.

Canadian author Margaret Atwood explores a new aria with her first ever opera, Pauline

Margaret Atwood writes her first opera about the tragic life of Canadian heroine Pauline Johnson

The Handmaid's Tale author has spent 15 years penning her operatic debut

On song: summer at the Festspielhaus

Access all arias in Bayreuth

Richard Wagner's festival city sings with dramatic history, says Adrian Mourby

Jade Goody died of cervical cancer in 2009

'and the Crowd (wept)': Jade Goody becomes latest celebrity to inspire opera

From the day she burst onto television screens as a Big Brother contestant in 2002, Jade Goody’s life resembled one long soap opera.

Sleep no more: Quentin Hayes and Miriam Murphy as the Macbeths

Classical review: Macbeth - a community musters a skirling roar against a Scottish king

There is no entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for William Webster the younger, founder of the Blackheath Halls, Blackheath Conservatoire and now defunct Blackheath College of Art.

All signs point to a topical treat in play about HS2

Production chronicles the story of a divisive new toll road scheduled to slice through a village

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo

Placido Domingo thanks fans for support while in hospital with pulmonary embolism

The tenor thanked well-wishers for the flood of supportive messages

Royal Opera House wins first West End transfer with 'Wind in the Willows'

The Royal Opera House is to follow in the footsteps of the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company with the transfer of a production to London’s West End for the first time.

Music review: La rondine, Royal Opera House, London

Why did Angela Gheorghiu look so uneasy taking her curtain calls at the revived Rondine's first night? It couldn't just have been her unflattering wardrobe for Act 3. One had the sense that there was, for her, some underlying problem with her part, or with the production, or even with the opera itself. Puccini was never satisfied with this un-categorisable hybrid, and he was still tinkering with it at the end of his life.

Middle Class Problems: Box sets

Remember when not watching TV was something to boast about? It was never exactly true, of course, not if you counted sitcoms and documentaries, but there was still some kudos to claiming your mind was on higher things. Those days are over.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003