In the dark: Leo Nucci as Nabucco, with Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaille

Classical review: Nabucco - Fifty shades of grey, the opera

In a leaden park-and-bark reading of a Verdian tale of love and loss, the set has more dramatic range than the principals

Nabucco, director: Nicola Luisotti

Nabucco, Royal Opera house, London

Topical references in programme notes printed in advance are risky, and Boris Berezovsky’s miserable demise has made Covent Garden’s essayist - for whom he represents the quintessential pampered exile - look silly.

Sparks, Two Hands One Mouth: Live in Europe (Lil Beethoven)

Album review: Sparks, Two Hands One Mouth: Live in Europe (Lil Beethoven)

Extraordinarily, in a career 22 albums long, this is the first live recording that Sparks have released – and it's typical of their quixotic charm that, despite being famous for the ambitious complexity of their arrangements, it should feature pared-down settings of one voice accompanied by just one keyboard.

Tate's Alex Beard gets top job at Royal Opera House

Deputy director of the Tate Alex Beard has been appointed to the top role at the Royal Opera House.

Why are educationists so afraid of cultural excellence?

We should lead children to appreciate the finest in literature, music and all the arts

Royal Opera House chief, Sir Antonio Pappano, has criticised young opera stars. Clockwise from top left: Juan Diego Florez, Marina Poplavskaya, Anja Harteros and Celine Byrne have all pulled out of performances at the ROH

Song and dance at opera as director Sir Antonio Pappano lays into underperforming stars

Royal Opera House chief claims current crop lack commitment

Ava June (right): Lyric soprano equally at home with Britten, Wagner and Italian romantic opera

Ava June: Lyric soprano equally at home with Britten, Wagner and Italian romantic opera

Her portrayal of Tosca in the 1970s was described by one critic as 'valiant and touching'

Occult mystery: Kate Miller-Heidke in ENO’s ‘Sunken Garden’ at the Barbican

Heads Up: Sunken Garden

It's a bouquet of 3D film, opera, and electronic music

Opera: Written on Skin at The Royal Opera House

A heavenly tale that gets under the skin

The Beggar’s Opera, Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Benjamin Britten’s take on John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera is coruscatingly original, yet its only airing scheduled for this centenary year – courtesy of young singers from the European Opera Centre - has briefly come and gone in Liverpool. And if it wasn’t an unalloyed success, Bernard Rozet’s production did at least make a valiant attempt to engage with the multiple challenges which this remake of a remake presents.

Amanda Echalaz (right) and Kristine Opolais (left) take on the role of Tosca in turn at the Royal Opera House

Highly strung sopranos reach diva pitch

Do you have to be a diva to take on Tosca?

Sony risks PS4 backlash as gamers say: where's the box - and how much will it cost?

Sony say new console will be a  'supercharged PC' but fail to reveal the box itself...or the price

Red for danger: Corinne Winters as Violetta and Ben Johnson as Alfredo in La Traviata

Classical review: La traviata - More a dying swan than a golden goose

ENO won’t be able to cash in on its new Verdi, which chooses polemic over pure passion

La Clemenza di Tito, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Which is Mozart’s last opera? Most people would say The Magic Flute, and it was indeed the last to be staged in his lifetime.

Fire-breathing stiltwalker suffers 'severe' burns and collapses during opera rehearsal

Actor Wesley Daniel is being treated in hospital after the accident at the Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea