Bitter rivals: Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) (left), and Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

The man who made Wagner mad

The Royal Opera House is staging Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable for the first time in a century. It's a welcome focus on a much maligned composer

Donose and Diegel in Bieito’s Carmen

IoS classical review: Carmen, Coliseum, London
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield

Intense, lean, witty and stripped of cliché: a 'Carmen' worth the wait

Tony Hall

With Tony Hall appointed Director-General of the BBC, who will the ROH replace him with?

The Royal Opera House has lost a respected leader

Lord Hall, who is expected to take a salary of £450,000 per year:

BBC confirms Tony Hall to be appointed new Director General

The BBC has appointed Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - as the new Director General of the corporation. 

Album: Agostino Steffani, Mission – Bartoli/Fasolis/ Barocchisti (Decca)

Cecilia Bartoli investigates the life and music of Steffani with Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti.

Album: Amy Winehouse, Amy Winehouse at the BBC (Island/Lioness

While there's a limit to how many times one can watch old clips from Later… or the sublime-to-ridiculous Porchester Hall show, you can't deny the power of this three-DVD-plus-one-CD collection.

When to cancel on the Met

There are some things in life for which you just can't plan. The all-male operatic-pop vocal group Il Divo was manufactured by Simon Cowell in 2004.

L’elisir d’amore, Royal Opera House, London

Roberto Alagna has sung the role of the lovesick Nemorino before, but this was his Covent Garden debut in the role. And in a pre-performance interview he described his challenge: he would have to ‘fight with the ghost of his past’ – ie compete with his own best moments.

Celebrating with a knees-up in 'A Village Romeo and Juliet'

Wexford Festival Opera, Wexford Opera House, Co Wexford, Republic of Ireland

Four operas at the ever resourceful Wexford keep the company and soloists on their toes

In space, no can hear you lip-synch

Would Yoda and Spock really have wanted voyagers dancing to Madonna?

Postcard from... Milan

It's been a long wait. Ever since he stormed out of La Scala in a huff 26 years ago, the great opera house and its devotees have been expecting or hoping for the return of Claudio Abbado to conduct the philharmonic orchestra.

Wikipedia-inspired opera containing graphic sexual description to make London debut

Hear an extract of 'Light from Life' below

Opera cancelled after baritone Robert Poulton killed in car crash

Robert Poulton, a baritone with Glyndebourne opera, was tragically killed in a car accident in Sussex late last night.

Belisario, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mark Elder, Barbican

The performance-history of Donizetti’s tragedia lirica ‘Belisario’ speaks volumes about changing tastes.

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Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
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Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
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Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

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Frank Warren column

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