The reason for the buzz surrounding this revival became clear as Jonas Kaufmann launched into his rapturous opening aria. His phrasing was exquisite, and his projection - underscored by distant horn-calls - was perfect, with its gentle falls into half-voice; his whole being radiated ardent nobility.
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Saturday 09 April 2011
I go one of two ways when I'm asked about my literary antecedents, depending on my mood.
Thursday 07 April 2011
The strain of 11 months in government is starting to show on Nick Clegg, who has pleaded that he is a "human being", not a "punchbag".
Sunday 03 April 2011
Friday 18 March 2011
The term "life-affirming" has lost its significance through overuse; this documentary restores us to its real meaning.
Wednesday 09 March 2011
Saturday 12 February 2011
James Brian Jacques had the blue collar CV of a hard-boiled novelist: his jobs included merchant seaman, truck driver, dock worker, boxer and policeman.
Wednesday 09 February 2011
"They really do grow up fast..." Experienced child wranglers often delight at dropping these incendiary bon mots into casual conversation with wide-eyed mothers and fathers. And I - like many other new parents I'm sure - have been quick to dismiss the phrase as another cliche tossed around by sour-faced folk with brains reduced to jelly by their burgeoning broods. But, as I sit and write this column, I really do find it hard to come to terms with the fact that my little boy Krishan will be starting primary school at the end of the summer.
Tuesday 08 February 2011
A former MP accused of fiddling his expenses today denied in court that he lied in a television interview to give an "air of authenticity" to his claims.
Thursday 03 February 2011
A former Labour MP accused of fiddling his parliamentary expenses asked a stationery company to confirm he had paid for orders when he never did so, a jury heard today.
Thursday 03 February 2011
An old vase taken to a Dorset auctioneers in a cardboard box has turned out to be a Ming dynasty porcelain moon flask worth £1m.
Friday 21 January 2011
Walking into the wrong lecture theatre at the University of York in the spring of 1974, I found myself listening to a dramatised reading of Dickens's 'Bleak House' by a bearded lecturer who took the parts of Mr Chadband and Little Jo the crossing sweeper. Having "done" 'Oliver Twist' and 'David Copperfield' at school, I had no idea that later Dickens novels were masterpieces of attacks on hypocrisy, religion and the charitable classes. I went straight home and read the novel, which came with an introduction by the American academic J Hillis Miller.
Thursday 30 December 2010
Whether it’s a thank-you card to Auntie Joan or an RSVP for a New Year’s Eve bash, you’ll need some neat notelets to send your seasonal messages...
Click on the image on the right to launch the gallery
Friday 26 November 2010
Wednesday 10 November 2010
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
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