i Father Christmas, annual giftgiver

Not a regular in the public eye this one.

Conductor in hospital after fall

The world-famous conductor Kurt Masur is recovering in hospital in Paris after he fell off a podium during a concert.

Pitch perfect: cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch

In the mood

Music helped those enduring the horrors of the Second World War, says Patrick Bade in a new book

Bridging the Gulf: 'Beloved Friend' performed at the at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

Royal Opera House makes its debut in Abu Dhabi

First, it was Harrods and then Manchester City football club – now the Gulf is buying culture. Last week, the Royal Opera House (ROH) made its debut in the Gulf, in the culturally thirsty region of the UAE. I decided to pack my bags and head off to the Arab premiere of Beloved Friend at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival.

Onegin, London Coliseum

Rejected Onegin, by the man she loves, Tatiana has a nightmare. In the Eifman Ballet’s version of the Pushkin story, the poor girl goes to Vegas in her dreams, tormented by red-clad rock musicians with terrible hair. This updated ballet plunges into cheesy extremes whenever it gets the chance.

Malaysia calls off Nutcracker over claims of 'indecency'

The cancellation of shows by a Singaporean ballet troupe in Malaysia has caused a tempest in a tutu, with the government saying the dancers applied too late for a permit to perform, and a local group blaming cultural concern over "indecent" costumes.

Anna Karenina, Coliseum, London

Boris Eifman's dancers launch themselves into tortured poses, hauling each other through lifts or folding into gymnastic knots. There's certainly a lot of angst, but this version of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is short on specific insight.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Ballet’s Alice has sensational production design and an overstuffed storyline. Putting Lewis Carroll’s Alice books on stage, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon wants to include all the famous bits. He and his design team conjure dazzling illusions, from shrinking Alice to a marvellous Cheshire Cat, but the dancing can get squeezed to the sidelines.

Daniil Trifonov, Wigmore Hall

Out of Russia, always something pianistically new. When 20 year-old Daniil Trifonov won the Tchaikovsky competition last year, it was clear he was extraordinary.

Gorr, right, with Regine Crespin at Covent Garden in 1963

Rita Gorr: Mezzo celebrated for her dramatic abilities

The Belgian mezzo Rita Gorr, whose operatic career lasted an astonishing 58 years, was one of the great singers of the second half of the 20th century.

The Tales of Hoffmann is fantasy stuff

The German author E T A Hoffmann's imagination underpins some of the world's most popular and enduring operas, ballets, and even piano music. Yet few of the adaptations bear much resemblance to his originals. Indeed, the writer's absence from his own legacy is so striking that Richard Jones, the director of English National Opera's new production of The Tales of Hoffmann, has apparently recommended to his lead tenor, Barry Banks, that he need not read the tales by Hoffmann on which the opera is based.

Album: Dvorak/Rachmaninov/Tchaikovsky etc, Slavic Heroes – Mariusz Kwiecien (Harmonia Mundi)

Handsomely accompanied by the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Lukasz Borowicz, Kwiecien's debut recital opens with a reprise of the role that made him famous, Eugene Onegin.

Back to La Source: Opera National de Paris breathes new life into a forgotten hit

In these straitened times a new full-length classical ballet is a rarity, so the Opera National de Paris deserves praise for breathing new life into a forgotten hit from the 19th-century. With music by Delibes and Minkus, and costumes by Christian Lacroix, La Source – the spring – is a version of the Rusalka legend set in what is now Chechnya. When it premiered in 1866, its exotic locale was part of its appeal.

English National Ballet plans a tilt at street dance in June

The Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

In Scottish Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, Aurora’s christening is celebrated in a Victorian country house world, on the lawn by the cedar tree.

Nutcracker!, Sadler’s Wells, London

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! was his first update of a classic ballet.

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