Ravel's 'L'heure espagnole'

L'heure espagnole/ L'enfant et les sortilèges, Glyndebourne, East Sussex
Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London
The Francis Bacon Opera, Camden Arts Centre, London

Glyndeborne's double bill of Ravel operas captures the composer's delicate touch and ability to combine laughter and pain

Postcard From...Baalbek

The mighty Roman ruins of Baalbek jut dramatically out of the fertile plains of Lebanon's Bekaa valley. They have drawn visitors for centuries, as chronicled in the graffiti of ancient travellers scrawled into the vast limestone walls and columns.

The High Marnham cooling towers in Nottinghamshire

Cooling towers: Will you miss them when they're gone?

Love them or loathe them, they are becoming ever more rare as the demolition squads move in. And tomorrow another set will vanish forever

Bog Man, 1990, by Margaret Mellis

Estate of the Artist

London's skyline will have a new attraction from Thursday as the Thames cable car opens between the O2 Arena, Greenwich, and the ExCeL centre at Royal Victoria Dock.

Parsifal, Mariinsky/Gergiev, Barbican

Wagner made very sure people would pay attention to the meaning of the opera he called his 'farewell to the world', by decreeing that it should only be performed, like a sacred ritual, in his theatre in Bayreuth. And though it was conceived as – and undoubtedly is – a paean to peace and reconciliation, it has sowed remarkable discord among the cognoscenti.

New BBC series to examine Shakespeare's world

A dagger, an eye relic and a fork are among the subjects of a new BBC series which will examine the turbulent lives of the Bard's original audience.

The preserved heart of St Laurence O'Toole was taken from Saint Lauds Chapel

Dublin patron saint's heart stolen in cathedral raid

Irish police puzzled by latest in series of bizarre thefts of religious artefacts from churches

David Shrigley plays with anatomy - just like Damien Hirst

David Shrigley: Brain Activity, Hayward Gallery,
London

The master of whimsy wears his art-school credentials on his sleeve, but his ideas feel derivative and the jokes wear thin

Lost for words: Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo in Michel Hazanavicius's enthralling 'The Artist'

The Artist (PG)

Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo

Picture of the Day: Sorry Rudolph, we're taking the gondola...

Rowers dressed as Father Christmas escort a gondola ferrying a live nativity scene from St Mark's Basilica to the island of San Giorgio in Venice yesterday.

Trail of the unexpected: Saint Nicholas in Puglia

A Turkish bishop adopted by an Italian port is an inspiration for shoppers.

Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural

Italian government scientists have claimed to have discovered evidence that a supernatural event formed the image on the Turin Shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Signed rally photo: Signed by the Hitler Youth leader Arthur Axmann. $150-200

Boom in demand for relics from the Third Reich

US auction house expects bids in excess of $300,00 as memorabilia attracts new wave of buyers

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam