When Scott Walker met Francis Poulenc

The Royal Opera is pushing boundaries in a new show which mixes music, dance and two very different composers. By Jessica Duchen

Verdi Macbeth, Royal Opera House

Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 staging of Verdi’s Macbeth is prematurely looking like a parody of itself - an exhibit in one of designer Anthony Ward’s gilded display cases.

George Michael takes steps to put record straight on gay lifestyle

George Michael will record a new album with a "collective" of gay musicians, aimed at a young gay audience, as an apology for the homophobia that he believes his turbulent private life has inadvertently generated.

Clemency, Royal Opera House, London

Less is more: in James MacMillan's music, every note counts. And never more so than in Clemency, the Scottish composer's brand-new chamber opera, which packs questions powerful, emotional, philosophical and religious into just 45 minutes. With his regular librettist Michael Symmons Roberts and the director Katie Mitchell, MacMillan has created a terrifically intense, focused and inspired musical work on a thought-provoking parable, updated to the present day.

Massenet Werther, Royal Opera House

Rolando Villazón is back. That was the overriding headline of this highly emotional revival of Massenet’s heartbreaker.

Manon, Royal Opera House, London

This Manon has all the right moves

The Tsar's Bride, Royal Opera House, London

A Russian rarity proves to be a real treasure in a production set amid the trappings of new money

Rimsky-Korsakov The Tsar’s Bride, Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Rimsky-Korsakov’s rich and surprising opera The Tsar’s Bride sees history repeating itself in unsettling ways.

Cinderella, Royal Opera House, London

Classic tale could do with a polish

Cultural Life: Marianela Nunez, ballerina

Ballet: I went to see the Royal Ballet's 'Giselle' at the Royal Opera House. My fiancé, Thiago Soares, was playing Count Albrecht with Mara Galeazzi as Giselle. It was a wonderful performance. I loved every minute of it. The whole company was brilliant and the production is fantastic in every way. It's one of my favourites to watch and dance.

Fidelio, Royal Opera House

The Prisoners’ Chorus in ‘Fidelio’ is one of the great moments in opera. After years in the dark, the grey-faced multitude are suddenly released from their cells and stumble out into the light.

Verdi, Aida, Royal Opera House

David McVicar's darkly primitivist Aida was a necessary antidote to the whole tedious tradition of sub-De Mille spectacle in this piece.

Pub opera takes on the world's finest at Oliviers

Opera is gearing up for a David and Goliath battle as a production first performed to 35 people in a pub takes on the collaborative might of five international companies at the stage's answer to the Oscars. Opera UpClose's La Bohème is nominated alongside Adriana Lecouvreur, lavishly staged at the 2,200-seat Royal Opera House, in the best new opera production category at next Sunday's Olivier Awards.

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/ Pappano, Cadogan Hall, London

Exactly one week after the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra memorably presented key players in a chamber setting, Antonio Pappano has done likewise with his Royal Opera House Orchestra – and what’s more found a common denominator. You go years without hearing the single surviving movement of Mahler’s early Piano Quartet and then, like buses, two arrive together.

Anna Nicole, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Die Fledermaus, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff<br/>The Fairy Queen, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The true story of a small-town girl who married rich and died young makes for an entertaining, if rather inflated, night out
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