Spartacus, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Coppelia, Royal Opera House, London

The Bolshoi's back, as big as ever, with a bellicose, muscular blockbuster and a classic romcom that's enormous fun

First Night: The Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Bigger, bolder, stronger: Bolshoi returns to London with an epic 'Spartacus'

First Night: Simon Boccanegra, Royal Opera House, London

Crowning glory for triumphant Domingo

Massenet Manon, Royal Opera House, London

No doubt about national identity when the opening ten minutes or so of the drama is given over to an impatient lust for food and wine.

Michael Clark, Barbican, London <br/>Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London

Come, Been and Gone? It's a case of All Seen and Done

Royal Ballet Triple Bill, Royal Opera House

The Royal Ballet ends the season by putting on plenty of stars. This programme of plotless ballets has a lot of leading roles – and though injury and illness forced several cast changes, the dancers have been switched to good effect. The company looks strong and happy throughout.

Soprano Eri Nakamura reveals steely determination

Those of us who had seen her on stage were in no way surprised that Eri Nakamura should make it to the finals of last year's Cardiff Singer of the World. For this petite and lustrous soprano, born in a remote Japanese village, has an unforgettable presence. After doing extraordinary things in Covent Garden's Hansel und Gretel and Dido and Aeneas, she's now a house favourite in soubrette roles, most recently as Musetta in La Bohème , for which she gives generous credit to the lapdog with whom she co-starred. "He was more used to his role than I was," she explains. "He was a proper professional, showing me how I should do things. He took away all my nervousness."

La Filled du Regiment, Royal Opera House, London

Opera is rarely laugh-out-loud funny; nor is it as consistently witty, as stylish, as quirkily captivating as Laurent Pelly’s staging of Donizetti’s Tyrolean romp, first seen in 2007 and now revived with pretty much its entire original cast once again firing on all cylinders.

Donizetti La Filled du Regiment, Royal Opera House, London

Opera is rarely laugh-out-loud funny; nor is it as consistently witty, as stylish, as quirkily captivating as Laurent Pelly’s staging of Donizetti’s Tyrolean romp, first seen in 2007 and now revived with pretty much its entire original cast once again firing on all cylinders.

It's not over until the plastic surgeon sings

Arifa Akbar on how opera has embraced modern themes in search of new audiences

Aida, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Elegy for Young Lovers, Young Vic, London<br/>I Went to the House But Did Not Enter, Barbican Hall, London

Covent Garden's new 'Aida' is an orgy of mad make-up, bare breasts and swinging corpses...with not a pyramid in sight

Il turco in Italia, Royal Opera House, London

Gioachino Rossini was just 22 when he dashed off this high-spirited crowd-pleaser, in which a horny young wife swaps her doting sugar-daddy for a swashbuckling Turk.

Macmillan Triple Bill, Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Ballet's latest triple bill celebrates the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, in a programme of jarring contrasts: perky, gang rape, perky. Concerto and Elite Syncopations were created to show off dancers as classicists and as personalities. In the middle sits The Judas Tree, MacMillan's perplexing last ballet.

Tamerlano, Royal Opera House, London<br/>Don Pasquale, Sadler's Wells, London<br/>Scoring a Century, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham<br/>Songs of a Wayfarer, Royal Festival Hall, London

A change of cast left a Verdi audience in front of a Handel opera, and they were never going to make it to Act III of this lumpy marathon
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Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

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Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

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The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

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Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

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Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

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Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

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A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

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