First Night: George Michael - Symphonica Tour, State Opera House, Prague

Holding back the tears, Michael restores faith in a magical voice

Album: Mara Carlyle, Floreat (Ancient and Modern)

Unwise as it may be to declare an album is destined to become a classic, I've no reservations in doing so in regard to this long awaited follow-up to The Lovely.

Ten Plagues, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

An account of the London plague is a strong choice of subject for a song cycle, and this Traverse production is already a festival highlight and a triumph for the singer Marc Almond, writer Mark Ravenhill, composer Conor Mitchell and director-designer Stewart Laing.

Rufus Wainwright and Loudon Wainwright III, Royal Opera House, London<br/>John Grant, 100 Club, London

The best of families fall out, but they don't all get a chance to iron out their differences in front of an audience paying hundreds to see the reconciliation

Tom Sutcliffe: When shock value is the soft option

The week in culture

Rufus &amp; Martha Wainwright, Royal Opera House, London

Rarely has there been a more affably erudite performer than Rufus Wainwright. As he cracks a one-liner about Richard Wagner on stage at the Royal Opera House, his sister Martha – with whom he shares the stage tonight – and the crowd chuckle. Moments later, the siblings burst into a cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's 1976 number one "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", during a performance also including work by Edith Piaf, Leonard Cohen and their late mother, Kate McGarrigle, as well as original material from both Wainwright children. This is not under any circumstances a traditional gig.

Rufus Wainwright: Wild nights at the opera

Rufus Wainwright's five-concert residency at the Royal Opera House is the longest ever for a soloist. He's worth it, he tells Victoria-Anne Bull

The Weekend's TV: Stolen, Sun, BBC1<br/>Secrets of the Pop Song, Sat, BBC2

Captivated by these superb young actors

Singing to a popular tune: Rufus Wainwright at the Royal Opera House

Over the past few years, the Royal Opera House, bastion of high culture and one of the Britain&rsquo;s biggest arts organisations, has shown a knack for generating populist appeal.

Guillemots - A band back in fine feather

After a second album which took them away from the warm hues of their lauded debut, Gillian Orr finds Guillemots going back to basics

Story of the Song: Across the Universe by The Beatles in 1968 and Beady Eye in 2011

Beady Eye's choice of song for their charity release in support of the Japanese disaster relief effort is more than appropriate.

Joan As Police Woman, Komedia, Brighton

Joan Wasser, the New York singer-songwriter who goes by the fabulously barmy moniker Joan As Police Woman, may not yet be loved by the masses but she is a woman with an impeccable pedigree. A classically trained violinist, Wasser has played violin with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, recorded with Antony Hegarty, performed with Rufus Wainwright and played sessions with Elton John. With her just-released LP, The Deep Field, she now has three beautifully-crafted, critically adored albums under her belt and a voice that can make even the most wooden-hearted listener weep. In short, she has paid her dues and done her time. So you have to wonder why Wasser now finds herself playing the second date of her tour in a cramped subterranean venue that conspires to suck the life and spontaneity out of any performance.

Assume the position! Sing like a canary

The classical violinist only recently found her voice, and what a voice it is, says Fiona Sturges

Observations: Proving the doubter wrong

The Georgian-born 54 year-old American soul singer Sharon Jones is smarting at the memory, 25 years ago, of a record company A&R man discussing her potential as a recording artist.

Rufus Wainwright, Royal Albert Hall, London

Rufus Wainwright is the Jekyll and Hyde of the modern-day music scene – on one hand bursting with pleasantries, effusive and adorable in the extreme, on the other, dour, introspective, angry and indulgent.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
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travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
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Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
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Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
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The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
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How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss