Travel

Under £200... Capital Christmas shopping

Tune Hotels offers a budget pre-Christmas stay in the English and Scottish capitals, with double rooms for £50 at some London properties and £25 in Edinburgh. These rates apply on a few nights between now and Christmas, with availability good on 23, 24 and 25 December. tunehotels.com

Charlotte Wakefield as Maria in The Sound of Music

Theatre review: Regent's Park is alive with The Sound of Music

Regent's Park may be not able to run to an Alpine peak, but the Open Air Theatre in its bosky embrace proves to be a lovely location for this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic in which the presence of the mountains is so strongly felt.

Red for danger: Corinne Winters as Violetta and Ben Johnson as Alfredo in La Traviata

Classical review: La traviata - More a dying swan than a golden goose

ENO won’t be able to cash in on its new Verdi, which chooses polemic over pure passion

Felix Baumgartner

Edge-of-space skydiver Felix Baumgartner in court over alleged road-rage

His spectacular free fall from the edge of space may have won Felix Baumgartner a place in the record books, but the Austrian sky diver is now threatened with a fall from grace over a court case in which he stands accused of punching a Greek lorry driver in the face.

Cellist Laura Moody prepares for take-off in 'Mittwoch'

Mittwoch aus Licht, Argyle Works, Birmingham

You wait for years for a helicopter and then... four come along at once, in Birmingham as in Edinburgh. What a whirl!

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Is Greece the word?

Football in Brief: Rangnick goes for Salzburg

Rangnick goes for Salzburg

A million attend Pope's open-air Milan Mass

Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated an open-air Mass for a million followers, capping three days of activities in Milan, Italy, aimed at showing support for the family.

Travel Challenge: Active Austria

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: an active family holiday in Austria during June half term. Prices are for a family of four, based on two adults and two children travelling together. Each package includes a week's accommodation, flights from Gatwick on Saturday 2 June and transfers.

Dvorak Rusalka, Royal Opera House

It’s on occasions like this that the star-rating system runs into irreconcilable difficulties. I honestly cannot remember a time when musical and theatrical values were in such total divergence.

Elizabeth Connell: Mezzo and soprano acclaimed for her Verdi and Wagner interpretations

The opera singer Elizabeth Connell enjoyed 10 successful years as a mezzo before becoming a soprano and enjoying over two decades more of international acclaim.

Dvorak's dark side set to light up the stage

I'm all for cats at the opera – a fuzzy feline will always raise a smile. But isn't there something alarming about it when a mermaid meets one? We all know what cats do to fish. It looks as if that might happen to the unfortunate Rusalka, the eponymous heroine of Dvorak's post-Wagnerian take on The Little Mermaid, in the opera's first-ever production at the Royal Opera House.

Deals of the week: Berlin, Niederau, Sri Lanka

Less than £200... Berlin bound

Starting from 3 June, the airports of Birmingham and Manchester will be directly connected with the German city, thanks to new flights from Lufthansa. Visit the Opodo website before tomorrow (26 January)to take advantage of some early booking offers. Return economy fares start at £83; while three-night packages including accommodation areavailable for £186 per person fortravel between 3 June and 31 December. Opodo.co.uk

‘Which way to the beach?’ asks Capello as England book Marbella trip

Week at the beach shows Capello's change of tack

Fabio Capello's attempt to change the style of England's build-up for the European Championship next summer from their preparation for last year's World Cup finals was underlined this weekend when the Football Association announced the team would be spending a week in Marbella.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all