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
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas