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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

Ski Jumping: Fast Bredesen reaction

Espen Bredesen, twice the world champion and favoured to lift at least one gold medal for the hosts at the Lillehammer Olympic Games, responded to his defeat by Jens Weissflog at Oberstdorf last week with a hill record at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the second leg of the Four Hills tournament to reduce the German's lead in the World Cup to 15 points. 'I couldn't have jumped any farther today,' Bredesen said after a graceful 111 metres in the air in a light, wet snow. The leap upstaged Weissflog, who had himself improved the hill mark to 110m minutes before the Norwegian took his second jump. Weissflog had broken Bredesen's hill record in Oberstdorf. They take their rivalry to Innsbruck for the third leg of the series on Tuesday, with the final segment to follow at another Austrian venue, Bischofshofen.

Obituary: Betsy Beale

Muriel Rebecca (Betsy) Slade, administrator, writer, campaigner: born Hong Kong 23 June 1902; OBE 1946; married 1924 Evelyn Beale (deceased; two sons deceased); died 19 October 1993.

Obituary: Lucia Popp

Lucia Popp, singer: born Uhorska Ves, Slovakia 12 November 1939; married Gyorgy Fischer (marriage dissolved), 1986 Peter Seiffert; died Munich 16 November 1993.

Obituary: Jess Thomas

Jess Floyd Thomas, opera singer: born Hot Springs, South Dakota 4 August 1927; married (two sons, one daughter); died Tiburon, California 11 October 1993.

MUSIC / A new king crowned at the court of Karajan

AT pounds 188 for a stalls seat in the Grosses Festspielhaus, the classless society has yet to come to the Salzburg Summer Festival. It's still the most outrageously expensive cultural affair in Europe; and although its new director, Gerard Mortier, wants a younger, less Chanel-soaked audience and younger artists who don't necessarily belong to Deutsche Grammophon - the record company that has king-made here since the days of Karajan - there isn't, so far, much to show for his intentions.

The Daily Poem: On Not Looking Down on Anything

For copyright reasons we are not able to provide the full text of the poem on this database. Following are the details of the publication in which it appears.

Chess: Tainted curiosity from the past

ONE OF the more unsavoury episodes in chess history was the spate of tournaments organised during the war years in Nazi-occupied countries. Munich, Cracow, Prague, Warsaw and Salzburg all saw top-class events in the early 1940s. For players such as Paul Keres, from Estonia, playing was a question of survival. For others such as Yefim Bogolyubov and even the world champion, Alexander Alekhine, it seemed to indicate approval of what was going on around them.

Obituary: Josef Greindl

Josef Greindl, singer: born Munich 23 December 1912; died Vienna 16 April 1993.

MUSIC / Mix 'n' match with Mozart: COE / Harnoncourt - Barbican Hall

CURSES would rain down on any conductor who treated Mozart's music the way the composer did. Ever the pragmatist, Mozart adapted to circumstances, adding or subtracting instruments and movements where appropriate. There are typical variants in the works he composed, half a dozen years apart, to mark different rites of passage in Salzburg's Haffner family. A march was added to the Haffner Serenade performed to celebrate a marriage; then, months later, Mozart filleted the serenade of three concerto-like movements, allowing it to re-emerge as a five-movement symphony.

Classical Music Awards: Female Singer of the Year - Cheryl Studer: Artists strike triumphant note on big awards night

DESCRIBING her voice as lirico spinto, she is nevertheless notable for the variety and extent of her operatic roles, of which she has already sung more than 50. Wagner and Verdi, bel canto and lieder - they are all open to her. Born in Michigan, she completed her training in Vienna and sang during the early 1980s at German opera houses, making a brilliantly received Bayreuth debut as Elisabeth in 1985. In the past year her appearances have included a recital tour of Europe, Die Frau ohne Schatten at Salzburg, and La traviata with Pavarotti at the New York Metropolitan. She believes her voice is getting richer in the middle, and bigger: 'losing a little flexibility, but the artistry is coming into play now'.

Skiing: Girardelli picks up an edge

MARC GIRARDELLI stepped up his challenge for a record fifth overall World Cup title with his second giant slalom win in seven days as his main rival Alberto Tomba's bad luck continued.

Mozart suffered incontinence of the emotions

THE FOUL-MOUTHED outpourings of Wolfgang Mozart and his obsession with anal matters were due to a nervous illness rather than the behaviour of an immature, coarse man with a personality problem, as has been suggested.

Obituary: Sir Geraint Evans

Geraint Llewellyn Evans, opera-singer, born Cilfynydd Mid Glamorgan 16 February 1922, Principal Baritone Royal Opera House Covent Garden 1948-84, CBE 1959, FGSM 1960, Kt 1969, FRNCM 1978, FRCM 1981, FRSA 1984, author of Sir Geraint Evans: a knight at the opera (with Noel Goodwin) 1984, married 1948 Brenda Evans Davies (two sons), died Aberystwyth 19 September 1992.

MUSIC / A change for the better?: David Patrick Stearns on tradition and innovation at the Salzburg Festival

THOUGH few would dispute that the tradition-encrusted Salzburg Festival needs changing, far fewer would have ever predicted artists such as Peter Sellars, Pierre Boulez, Luc Bondy and other perpetually forward-looking artists would appear on the hallowed soil once trodden by Mozart, Karajan and Furtwangler. But despite all the talk of cancellations - Riccardo Muti, Marilyn Horne and Edita Gruberova withdrew for artistic reasons, while Jessye Norman and Cheryl Studer had health problems - Salzburg audiences have seemed reasonably receptive to the innovations brought in by the Festival's controversial new director, Gerard Mortier.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

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25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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