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

Unlocking the castle doors

Bartok wrote Bluebeard for the opera house. Bernard Haitink finds it works best in the brain.

In the lion's den

Daniel Harding is set to become, at 20, the youngest conductor ever at the Proms. But can he silence the why-not-me cynics and avoid burn-out?

By Dawn's bright light

Dawn Upshaw hails from Nashville, but she's equally at home at Glyndebourne and on Broadway.

Jigsaw pieces that make up a musical miracle

First Person: Nicholas Kenyon, Controller of BBC Radio 3, tonight launches his first season as director of the BBC Proms, and considers the challenges

Obituary: Gottfried von Einem

Against the background of cultural uncertainty that inevitably followed the total destruction of Austria at the end of the Second World War, the organisers of the Salzburg Festival took the unusually bold step of featuring an entirely new opera by a virtually unknown composer for their 1947 Festival. The opera in question was Dantons Tod ("Danton's Death") by the 29-year-old Austrian Gottfried von Einem, and its overwhelming success served to launch von Einem almost immediately into the forefront of post-war musical activity in Central Europe.

A Salome driven up the wall by lust

MUSIC

Kaelin ends his seven-year wait

Skiing

Snow reports

Most parts of the Alps had snow over the holidays, but more is still needed. In general, Austria looks best - mid-week, all major resorts had all their lifts open, despite typical village snow depths of a modest 25cm. For more reassuring figures, head east (to Flachau, for example) or go high (to Obergurgl) or both (to Obertauern).

Austrian coalition fails to last year

ADRIAN BRIDGE

Obituary: Erich Kunz

When the Vienna State Opera company gave a short season at Covent Garden in the autumn of 1947, the baritone Erich Kunz sang three Mozart roles: Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Guglielmo in Cosi fan Tutte. His voice, light in timbre but strongly projected, and his stylish singing were greatly admired. It was not, however, his first appearance in Britain. During the summer of 1936 he had sung in the chorus of Glyndebourne and on one occasion had taken over the speaking part of the Pasha Selim in Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail from Carl Ebert, the director.

Edinburgh Festival; CAMERATA ACADEMICA / SANDOR VEGH; NDR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA / GUNTER WAND, Usher Hall

Compared to the nonagenarian Sndor Vegh, the 83-year-old Gunter Wand is a mere boy. It seemed odd, therefore, that Vegh's way of playing Schubert with his Camerata Academica of the Salzburg Mozarteum was, to a contemporary audience, so much more modern.

Summer Festivals SALZBURG

Gerard Mortier has gone a long way towards redefining the Salzburg Festival since he took over after Herbert von Karajan's death. Above all, he has restored the place of drama, now ruled over autonomously by Peter Stein. And Stein's new production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard is a triumph, an apparently effortless fusion of farce, beauty and tragedy.

Obituaries: Murray Dickie

Murray Dickie, the Scottish tenor, was for 25 years a member of the Vienna State Opera, but at the beginning of his career, in the immediate post-war years, he frequently sang at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne. He also appeared at La Scala, the Paris Opera, the Edinburgh, Holland, Salzburg and Bregenz Festivals, the Metropolitan Opera and many other theatres.

Sorenstam splashes to record

BILL JOHNSON

ARTS: CLASSICAL MUSIC; The disappearing maestros

Welcome to the latest global crisis - the world is rapidly running out of top-flight conductors, warns Norman Lebrecht
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent