Tenor

Robert le diable, Royal Opera House, London

Every show has a back-story, but this is more convoluted than most. With its Gothic effects – including a saucy ballet for ghostly nuns - and with its massive orchestral, vocal, and choreographic forces, Meyerbeer’s ‘Robert le diable’ quickly became the most popular opera in Europe after its 1831 premiere, yet this is its first London production since 1890.

Don Giovanni, Mozart, Opera North, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Despite its origins in Spanish legend, Spain is not important to Mozart’s and da Ponte’s Don Giovanni. So the placing of the story in the context of the early 1960s in Alessandro Talevi’s new production for Opera North is non-controversial.

Caligula, Coliseum, London

English National Opera does a good hatchet job on an updated bully, but it is the bliss of new generation music-making that resonates

Robert Tear: Tenor celebrated for his interpretations of Handel,

Robert Tear's very successful operatic career lasted for over 40 years. Renowned for his Handel and Mozart, the Welsh tenor was also particularly admired for his roles in operas by Britten and several other 20th century composers. Though mainstream Italian opera figured rarely in his repertory, Russian and German works offered him many opportunities to display his vocal and dramatic skills.

James Tyler: Lutenist who helped lead the early-music revival of the

The 1960s was the decade when the early music group came of age, with historically authentic ensembles such as New York Pro Musica, Studio der Frühen Musik (Munich), and David Munrow's Early Music Consort of London reaching new levels of technical and musical excellence on period instruments. The lutenist James Tyler was a member of all three groups, during the early part of a career that was devoted to the historically accurate performance of music for plucked strings. His death has robbed the early music world of one of the finest, most knowledgeable, and most likeable exponents of those instruments.

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Album: Belshazzar's Feast, Frost Bites (Wild Goose)

A member of Bellowhead (oboe, cor anglais, violin, vox) and another bloke (accordion) tackle a mummer's dozen (eight) songs that pertain in some way or other to the frigid season. Jigs, reels, ballads, carols: that sort of thing.