Sir Thomas Allen, opera singer

Page 3 Profile: Sir Thomas Allen, opera singer

A real-life rags to riches story?

‘Swan Lake’ at the Royal Opera House

Success of BBC’s move to Salford leads to calls for other leading cultural institutions to be relocated to cities in the north of England

New 'national economic strategy' could see institutions such as the British Museum and the Royal Opera House moved away from London and the South East

'I won't take a pay-off': New BBC Director-General Tony Hall says he won't accept massive redundancy payment if he fails

Tony Hall, the new BBC Director-General, has pledged to end a culture of excessive redundancy payments for executives and promised that he will not accept a pay-off if he fails in the post.

Newsnight scandal review is delayed

The Pollard review, which is examining a shelved Newsnight report into the Jimmy Savile abuse allegations, is to take about a month longer to report than expected.

Lord Hall, who is expected to take a salary of £450,000 per year:

BBC confirms Tony Hall to be appointed new Director General

The BBC has appointed Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - as the new Director General of the corporation. 

Der Ring des Nibelungen: Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, Royal Opera House, London

Now that Keith Warner’s "Ring" has been re-launched in its entirety, we can judge it afresh. Like the first two "days" (reviewed last week) the second two contain much to enjoy, if also some disappointments, plus some technical hitches which should have been sorted out in dress rehearsal - notably the stuffed stag with its antlers caught on the overhanging 'sky', thus sabotaging Siegfried’s loveliest aria.

Moved by the tragedy behind Berlioz's Troy story

David McVicar tells Louise Flind about the huge challenge of staging Les Troyens

Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson - Pop's top producer jumps at the ballet

Mark Ronson, most famous for his work with Amy Winehouse, has co-created a new dance piece at the Royal Opera. He tells Elisa Bray what attracted him to it

Miss Fortune, Royal Opera House

Miss Fortune in name and deed. Sad to say but Judith Weir’s sixth opera is an embarrassment.

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.

Anna Karenina, Royal Opera House, London

Anna Karenina famously ends with a train. In the Mariinsky Ballet's new adaptation of Tolstoy's novel, you get trains all the way through. An elaborate carriage set looms through dry ice and clunks round on a revolve, all but elbowing its way to the front of the stage. It's a laborious effect that never looks as if it's going to work smoothly. Unfortunately, it sets the tone for the ballet.

Puccini Tosca, Royal Opera House

Bring together three of the most intuitive talents (and biggest stars) on the planet, meld them under the baton of Antonio Pappano whose command of every caress, swoon, and dramatic impulse of Puccini’s Tosca is not learned but instinctively felt and you have a recipe for the kind of evening that gives the Royal Opera its truly international status.

Massenet Cendrillon, Royal Opera House, London

The words are in French but still familiar - “Once upon a time...” – and the story which follows, Cendrillon (that’s Cinderella to you and me), is writ large across the surfaces of Barbara de Limburg’s set, opening like a pop-up book of fairytales whose sliding panels have our eyes hanging on to every word.

Puccini Madama Butterfly, Royal Opera House

One can only hope that the ill wind which strips away the cherry blossom at the close of Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser’s feeble 2003 production of Madama Butterfly might soon carry off the entire staging.

Singing to a popular tune: Rufus Wainwright at the Royal Opera House

Over the past few years, the Royal Opera House, bastion of high culture and one of the Britain’s biggest arts organisations, has shown a knack for generating populist appeal.
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