Arts feature

Pat and Richard Nixon in ENO’s 2006 production of John Adams’s Nixon in China

The woman who changed the direction of opera

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Philip Hensher on the woman who changed the direction of opera

Sorted for E’s and whizz: revellers at a Tribal Dance rave, M25 Orbital, East Grinstead, August 1989

Thirty years ago, Britain gave the world rave culture

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Arthur House celebrates the rise of rave culture

Scabrous and sarcastic: singer-songwriter Randy Newman

‘Things are less liberal than they used to be’: Randy Newman interview

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Randy Newman tells Michael Hann that he wouldn’t get away with his more troubling songs nowadays

Miranda Richardson in Robert Wilson’s 1996 production of Orlando for the EIF

Why I avoid Edinburgh International Festival

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Lloyd Evans says Edinburgh continues to get bigger (if not better) at 70, but the International Festival has had its day

How James Ivory made Howards End

22 July 2017 9:00 am

As one of his greatest films returns to the cinema, James Ivory talks to William Cook about his 50-year career

Band apart: conductor John Wilson, whose orchestra boasts some of the best wind and brass players on the planet

The joy of the John Wilson Orchestra

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Richard Bratby meets the conductor John Wilson, who thinks we should take Gershwin as seriously as we do Beethoven

Plywood at its most curvaceous, acceptable and collectible: Alvar Aalto armchair, 1930 (left), and moulded plywood chair by Grete Jalk, 1963

How plywood helped us win the second world war

8 July 2017 9:00 am

The V&A’s Plywood show has much to teach us about human nature, says Tanya Harrod

Who next for a blast? Wyndham Lewis in 1917, photographed by George Charles Beresford

Flappers, futurists, Bloomsbury and Putney – Wyndham Lewis's many enemies

1 July 2017 9:00 am

A superb retrospective at IWM North makes no apology for Wyndham Lewis: painter, poet, publisher and picker of fights. Laura Freeman reports

And then there were three: Lanzmann in 1964 with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, with whom he had a seven-year affair

Claude Lanzmann, legendary director of Shoah, finally turns the camera on himself

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Legendary French documentary maker Claude Lanzmann finally turns the camera on himself. He talks to Tobias Grey about a lusty, youthful adventure in North Korea

Evgeny Kissin in 1993

‘The Western establishment is betraying its values’: Evgeny Kissin interview

17 June 2017 9:00 am

The great, enigmatic pianist has always divided critics. He talks to Damian Thompson about his heretical opinions on Horowitz, Israel and Brexit

Star quality: competition design for the Roman Catholic cathedral, Liverpool, by Denys Lasdun, 1959

The greatest buildings Liverpool never built

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Liverpool has not treated its architects well. Stephen Bayley takes a tour of the bits of the city that were – regrettably – never built

Do the bump: ‘The Visitation’, 1528–30, by Jacopo da Pontormo

A history of bump iconography

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Laura Freeman celebrates one of the loveliest of all New Testament images

‘Choshi in Soshu province’, woodblock print from A Thousand Pictures of the Sea, c.1833, by Hokusai

How Hokusai achieved immortality

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Hokusai wanted to paint everything, says Laura Freeman, and at 70 he was only just beginning

A load of old bull: Picasso wearing a bull’s head intended for bullfighters’ training, Cannes, 1959

John Richardson: Bullfighting with Picasso

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Picasso had a thing for bulls. Martin Gayford talks to the artist’s friend and biographer. Sir John Richardson about a lifelong obsession

The Body Zone, centrepiece of the Millennium Dome, a true symbol of the fatuousness, vapidity, incompetence and dishonesty that later characterised the Blair government

My part in the expensive calamity that was the Millennium Dome

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Stephen Bayley, creative director (briefly) for the Millennium Dome, lifts the lid on an expensive calamity

Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, 1969, photography by Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson

The album art that dazzled a generation

29 April 2017 9:00 am

James Walton talks to Aubrey Powell, the man behind the album art for virtually every 1970s rock band you can think of

A Kentish girl: Gemma Arterton as Catrin in ‘Their Finest’

‘People would speak to me as if I was an idiot’: Gemma Arterton on the horrors of Hollywood

22 April 2017 9:00 am

As she moves into producing, Gemma Arterton tells Tanya Gold why she hated Hollywood and nearly gave up acting

Architectural Mecca: Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, by Le Corbusier

Vatican II gave carte blanche to architecture’s wild men, with overwhelming results

15 April 2017 9:00 am

In the 1960s, the Catholic Church gave carte blanche to architecture’s wild men, says Jonathan Meades, with overwhelming results

Left: ‘Étude pour la tête d’Hamadryade’, 1895-1908; right: ‘La Valse’, 1889-1895

The sexual ecstasy of Camille Claudel – and why it proved too much for the establishment

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Camille Claudel’s extravagant talent proved too provocative for the male art establishment of her day, says Laura Gascoigne

Joint account: a scene from ‘The Great Wall’, China’s most expensive film to date

The new battleground between China and America: Hollywood

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Peter Hoskin reports on the uneasy alliance between the US and Chinese film industries

‘Absent Friends’, 2000–1, by Howard Hodgkin

Howard Hodgkin claimed not to be an abstract artist. So what exactly was he?

25 March 2017 9:00 am

The late Howard Hodgkin stated emphatically that he was not an abstract artist. So what exactly was he? asks Martin Gayford

‘The Judgment of Solomon’, c.1506–9, by Sebastiano del Piombo. © National Trust Images/Derrick E. Witty

Was Sebastiano imitating Michelangelo or – a startling thought – vice versa?

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is mystified by the mismatched working partnership between Michelangelo and the painter Sebastiano del Piombo

American beauty: ‘Standard Station’, 1966, by Ed Ruscha

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream

11 March 2017 9:00 am

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream, by Stephen Bayley

A Neapolitan quartet, Naples 1955

How on earth do you put 1,600 pages of Elena Ferrante on stage?

4 March 2017 9:00 am

How do you distil Elena Ferrante’s monumental Neapolitan quartet into four acts over two evenings? Laura Freeman finds out

It’s electrifying: Nikola Tesla in his lab, 1901

Poetry, animals, perms and Bovril are all part of the sparky history of electricity

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Poetry, animals, perms and Bovril are all part of the sparky history of electricity, writes Richard Holmes