Proms promise

On first opening a new Proms prospectus, the enthusiastic amateur immediately looks for the things that are there, the things that are not there and, a mixture of the two, the things he hopes will be there. What I hope for every year goes roughly like this: the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics (yes to both);

Arts feature

The art of monarchy

Andrew Lambirth reflects on the images that help shape our perception of the Queen Her Majesty the Queen has been a global celebrity for 60 years, and she carries her status with a naturalness and dignity that many of the more tearaway celebs would do well to emulate. She graduated from being a young and

More from Arts

New build

The Bauhaus was a sort of university of design, whose progressive ideas eventually fell foul of the Nazis. But as the exhibition Bauhaus: Art as Life is keen to impress, it was also a lifestyle, a modernist utopia, where staff and students were encouraged to mix freely, which they did with gusto. This, just as

Unconditional love

Not many dance-makers have had their art celebrated in major, award-winning feature films. Pina Bausch has. Wim Wenders’s 2011 Pina and Rainer Hoffmann’s/Anna Linsel’s 2010 Dancing Dreams offered unique insights into her creative genius, facilitating the posthumous popularisation of a dance-specific phenomenon. Yet no film, no documentary and certainly none of the countless writings that


Problem play

It’s all Kenneth Halliwell’s fault. By bashing in Joe Orton’s head with a hammer, he brought the playwright’s career to a premature halt when Orton was still experimenting with brittle and anarchic farces. Had Orton lived beyond 34, he’d have developed his technique and become a richer, truer and more rounded artist. And What the


Star quality | 2 June 2012

English Touring Opera ended its spring tour in Cambridge this year with three performances of The Barber of Seville and two of Eugene Onegin, both in English translation, the former done without surtitles, the latter with. Neither of them really needed them, since the Arts Theatre is small and most of the singers enunciated with


Royal watch

This is the week we almost drowned in Jubilee programmes. Sadly, many of these were unavailable to reviewers, possibly because to criticise such a programme would itself amount to lèse-majesté, or perhaps they just hadn’t finished the edit. But I doubt we’ve missed much. This weekend BBC1 (Friday) was running A Jubilee Tribute to the

Frontier dreams

When I was growing up, the Dallas theme tune was like a call to prayer. As the Copland-esque trumpets rang out, we ran to the television set. A hushed silence descended as cattle stampeded beneath the snazzy gold title credits. To watch the glamorous travails of the Ewing family from a sofa somewhere near Coventry


Changing tack

Gustav Klimt first came to Venice in the spring of 1899, in pursuit of Alma Schindler, the young stepdaughter of his friend and fellow artist Carl Moll. The nascent love affair between the artist, who was then in his late thirties, and the 19-year-old Alma was brought to an abrupt end when the girl’s mother

Sculptural conundrums

2012 is proving something of an annus mirabilis for Anthony Caro OM CBE RA, now 88, with no fewer than three exhibitions of his work on view around the country.  And he continues to beaver away daily in his studio in Camden Town, London, with the strength of a man much younger than himself, one


Whisky galore

Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share, which has just won the Jury Prize at Cannes, is part social realism, part comedy caper, and so good-natured, warm and affectionate it’s rather a joy, even though it doesn’t exactly add up; even though its climax is implausible, its tonal shifts are sometimes jarring, and it feels so familiar.


Time to reflect

It was my first Jubilee moment — Judi Dench on Radio 4’s Today programme suddenly launching into Shakespeare mid-glam (incredibly glam) party. She was talking to Jim Naughtie at the Queen’s gala for the arts at the Royal Academy and bewailing the decline in the teaching of Shakespeare in schools. Mid-sentence, she breaks into Cleopatra’s