More from Arts

Virtual trip to the opera

‘Having every best seat in the house’ is how some describe seeing opera live on screen, and recently we’ve had the opportunity of seeing the nuts and bolts backstage, too. It was a bold initiative of English National Opera and Sky Arts to take the cameras behind the scenes on the first night of Jonathan

Master of print

Kuniyoshi From the Arthur R. Miller Collection Royal Academy, until 7 June Sponsored by Canon The Royal Academy is making something of a reputation for staging exhibitions of Japanese printmakers: the current Kuniyoshi show follows on neatly from Hokusai (1991–2) and Hiroshige (1997) and adds considerably to our understanding of the genre. There hasn’t been

Thwarted desire

Dido, Queen of Carthage Cottesloe The Overcoat Lyric Hammersmith Simple plays can be the hardest to get right. James Macdonald has made a dogged assault on the earliest work of Christopher Marlowe. The story is lifted wholesale from Virgil. After Troy’s fall Aeneas arrives in Carthage where Dido promptly falls in love with him. When

Marital bliss

Die Feen Châtelet, Paris Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth Bloomsbury Theatre Wagner wrote his first opera Die Feen (The Fairies) when he was 19 and 20. It was never staged or performed at all in his lifetime, and first performed in Munich in 1888, Richard Strauss having conducted the rehearsals. It was a big success, but has

That sinking feeling

The Boat That Rocked 15, Nationwide Now, although it has always been fashionable to take a bit of a pop at Richard Curtis and his ‘feel good’ movies (Four Weddings, Notting Hill, Love Actually) and I’ve been as guilty as anyone — I am just naturally bitchy, I’m afraid — I do think it is

Clash of cultures | 4 April 2009

Swan Lake American Ballet Theatre, London Coliseum A complex, somewhat troubled history has turned Swan Lake into the most manipulated ballet ever. The lack of strict historical constraints has frequently led ballet directors, repetiteurs and choreographers to feel more or less free to intervene in the text, often twisting its narrative and altering the traditional,

A critic bites back

‘All critics are failed writers,’ someone with a New Zealand accent said on Desert Island Discs the other day. ‘All critics are failed writers,’ someone with a New Zealand accent said on Desert Island Discs the other day. Obviously I have completely blanked out who it was, but I do know she was talking out

Dying well

Since the demise of Socrates in 399 BC, killed by the hemlock he was forced to drink on sentence from the state for corrupting the minds of Athenian teenagers, the Good Death has been deemed possible. According to Plato, his pupil, Socrates died with his senses intact, surrounded by those he loved and who loved

Ubiquitous Branson

Television often throws up unpleasant images to surprise you, like finding an earwig in the sugar. The BBC has got the transmission rights for Formula One motor racing, and they were lucky in that the Australian Grand Prix (BBC1, Sunday), which opened the new season, proved a very exciting race, and was won by a

Getting it right

I tested the old Freelander when it first came out, taking it up the M6 into the Shropshire hills and returning with backache. That apart, I thought it a good car in four-door form, as did plenty of others — it became Europe’s best-selling smallish 4×4. But I and they were wrong: a component that