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Ring of hope

After seemingly endless drumrolls and fanfares, with the conductor Antonio Pappano and the director Keith Warner giving countless interviews on the radio and in the papers, the Royal Opera’s new cycle of Wagner’s Ring, incomparably the most ambitious thing an opera company can undertake, has finally got under way. And hardly surprisingly, a widespread sense

Something for everyone

To get the year off to a good start is the eye-catchingly titled William Orpen — Politics, Sex & Death at the Imperial War Museum (27 January–2 May). Is this an exhibition or a manifesto? (From its title, difficult to tell.) Sir William Orpen (1878–1931) was a dazzling painter, rich and successful, Sargent’s heir as