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Surging energy

Of the Royal Opera’s Verdi productions of recent years, David McVicar’s seems likely to be the most durable. It evokes and sustains an atmosphere which is entirely suited to the particular tinta of the music that pervades this work, a combination of levity and desperation, glamour and sleaziness, ardent love and lechery. The extraordinary set

Making the day go better

Collecting art is an addiction. Neither its cost nor its supposed value as an investment has much to do with it. If you are rich you buy expensive art by recognised masters and get advice from experts, but if you are poor you follow your own taste among the lesser or little known and probably

The French have it

In the first room of the Royal Academy’s Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting — a strangely mixed and muted Impressionist exhibition — a Monet ‘Haystacks’ is flanked by two lively open-air scenes by Sargent, one of them depicting Monet himself at work. This group is obviously intended to set the tone and pace of