Ravishing and poignant: ENO’s Orphée reviewed

Billy Wilder, asked for his opinion of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of his movie Sunset Boulevard, famously replied: ‘Those boys hit on a great idea. They didn’t change a thing.’ I don’t think you could say exactly that about Netia Jones’s new staging of Philip Glass’s Orphée, a piece that takes the script of

Arts feature

Meet the unrivalled Sun King of early music, William Christie

It’s morning in the garden of William Christie, and he’s talking about home improvements. ‘I planted three pines up there actually,’ he says, pointing. ‘One blew over in a storm in ’99. But I was able to plant on both sides and create a vista. It’s getting there.’ He gestures across topiary and lawns and

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War of the Worlds is as bad as Doctor Who

Edwardian England deserved everything it got from those killer Martian invaders. Or so I learned from the BBC’s latest adaptation of The War of the Worlds (Sundays). Everything about that era, apparently, was hateful, backward and ripe for destruction: regressive attitudes to women and homosexuality; exultant white supremacy (cue, a speech from a government minister


The extraordinary paintings of Craigie Aitchison

One of the most extraordinary paintings in the exhibition of work by Craigie Aitchison at Piano Nobile (96–129 Portland Road, W11) is entitled ‘Georgeous Macauley in Blue against a Red Background’ (1968). It depicts the sitter, a Nigerian who was Aitchison’s favourite model of the 1960s and ’70s, wearing a peaked cap and double-breasted jacket.