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In Gnosis, John Tavener has left a posthumous mystical love-letter which, though small in scale, carves out a large space in the mind. Mezzo Sarah Connolly and alto flautist Michael cox were the soloists, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiri Belohlavek laying down a carpet of strings and percussion beneath them; the vocal-instrumental balance was perfect throughout.

14 hours ago | |
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The beginning of the 2014 BBC Proms season was also the end of an era, as Roger Wright officially ended his time in charge. Rather than go out with fanfares however, Wright’s final night was all muted glow and quiet nostalgia.

1 day ago | |
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The temptation to make a loud statement in this, the first new production of Verdi’s La traviata at Glyndebourne in over 25 years, must have been enormous. But director Tom Cairns resists it with such intelligence and quiet skill that in refusing to make the definitive Traviata-for-our-times he may well have done just that.

2 days ago | |
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One summer night in 1990 a young British violinist named Tasmin Little stepped for the first time on to the platform of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. That concert – plus her first CD, released around the same time – was the moment that set her stellar career in motion. Now she is back for her 20th Prom, having meanwhile accrued an OBE, a string of classical chart-topping recordings and an enviable global reputation as one of today's best-loved and most sought-after soloists.

9 days ago | |
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One summer night in 1990 a young British violinist named Tasmin Little stepped for the first time on to the platform of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. That concert – plus her first CD, released around the same time – was the moment that set her stellar career in motion. Now she is back for her 20th Prom, having meanwhile accrued an OBE, a string of classical chart-topping recordings and an enviable global reputation as one of today's best-loved and most sought-after soloists.

9 days ago | |
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How do you solve a problem like Medea? Euripides's play, in which a mother murders her own children as revenge after her husband marries another woman, can be seen as a pinnacle of Greek tragedy: it doesn't get any more howlingly painful than maternal infanticide. And we are still drawn to the Greeks for this epic scale, the power of the poetry, that heightened sense of the mythic. And yet drama also needs to speak to our own times, our own condition.

17 days ago | |
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Until the other week, my enjoyment of opera was largely confined to my occasional unsuccessful attempt to hit the lower notes of “Nessun Dorma” while enjoying a bath. Like many Brits, I discovered the song via Pavarotti and the TV coverage of the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy. I couldn’t tell you which opera it came from, but I could probably tell you which adverts have used it.

17 days ago | |
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Until the other week, my enjoyment of opera was largely confined to my occasional unsuccessful attempt to hit the lower notes of “Nessun Dorma” while enjoying a bath. Like many Brits, I discovered the song via Pavarotti and the TV coverage of the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy. I couldn’t tell you which opera it came from, but I could probably tell you which adverts have used it.

17 days ago | |
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One always expects high style from the directing duo Leiser and Caurier, and the opening moments of their new Maria Stuarda are both arresting and puzzling.

18 days ago | |
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On 18 July the Royal Albert Hall opens its doors for the annual BBC Promenade Concerts, known simply as the Proms: two months of world-class classical music at which standing places cost just £5 a pop. There is nothing else quite like it – either here or abroad. Once you’ve experienced the queues of promenaders snaking down Prince Consort Road with sandwich boxes and comfy shoes, sampled the relaxed but excited atmosphere inside the hall, and witnessed evenings as thrilling as last year’s Ring cycle, when thousands listened rapt to Wagner’s gigantic tetralogy at the feet of the conductor Daniel Barenboim – the chances are you’ll be hooked too.

21 days ago | |
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