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The appointment of Glyndebourne general director David Pickard as the new head of the Proms has surprised many. Widely expected to be a BBC insider – possibly one ready to wield an axe – instead, Pickard’s appointment appears to signal a willingness to be open to the new, the forward-looking, and the creative.

3 days ago | |
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When paedophiles say to their victims, as they all do in one form or another, “If you ever speak about this, unimaginably bad things will happen to you”, what they are doing is perhaps on one level even worse than the physical act of abuse itself. They are manipulating their victims into being complicit in the abuse. Forcing the victim to take responsibility for protecting the abuser means that every time you smile, shake hands, speak with and act normally in front of the abuser – as you must, because he is your teacher, father, uncle or priest – you become a little bit more complicit. It is the most toxic form of manipulation possible. And in addition to making it pretty much impossible to trust in any kind of safe reality forevermore, that ingrained and very real fear – that if you speak out, then the world will end – takes hold at a cellular level and rarely, if ever, leaves.

5 days ago | |
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When paedophiles say to their victims, as they all do in one form or another, “If you ever speak about this, unimaginably bad things will happen to you”, what they are doing is perhaps on one level even worse than the physical act of abuse itself. They are manipulating their victims into being complicit in the abuse. Forcing the victim to take responsibility for protecting the abuser means that every time you smile, shake hands, speak with and act normally in front of the abuser – as you must, because he is your teacher, father, uncle or priest – you become a little bit more complicit. It is the most toxic form of manipulation possible. And in addition to making it pretty much impossible to trust in any kind of safe reality forevermore, that ingrained and very real fear – that if you speak out, then the world will end – takes hold at a cellular level and rarely, if ever, leaves.

5 days ago | |
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Lindsay Kemp is to be congratulated for preserving his endangered annual festival, now renamed the London Festival of Baroque Music and as adventurous as ever.

5 days ago | |
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It was a bold move for Glyndebourne to launch its new season with the British premiere of a Donizetti opera written 167 years ago, though, as director Mariame Clement rightly observes, Poliuto does have potential contemporary resonance.

8 days ago | |
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It's night-time and there are strangely beautiful noises emanating from the back rooms of Shakespeare's Globe in London. Through a stage door, down a winding passage far beyond the pomp and glamour of the main stage, in a round rehearsal room that by day is one of the stops on the theatre's guided tours, is a group of musicians who have dedicated themselves to learning the idiosyncratic ways of Elizabethan musical instruments.

11 days ago | |
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People love to slaver over the sex-life of Don Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1560-1613): murdering his wife and her lover when he found them in flagrantio, joyfully ending his days stripped naked and birched by young boys.

16 days ago | |
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Over lunch at Glyndebourne's staff canteen, the soprano Danielle de Niese, who is heavily pregnant, is telling star-studded anecdotes. Recently, en route to a charity gala with her tell-tale bump disguised beneath the drapes of a Vivienne Westwood gown, she changed trains at Clapham Junction. A hand on her arm, an "Excuse me, but…" – and there on the station platform, she declares, was Dame Vivienne Westwood herself: "She spotted her dress first and then said – 'Oh, it's you!'" De Niese giggles.

16 days ago | |
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The classical music world’s equivalent of a papal election takes place this Monday, as the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra go into their secret conclave to elect a successor to their British artistic director, Sir Simon Rattle.

19 days ago | |
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Soprano Barbara Hannigan is one of our most brilliant and versatile singing actresses, as comfortable with Boulez and Ligeti as with Mozart and Handel, and she’s added a new string to her bow.

23 days ago | |
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