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The conflict-ridden and controversial have long been rich territory for artists. As such, sex work, in various guises, is often a central theme. But despite a long-standing relationship between sex work and opera – courtesans feature regularly in opera, from Madame Butterfly to Manon – any contemporary pairing seems, at first glance, to be a clashing of worlds.

5 months ago | |
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Esa-Pekka Salonen is not a household name. At least, he wasn’t until the other day. Apple has released some new TV advertisements for the iPad Air, each demonstrating the way a high-level creative person uses the device for their work; Salonen, the principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and a distinguished classical composer, is prime among them.

5 months ago | |
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Harrison Birtwistle’s Earth Dances is one of the big symphonic landmarks of the late twentieth century, so it was appropriate that Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra should make it the cornerstone of their celebration of his eightieth birthday.

5 months ago | |
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If you met Sally Matthews in the street you might not guess that she is one of Britain's finest sopranos. Quiet, serious and rather reserved, the 38-year-old singer is anything but an obvious star; but on stage her voice speaks for itself. Blessed with great range and a rich tone containing unusual warmth, colour and shadow, her refulgent yet pure sound is ideal for Mozart, Strauss and, not least, French music.

5 months ago | |
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One of the many good things about Phelim McDermott and his Improbable theatre company is that when they come to the Coliseum they don’t seek the comfort of a house style.

5 months ago | |
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Der Rosenkavalier is a rather irritating Viennese farce with a profound rumination on love threaded through it.

5 months ago | |
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The Royal Philharmonic Society, one of the world’s oldest music societies, is expected to drop its long association with the Dorchester Hotel in protest at the Brunei owner’s anti-gay laws.

5 months ago | |
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The Royal Philharmonic Society, one of the world’s oldest music societies, is expected to drop its long association with the Dorchester Hotel in protest at the Brunei owner’s anti-gay laws.

5 months ago | |
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The Royal Philharmonic Society, one of the world’s oldest music societies, is expected to drop its long association with the Dorchester Hotel in protest at the Brunei owner’s anti-gay laws.

5 months ago | |
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She is the Radio 3 breakfast presenter whose chatty style has won a new audience yet infuriated classical music purists. But Clemency Burton-Hill has defended her inclusive approach, telling the high culture “gatekeepers” that it’s time to come down from their ivory towers.

5 months ago | |
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