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Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave has always been regarded as problematic. Composed for television in 1969, it drew its pacifist inspiration from Britten’s experiences as a conscientious objector in 1942, and from the peace movement provoked by the Vietnam war.

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Updating things by a century, director Stephen Barlow has bust a gut to put a new spin on Puccini’s gold-rush opera.

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Garsington’s high-tech opera house floats like a mirage above the rolling acres of the Getty estate, and its clientele is quintessentially well-heeled; Fidelio is about dirt, physical degradation, mortal terror, and bloody revolution.

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Most forgotten operas are forgotten with good reason, but the Offenbach operetta which conductor David Parry has exhumed for Garsington is a delightful discovery.

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Sir George Young, the Tory MP who once said the homeless were "the people you step over coming out of the Opera House", could not have been more wrong.

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Sir George Young, the Tory MP who once said the homeless were "the people you step over coming out of the Opera House", could not have been more wrong.

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Music is a wonderful bonding agent Growing up, my older sister played the piano and my middle sister played the violin, while my mother was a piano teacher, so naturally I wanted to play an instrument too; the cello. We used to play together at these horrible competitive festivals as a family. Now, though, music keeps the family close as we have the same interests and know the same people.

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‘Nobody succeeds with a Berlioz opera,’ Terry Gilliam confided to his diary when his production of Benvenuto Cellini was first mooted three years ago. ‘You might f*** it up, but so does everybody else.’

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Nabucco is the opera that shot Verdi to fame and begat his status as a folk hero.

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John Powell came to compose his most famous soundtrack almost by mistake. In 2002, the director Doug Liman had just filmed a new action  thriller starring Matt Damon, loosely based on a pulp novel called The Bourne Identity. Another highly regarded film composer, Carter Burwell, had written a score that had been recorded, but Liman wasn’t satisfied.

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