Oh sweet Jeeeez, this beggars belief. Turning third-rate pop-stars into three-hundredth-rate “opera singers” with the help of “opera singers” Jenkins and Bocelli?!? And WTF is Rolando Villazon doing in it? Have things really got that bad for him?

Happy new year to you too, ITV. If you were funded by my licence fee, I’d refuse to pay it. Fortunately you are not.

As for Rolando, here’s an extract from Werther at the Paris Opera last year, including the great aria “Pourquoi me reveiller”. The debate on YouTube (double-click on the video to acccess it), is all about whether this wonderful voice can be saved… Compare his contribution with the vocal ease of Susan Graham as Charlotte. 

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"