The Critics

Opera was the tinder of Renaissance Venice, says Robert Thicknesse

Wagner’s sexual ambiguity spoke to Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley and Thomas Mann, says Norman Lebrecht

Spitting Image (BritBox)

After Dame Judi Dench’s resignation as a “national treasure”, Romeo Coates considers the runners and riders for the role

Following a brief loss of balance in a London watering hole I ‘took the knee’ – but that doesn’t detract from the symbolism

Krapp’s last tape might these days be a collection of WhatsApps and stored Instagram images, muses Anne McElvoy

Adam LeBor commends the BBC’s latest documentary on the Iraq war

Raphael, as dedicated a lover as he was a painter, died at 37 at the height of his powers and fame, illustrates Michael Prodger

The space for criticism to exist grows smaller and the archways that sustained its presence crumble away, laments Sarah Ditum

Christopher Silvester on Mark Cousins’s latest documentary