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From today's featured list

Péter Besenyei
Péter Besenyei

Red Bull Air Race World Championship winners are determined by an international series of air races in which entrants compete to navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship was established in 2003 and created by Red Bull GmbH. Pilots fly individually against the clock and are required to complete tight turns through a slalom course consisting of inflatable pylons, known as "Air Gates". The races are held mainly over water near cities, but are also held at airfields or natural wonders (such as Sugarloaf Mountain and Monument Valley). The inaugural series comprising two races was won by the Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei (aircraft pictured) who went on to secure second place the following three series. As of 2017, the most successful pilot in the history of the championship is Briton Paul Bonhomme who has won the title on three occasions, in 2009, 2010 and 2015. (Full list...)

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Today's featured picture

Simon Boccanegra libretto cover

The cover of the first edition libretto for the 1881 revision of Simon Boccanegra. This opera with a prologue and three acts was written by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on Antonio García Gutiérrez's play Simón Bocanegra (1843). First performed at Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 1857, it received a generally poor popular response and had dropped out of favour by 1866. Verdi prepared a revised edition more than a decade later, with text changes by Arrigo Boito. This version was first performed at La Scala in Milan in 1881, and remains the most frequently performed today.

Illustration: Uncredited; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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