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BBC Radio 3 announces Royal Opera broadcasts for summer 2016

Upcoming broadcasts include Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Verdi’s I due Foscari.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

27 April 2016 at 4.32pm | 2 Comments

BBC Radio 3 has announced that four Royal Opera productions will be broadcast over the coming months.

Lucia di Lammermoor – 14 May 2016 (6.30pm BST)
Gaetano Donizetti

The story
In order to preserve the ailing Lammermoor fortune, Enrico wants his sister Lucia to marry advantageously. He is horrified to learn she has actually fallen in love with his sworn enemy, Edgardo.

The music
Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is perhaps best-known for Lucia’s Act III 'mad scene', but the Act II sextet 'Chi mi frena in tal momento' is almost as well-known. It was rapturously applauded at the opera’s premiere and went on to influence such composers as Verdi. It was also one of the first ever opera ensembles to be recorded.

Tannhäuser – 21 May 2016 (6.30pm BST)
Richard Wagner

The story
Musician Heinrich Tannhäuser leaves his home in the Wartburg to become the consort of the goddess Venus. Growing tired of her hedonistic realm, he decides to return to his old life and his beloved, Elisabeth. But if Elisabeth and his comrades learn where he has been, will they ever forgive him?

The music
Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser contains few arias, but the small number it has are all remarkable for their beauty. Best known perhaps is Wolfram’s Act III aria ‘O du, mein holder Abendstern’, his hymn to the Evening Star.

Oedipe – 4 June 2016 (7.00pm BST) LIVE
George Enescu

The story
Oedipe’s parents plot his murder after they discover he is destined to murder his father and marry his mother. However, their plans go awry and he is raised as a prince of Corinth. Discovering the prophecy, he flees Corinth – only unwittingly to kill his true father and marry his mother.

The music
The score calls for haunting saxophone solos, grand orchestral passages, and extreme, chromatic harmonies. The icing on the cake comes at the end of the opera, which according to conductor Leo Hussain is 'one of the most beautiful, moving and thrilling arias that exists'.

I Due Foscari – 11 June 2016 (6.30pm BST)
Giuseppe Verdi

The story
Jacopo Foscari, son of the Doge of Venice, is convicted of murder and treason. His wife Lucrezia is sure of his innocence. But the Doge, trapped by the machinations of a corrupt city, is forced to make a terrible decision.

The music
In his sixth opera Verdi concentrates on the intense relationships between his leading characters, rather than grand dramatic effects. Highlights of the score include one of Verdi’s earliest great duets for soprano and baritone, where Lucrezia pleads with the Doge for her husband’s life in Act I, and the passionate finale that closes Act II.

Listen live to BBC Radio 3Please note broadcast schedules are subject to change.

The Royal Opera House and the BBC are partners.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

27 April 2016 at 4.32pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged BBC, BBC Radio 3, broadcasts, Donizetti, George Enescu, Giuseppe Verdi, I due Foscari, Oedipe, radio, Radio 3, Richard Wagner, tannhäuser

This article has 2 comments

  1. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 3 May 2016 at 12:12pm Reply

    I am looking forward very much to hearing Lucia Di Lammermoor, sound only. The ludicrous production was an insult to both the cast and the audience.

    • Roger Mullis responded on 6 May 2016 at 11:17am

      It didn't insult me, or any of the many friends of mine who saw it, both in the House and in the cinema. On the contrary, we were gripped as never before by the drama of the opera.

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