This autumn, British Broadcasting Corporation will focus much of its TV, radio, and online programming on celebrating opera. With the opening of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new exhibition in partnership with the Royal Opera House, titled “Opera: Passion, Power & Politics,” on September 30th, the timing couldn’t be better.
According to Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts: “For over 400 years, opera has proven one of the most exciting, radical and irresistible of all art forms. Working with the V&A, ROH and others, we want to bring alive the remarkable inside story of how it became a global passion, while showcasing some of the finest operatic work across the UK today and re-surfacing treasures from the BBC archive. Working together, we will engage ever larger audiences and inspire a whole new generation of opera lovers.”
Among the programs to be featured will be John Bridcut’s “Jonas Kaufmann, Tenor for the Ages,” which documents Kaufmann’s return to the stage over the course of two years, including performance highlights and interviews.
Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces, will present on BBC Two a documentary series on many of the operas being featured in V&A Museum’s exhibit. Spanning 400 years of operatic history, the exhibit will focus on the premieres of seven operas throughout seven European cities. Recordings of these performances will be presented by BBC Radio 3, which will also feature Sir Antonio Pappano in a special Composer of the Week series, delving into the works of Puccini on a daily basis.
Keith Warner’s production of “Otello” will be aired on BBC Four. The production, which ran from June 21st to July 15th, saw Pappano as conductor and Kaufmann in the title role.
On October 19th BBC will honor the 30th year anniversary of the passing of cellist Jacqueline du Pre. The hour-long anniversary program will feature tributes, archived performance footage, and a re-discovered recording of Dvorak’s cello concerto dating from August 1968.
Celebrating the beauty and timelessness of opera, the BBC will no doubt have something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be online, at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s upcoming exhibit, or even in the comfort of home.