« Previous | Main | Next »

Domingo says Z is for Zarzuela ...

Post categories:

Calantha Haggie Calantha Haggie | 17:11 UK Time, Thursday, 24 June 2010

Broadcast Assistant Calantha Haggie describes the paddling that went on below the surface as the swan of Radio 3's A-Z of Opera sailed serenely through five weeks of In Tune ...

domingo_bbc.jpgIt was a wonderful way to finish. Plรกcido Domingo (left) discussing his childhood memories of Zarzuela. Furthermore, with Zarzuela the final curtain has fallen on the In Tune A-Z of Opera guide. It's hard to believe that it's all over and yet these five weeks have gone so quickly...

In Tune played a special role in the launch of the Opera on the BBC season; in mid-May we were broadcasting live from the Royal Opera House, with a multitude of superstars performing including Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ermonela Jaho, and a personal highlight was the last minute addition of Erwin Schrott performing a selection of Tango songs - the atmosphere of the whole broadcast was incredible.

The very next day we launched the In Tune A-Z of Opera with A for Aria. The brainchild of producer Tom Nelson, the production team leapt into action; all of us wanted to help with making 26 mini-features running back-to-back. With senior producer Paul Frankl and assistant producer Rosie Childs in charge, thankfully the production conveyor-belt operated smoothly once it was cranked up. This was also thanks to our amazing contributors - all 27 of them - who helped make each letter very memorable (do visit the In Tune programme pages for all contributor details) and they're still available to download.

a-z_studio_180.jpgOf course, this 'smooth operation' did have its moments... the tiny editing room (right) that we call 'Birdland', on the first floor of Broadcasting House, was the home of the A-Z of opera and has never looked in such a state of disarray (rumour has it that one technician is refusing to work in there - don't worry, we're tidying up now!). Minutes before broadcast, this was the scene of producers wildly scrambling through every opera recording imaginable to find the one they needed. While all this was going on, I was busily trying to edit the audio to upload our podcast on time, and of course keep the In Tune guests coming in - not always easy given occasional technical problems and cancellations. In addition, as always with live radio the listener can interact with what is playing: by giving listeners the chance to email us with their A-Z suggestions, we had to try and predict what they could possibly come up with - imagine the possibilities with X-Rated!

The office seems very quiet now that the constant hum of opera seeping out of offices and headphones has gone. But, it's never quiet for too long as we're already gearing up for the beginning of the Proms. In less than a month In Tune will be broadcast live from the Royal College of Music with a preview of some highlights from this year's Proms. At least we managed to revel in the success of the A-Z guide with an afternoon break of tea and cake.

Now though, it's on to the Proms...

  • The complete In Tune A-Z of Opera is available to download from the BBC. Please click this link.
  • Also, don't forget to listen in on the 16th July at 17.00 for the In Tune Proms special with Sean Rafferty and Petroc Trelawny.


  • No comments to display yet.

More from this blog...


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.


Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.