Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

BBC Four Spring/Summer 2010

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The BBC – A Passion For Opera

The BBC – A Passion for Opera is a unique series of programmes celebrating the captivating world of opera. BBC Four takes centre stage with Opera Italia, Stephen Fry On Wagner, Diva Diaries, What Makes A Great Tenor, Rick Stein's Taste Of Italian Opera, plus performances of The Marriage Of Figaro, Aida and La Boheme. 

Opera Italia

Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera, traces the history of Italian opera in this new series for BBC Four. Antonio travels around Italy to explore the central role that opera plays in the country's history and culture.

Made in HD, Opera Italia features exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Pappano working in rehearsal with some of today's greatest singers, including soprano Renee Fleming, mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, tenor Juan Diego Florez and baritone Sir Thomas Allen.

Performance footage, filmed in collaboration with the Royal Opera House and conducted by Pappano, includes Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Verdi's La Traviata.

Three Italian operas will be shown to accompany each of the programmes in the Opera Italia series. They are: David McVicar's recent Royal Opera House production of The Marriage Of Figaro, conducted by Antonio Pappano; a spectacular new production of Aida from the Bregenz Floating Stage; and the feature film of La Boheme, with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon.

KS4

BBC Productions

 

Danielle de Niese

Diva Diaries

Soprano Danielle de Niese shot to fame in Britain in 2005 with her portrayal of Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne. Diva Diaries follows as she makes her debut in the role of Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at the famous Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

Part of The BBC – A Passion For Opera series celebrating the captivating world of opera, Diva Diaries offers a revealing personal perspective and unique insight into the hectic life and art of an international opera singer.

Danielle has granted the production team unlimited access as she prepares for this important role. Speaking to her "diva-diary camera", she also reveals her personal highs and lows during the preparation and rehearsal process.

KS4

BBC Productions

 

What Makes A Great Tenor?

In a personal film, acclaimed tenor Rolando Villazon explores the technical, physical and artistic demands of his craft, identifying the characteristics that have distinguished the good from the great in opera through the centuries.

What Makes A Great Tenor? includes interviews with singers and experts, as well as a selection of Rolando's favourite performances on film and audio.

Rolando also discusses highlights from his own career, and tries out early recording equipment, as well as revealing which great artists inspired him to forge a career in opera.

KS4

BBC Productions

 

Rick Stein's Taste Of Italian Opera

Leading chef Rick Stein takes a light-hearted look at the role that food has played in the creation of Italian opera.

Drawing parallels between cooking and composing, Rick notes how both involve the skilful combination of ingredients and how they share a common purpose in bringing pleasure to many.

In a programme made in HD, Rick explains why he thinks the music of Verdi, Rossini and Puccini are linked to the trattorias of northern Italy and reveals Rossini's love of new dishes. There's also a chance to see archive footage of Puccini going about his daily life in Italy.

KS4

Denham Productions

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Stephen Fry On Wagner

Stephen Fry was 10-years-old when he first heard Richard Wagner's Tannhauser Overture on his father's record player. A revelatory experience, it ignited in him a lifelong passion for Wagner's music.

Confronting Wagner's troubled legacy, Stephen explores his fascination with the controversial composer against the backdrop of preparations for the Bayreuth Festival – the annual Wagner extravaganza held in a theatre purpose-built by the composer.

Immersing himself in preparations for the festival, Stephen eavesdrops on rehearsals and discovers more about the music he loves. He explores the labyrinthine backstage workings of the opera house, plays music on Wagner's own piano and meets the composer's great grand-daughter, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, who, alongside her sister, recently took control of the Bayreuth Festival.

KS4

A Wavelength Films production

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Goldsmiths – This is Modern Art

Goldsmiths has produced six Turner prize winners in its illustrious history, notably Damien Hirst. But what lies behind the famous institution's unrivalled reputation for producing the artistic stars of the future?

This new two-part documentary follows a group of Goldsmiths artists as they struggle to create art and make a name for themselves during the run-up to their final masters' show, a showcase at which dealers and collectors jostle to sign the latest sensation.

These programmes follow the artists in the vital months following graduation as they take their first steps into professional careers, exploring the culture of contemporary art through the ambitions, influences and attitudes of the next generation of young British artists.

All are desperate to create the kind of work that will propel them to centre stage in the art world, but only a select few will succeed.

BBC Front Desk Publicity

A Dragonfly TV production

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For The Love Of Mockingbirds

For The Love Of Mockingbirds

Marking the 50th anniversary of the influential novel To Kill A Mockingbird, writer Andrew Smith visits Monroeville in Alabama, the setting of the book, to see how things have changed in half a century.

Born in New York in the year the novel was published, Andrew recalls the simmering racial tension that filled his early years and provides the theme of the book.

He traces the locations and the people that provided the inspiration for the novel – exploring the new America of Barack Obama and asking whether, beneath the surface, racial tension is very much a thing of the present

BBC Front Desk Publicity

BBC Productions, Wales

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Rich Hall's The Dirty South

Rich Hall sets his keen eye and acerbic wit on his homeland once again as he sifts truth from fiction in Hollywood's version of the southern states of the USA.

Using specially shot interviews and featuring archive from classic movies such as Gone With The Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Deliverance, Rich discovers a South that is about so much more than just rednecks, racism and hillbillies.

BBC Front Desk Publicity

Open Mike Productions

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Rude Britannia

Despite some of the illusions we have of ourselves, the British are not and have never been a polite people.

Some of our greatest writers and artists have mixed high art with a good measure of filth and red-blooded rudeness.

In Rude Britannia, BBC Four comes over all vulgar as it uncovers more than three centuries of satirical, lewd and bawdy art, literature and popular culture.

Through all its incarnations from painting and cartooning to theatre and music hall, peep shows and comics to television and radio, this series will leave no stone unturned in its exploration of Britain's rich history of rude.

KA

BBC Productions, Bristol


Frost On Satire

Sir David Frost charts the story of satire in the UK and America and its impact on 20th-century politics. 

Featuring archive gems including material from That Was The Week That Was and Saturday Night Live, Sir David talks to satirical veterans from both sides of the Atlantic.

BBC Front Desk Publicity

A Fettis Films production

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BBC Proms

Music Performance

BBC Proms

Last year's BBC Proms was the biggest ever and BBC Four, in partnership with BBC Two and Radio 3, continues its commitment to the musical extravaganza throughout the summer of 2010 with regular live relays and broadcasts for the duration of the festival.

The Proms on BBC Four this season will have a fresh new look with editorial and technical innovations bringing the audience even closer to the music and musicians.

KS4

BBC Productions


40 Years Of Glastonbury

P Is For Pyramid: An A-Z Of 40 Years Of Glastonbury

This year is the 40th anniversary of the first Glastonbury Festival held at Worthy Farm back in 1971.

Twenty-eight festivals later, BBC Four celebrates all the iconic people, performances and things that makes Glastonbury the greatest performing arts festival in the world. From Arabella and Avalon, to cows and Coldplay, from Jazzworld and Jay-Z, to weather and “where's the nearest toilet?”.

BBC Four also continues its coverage with the best live performances from this year's festival.

TH2

BBC Productions

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 BBC Four

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