Look forward to a wealth of programmes on BBC Two, BBC Four and Radio 3 celebrating the Georgian pioneers of art, music, fashion and politics that forged modern Britain.

Mozart in Prague: Rolando Villazon on Don Giovanni

BBC Two. Sat 26th April, 20:30.

Acclaimed tenor Rolando Villazon presents the story of one of the best-known operas of all time – Don Giovanni.

Based in Prague, Rolando explores the run-up to the first ever performance there in 1787. He explores the music of the opera and the social setting in which it was first performed, before recreating in great detail the finale of the opera as it would have looked and sounded on that evening.

Go to the Mozart in Prague website

Don Giovanni from the Royal Opera House

BBC Four. Starts Sun 27th April. 19:00.

Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy.

Mariusz Kwiecien stars as Don Giovanni, an artist who seduces an endless stream of women through his ability to create wonderful illusions. His catalogue of sexual conquests is a vain attempt to escape his own mortality and comes at a high price.

Go to the Don Giovanni from the Royal Opera House website

The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain

BBC Four. Starts Thu 1st May, 21:00.

The BBC and Royal Collection Trust are embarking on a unique partnership, encompassing this three-part series presented by Dr Lucy Worsley for BBC Four, and an exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

Lucy will discover the personal side of the early Georgians through the spectacular paintings, drawings and furniture on display in the exhibition. With Royal Collection Trust curators, she will see how these objects reveal Britain at the very moment it was becoming the modern country we know today.

She will also travel to Hanover to discover that the politics and dynastic squabbles, which defined the reigns of George I and George II, frequently had a continental backstory.

Go to The First Georgians website

The French Revolution: Tearing Up History

BBC Four. Tue 6th May, 21:00.

Art historian Dr Richard Clay tells the story of the French revolution - from the storming of the bastille to the rise of Napoleon.

As the significant modern outbreak of iconoclasm, Clay argues that the French Revolution reveals the destructive and constructive roles of iconoclasts and how this led directly to the birth of the modern Europe.

Go to the Tearing Up History's website

Messiah at the Foundling Hospital

BBC Two. Sun 20th April, 21:30.

Handel's Messiah is one of the most recognisable choral pieces in western music. However, not many people know that it paved the way for a philanthropic institution: The Charity Concert.

Historian Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service present this documentary which re-creates the premiere of Messiah at The Foundling Hospital in 1750 and tells the story of how this masterpiece heralded a golden age of philanthropy.

Go to the Messiah at the Foundling Hospital website

Rule Britannia! Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century

BBC Four. Starts Mon 7th April, 21:00.

Suzy Klein presents a three-part series exploring the role that music played in all aspects of 18th century life.

From illicit assemblies in Soho to church choirs in Lancashire, this programme delves into how this cultural explosion transformed the entire nation.

Go to the Rule Britannia! website

Clips

On Radio 3

The 18th Century Season will feature an exciting array of programming on BBC Radio 3, including live events designed to delve into the music, culture and society of Georgian Britain.

Highlights will include...

  • A special live edition of In Tune as part of Radio 3’s continuing partnership with the National Trust.
  • A recital from The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace on The Early Music Show.
  • BBC Business correspondent Peter Day's analysis of Handel's Finances.
  • A look at the music from films set in the 18th Century on Sound of Cinema.