In Belfast with Paul Muldoon and Colin Bateman
With Mark Lawson in Belfast.
What music should Northern Ireland's sports teams hear before an international match or at a medal ceremony? Crime writer Colin Bateman has written a comic play about a poet and a composer attempting to write a national anthem for Northern Ireland. Bateman discusses the sensitivities of finding the right words and music, and you can hear the anthem specially created for the play, which the theatre audience is invited to sing.
The poet Paul Muldoon now teaches in the United States, but retains close ties with his native Northern Ireland. He talks to Mark about the sources of the language he uses, from 17th century Ireland to 21st century America, and reflects on why we often find poetry difficult while enjoying complex films and TV dramas.
As the composer Alexander Goehr premieres a new opera based on King Lear, Front Row considers the history of taking Shakespeare into the opera house, and examines why his play texts often create problems for anyone attempting to set them to music. Alexander Goehr, librettist and historian Amanda Holden and director John Caird share their views.
Editor John Goudie.