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A Night at the Opera

Drama, daggers, murder, mayhem, love, lust, blood and betrayal - no it's not EastEnders - but this week's edition of Friday Night is Music Night, as Ken Bruce invites you to A Night at the Opera.

But be not a feared - though you may never have seen an opera before you'll soon be tapping your foot and hitting the high notes without leaving the comfort of your armchair. Tonight's programme includes the world's most loved opera tunes and arias - Che Gelida Manina from La Boheme, The Pearl Fishers' Duet, Ebben! Ne andrò lontana from La Wally, and the Toreadors Song from Carmen.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by its Principal Guest Conductor Johannes Wildner with singing guests - Camilla Roberts (soprano); Toby Stafford-Allen (baritone) and making his Friday Night debut, the young South Korean tenor Jung Soo Yun.

We'll also be celebrating the three important classical music anniversaries which fall in 2013. The 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner (born 22nd May 1813); the 200th anniversary of the birth of Guiseppe Verdi (born 10th October 1813); and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Pietro Mascagni (born 7th December 1863). So expect orchestral fireworks from Lohengrin and Die Meistersingers (Wagner) along with excerpts from Verdi's great opera - La Traviata and Mascagni's beautiful intermezzo to Cavalleria Rusticana.

Ken Bruce straps on his horned helmet, polishes up his breastplate and attempts to sort Woltan from Werther and untangle the complicated plots of the opera world. The concert was recorded at the Mermaid Theatre in London and first broadcast in January this year.

During the interval BBC Radio 2's Dave Pearce looks at the eternal appeal of opera and its presence in pop and dance music.

Release date:

1 hour, 57 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Apr 2013 20:00

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