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A Night at the Opera

Duration:
1 hour, 57 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 25 January 2013

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.

Music Played

18 items
  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Friday Night Is Music Night Opening Sig Tune

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Prelude - Lohengrin

  • Image for Toby Stafford-Allen

    Toby Stafford-Allen The Toreador Song

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Aragonaise (Carmen)

  • Image for Camilla Roberts

    Camilla Roberts Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana (La Wally)

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

  • Image for Jung Soo Yun

    Jung Soo Yun Che Gelida Manina (La Boheme)

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Liebestod (Tristan und Isolde)

  • Image for Jung Soo Yun

    Jung Soo Yun Pearl Fishers Duet (Au Fond Temple Saint )

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Artist: Toby Stafford-Allen

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Overture - The Marriage Of Figaro

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Overture: Ruslan And Ludmilla

  • Image for Camilla Roberts

    Camilla Roberts Brindisi (La Traviata)

    Artist: Jung Soo Yun

  • Image for Toby Stafford-Allen

    Toby Stafford-Allen Di Provenza Il Mar (La Traviata)

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo

  • Image for Camilla Roberts

    Camilla Roberts Vissi D'arte (From Tosca)

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Eugene Onegin Waltz

  • Image for Jung Soo Yun

    Jung Soo Yun Nessun Dorma (from "Turandot")

    Artist: The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner Prelude - The Meistersingers

  • Image for The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner

    The BBC Concert Orchestra Cb. Johannes Wildner FNIMN Closing Sig Tune

  • Camilla Roberts

    Camilla Roberts

    Soprano Camilla Roberts sings a selection of Operatic greats from La Wally, Tosca and La Traviata.
    She was an Associate Artist at Welsh National Opera where her roles included MICAELA Carmen, DIANE Iphigenie en Tauride, BLUMENMÄDCHEN Parsifal and LAURA Iolanta, which she also performed at the BBC Proms.

    More About Camilla
  • JUNG SOO YUN

    JUNG SOO YUN

    We welcome South Korean Tenor Jung Soo Yun on his Friday Night is Music Night debut. Hailed in 'Opera Now' Magazine as a Rising Star‚ he was First prize winner of the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition (September 2011)‚ Richard Tauber Prize (2010)‚ the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award (2010) and also at the Les Azuriales Opera competition in France (2010).

    More about Jung Soo Yun
  • TOBY STAFFORD - ALLEN

    TOBY STAFFORD - ALLEN

    Singer Toby Stafford-Allen will be performing a selectionof Opera greats from Carmen, La Traviata and others. He has established himself in the front rank of young British cavalier baritones. A charismatic and inventive stage performer, he has made his name in two standout Mozart roles: Guglielmo and Papageno.

    More About Toby
  • Conductors' Corner

    Conductors' Corner

    Conductor Johannes Wildner conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra with Orchestra Leader Cynthia Fleming.

    Born in Austria in 1956, Johannes Wildner studied conducting, violin and musicology and has established himself as one of the foremost Austrian conductors.
    His years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. After positions as Chief Conductor of Prague State Opera (1994-95) and First Permanent Conductor of Leipzig Opera (1996-98), Johannes Wildner was the General Music Director of the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia (Germany) for ten years from 1997. He has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London with effect from September 2010.
    He regularly appears as a guest conductor in major opera houses such as the Tokyo New National Theatre, the Arena di Verona, Leipzig, Volksoper Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Prague and Zagreb State Opera, and with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo, the MDR Symphony, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Danish National Symphony Copenhagen, the China Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

    More About Johannes
  • Friday Night Interval with Dave Pearce

    Friday Night Interval with Dave Pearce

    Opera and classical music are synonymous with drama, heightened emotions and passion - tempestuous and tormented. Love pure and driven, rivalry, jealousy, ambition – these huge themes are at the heart of so many of the works. It’s no surprise the music has impressed generations of musicians. Queen, Faithless, Charlotte Church, Muse, Katherine Jenkins, Josh Groban - they have taken opera into their hearts, and songs. Radio 2 Dance DJ Dave Pearce talks to music producer, dance and trance specialist Darren Tate (aka Jurgen Vries), Strictly Come Dancing music maestro Dave Arch and X Factor winner and singer Joe McElderry to explore the appeal classical has with contemporary music. Featuring tracks from Enigma, Charlotte Church, Il Divo and Queen.

    More About Dave
  • Smile...

    Smile...

    Camilla Roberts and Jung Soo Yun after a their fantastic performances live at the Mermaid.

  • A Dapper Duo....

    A Dapper Duo....

    Baritone Toby Stafford-Allen delighted the audience on Friday evening as did the wonderful Ken Bruce presenter extraordinaire.

  • Top Team...

    Top Team...

    From L-R Presenter Ken Bruce, Conductor Johannes Wildner, Soprano Camilla Roberts, Producer Bridget Apps, Baritone Toby Stafford-Allen and Tenor Jung Soo Yun take a moment to pose for a photo after a wonderful show...

  • An Insiders View by AV Technician Sophie McLelland

    An Insiders View by AV Technician Sophie McLelland

    Friday Night is Music Night is by all accounts a bit of an institution at BBC Radio 2, however I must confess that until I started working at The Mermaid I had never heard of it; now I love it. As a technician, it’s my job to make sure that the stage is ready for the crew when they arrive at 8am on a Friday morning to put up the staging, unload the instruments and cable up oodles of microphones! I talk to the producer and orchestra production manager about who the guests are and where they are likely to stand to sing (or play) and then adjust the lights accordingly – of course not forgetting a spot for Ken! Rehearsals start at 3pm and after talking about reserved seating and timings with assistant producer Janine, I can usually sit back, relax and appreciate the music.
    When rehearsals finish at 6.30pm, there is an hour to run round and complete any missed jobs or anything that might have come up in rehearsals regarding the lighting or the stage in general. The piano gets re-tuned and before I know it the audience is streaming in for a night of entertainment. Two hours later and the show is over for another week and after loading out all of the equipment (whatever the weather) and waving off the lorries, its midnight and time to head home.

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