Rigoletto at ENO, Thea Musgrave

Tom Service and guests review Christopher Alden's new production of Verdi's Rigoletto at English National Opera. How will it compare with Jonathan Miller's classic production which has held the stage at ENO for so many years?

And as a major celebration of the work of Thea Musgrave gets under way at the Barbican in London, Tom meets the Scottish-American composer, now in her eighties, and finds out what drives her.

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45 minutes

Last on

Sat 15 Feb 2014 12:15



For the last thirty years English National Opera has featured Jonathan Miller’s 1950’s Mafioso rendering of Rigoletto in its repertoire. The company have now decided it’s time for a new production and have turned to the American director Christopher Alden to realise his vision of Verdi’s masterpiece. Alden sets the entire action in the gaming room of a nineteenth century gentleman’s club. Tom Service is joined by the theatre critic Michael Billington and the music critic Alexandra Coghlan to review ENO’s new production and see if it’s a worthy successor to Miller’s classic production.

More information: Rigoletto at ENO

Listen again to  In Tune (12th Feb) when Sean interviewed Quinn Kelsey who plays Rigoletto, and the conductor Graeme Jenkins




Continuing our series exploring musical connections, father and son – conductor Sir Neville and clarinettist Andrew Marriner - come face to face to talk about their influence on each other and the role music has played in their family life.

More information: Sir Neville Marriner’s 90th Birthday concert: 1st April Royal Festival Hall



This weekend the BBC Symphony Orchestra celebrates the 85th birthday of the Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave. Her expressive music has been inspired by everything from Turner landscapes to Scottish folk songs. She talks to Tom about the importance of her collaborations with great performers and how she’s still learning as a composer, even as she enters the second half of her ninth decade.

More information: BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Thea Musgrave: 15th February

Thea Musgrave



A problem which has been facing musicians (professional and amateur) for a long time now is the inconsistent policies and practices of airlines when it comes to taking instruments on planes - increased by tightened security controls following the terrorist attacks of 9/11and 7/7. Some players have paid for an extra seat so they can travel with their instrument next to them in the cabin – only to be told at check-in that the instrument must go in the hold. Others have been advised that they can take their instrument in the cabin with them – only if they remove them from their cases and fly with them on their lap or under the seat – completely invalidating their insurance policies. Tom talks to musician Jakob Lindberg  (the victim of a disastrous flight with his theorbo) and John Smith, General Secretary of The Musician’s Union as the news that the European Parliament has agreed a regulation regarding travelling with instruments for airlines to adhere to. This will now go in front of the European Council for the final vote next month.

More information: Musicians Union


Role Contributor
PresenterTom Service
Interviewed GuestThea Musgrave