As the UK album charts are increasingly populated by classical crossover artists in the run-up to Christmas, Tom Service takes a look at the genre that has included names such as Mario Lanza, Emerson Lake and Palmer, the Three Tenors and Angelis. He asks if there is more to crossover than marketing and easy money. We asked what you thought about crossover and the response was fantastic: see what the messageboards thought
Director Francesca Zambello talks about her new production of Carmen at Covent Garden.
In this programme
The opera director, Francesca Zambello has embraced the challenge of finding a new vision for one of the great popular operas, Carmen, for the Royal Opera House's latest production. The last time she was at the ROH, Zambello's lead singer was Placido Domingo in the iconic role of Cyrano de Bergerac. This time, it's Anna-Katerina Antonacci who's singing the title role in a much more familiar work. Tom caught up with Zambello backstage at the ROH to talk with her, the choreographer Arthur Pita, and the designer Tanya McCallin to find out how they hope to make this new production a landmark staging for the opera house.
Carmen is at the Royal Opera House from 8th December 2006 until 3rd February 2007, and on BBC Radio 3's Opera on 3 on Tuesday 26th December 2006 at 7.30pm
Is crossover good or bad for classical music? When Music Matters posted this question on the Radio 3 messageboard, the response was huge.
Defining exactly what crossover is and where it came from is an incendiary issue, and the question of whether or not it fosters a new audience for classical music even more so.
For some, crossover is a crass record industry invention, but for others, it's the only way that classical music can survive, by competing in the popular marketplace.
The editor-in-chief of Gramophone Magazine, James Jolly, looks back at the historical origins of the genre in singing sensations Caruso and Mario Lanza. Richard Rodney Bennett shares his unique view on the subject. Sting, Anne Sofie von Otter, members of the Brodsky Quartet and Katherine Jenkins give the performers' perspective on crossover.
Tom is joined by the critic, Norman Lebrecht, and the Managing Director of Universal Classics and Jazz, Bill Holland, to assess the role that crossover artists have to play in the classical music world.
The debate continues .