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Female vigilantes; Verdi's women; Lucy Porter

The women unofficially fighting crime around the world; Verdi's operatic heroines; Comedian Lucy Porter; The Children in Need women's single. Presenter: Jenni Murray.

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58 minutes


  • Lucy Porter

    The comedian talks to Jenni about women in comedy

    Duration: 10:26

  • Female Bloggers Oversharing Online

    Kate Williams, editor of the Mumsnet bloggers network, joins Jenni to discuss

    Duration: 09:03

  • Female Vigilantes

    Why do women form vigilante groups and how are they viewed by their communities?

    Duration: 10:18

  • Verdi's Women

    A look at the women in Verdi’s life and the music he wrote for female voices

    Duration: 11:53

Verdi's Women

This week, Woman’s Hour is celebrating the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi – one of the giants of 19th century opera. Until his death in 1901, he dominated Italian opera and his beautiful Romantic music is as popular today as it was during his lifetime. The arias, in particular, have drawn audiences to opera theatres over the years as well as Verdi’s eye for theatrical spectacle, a gripping storyline and complex characters. Amongst these characters are some of opera’s most interesting roles for female singers….virgins and courtesans, princesses and slaves, witches and gypsies, mothers and daughters and a feisty quartet of Tudor townswomen in Verdi's final opera, Falstaff. On Tuesday, the conductor Jessica Cottis talked about Gilda, Rigoletto’s innocent daughter, on Wednesday, soprano Claire Rutter described the thrill of singing Aida at the Royal Albert Hall and on Thursday, Radio 3 presenter Catherine Bott took a look at the role of Violetta, the consumptive courtesan in La Traviata. Today, Jenni talks to Verdi scholar Susan Rutherford and music critic David Nice about the women in Verdi’s life and the music he wrote for female voices.   


Susan Rutherford’s ‘Verdi, Opera, Women’ is published by Cambridge University Press in November and her Radio 3 documentary - 'Verdi the Opera Director - the Composer's Other Artistic Side' - is broadcast on Saturday, 12th October. 

Female Vigilantes

The Red Brigade is a group of women in India who have formed a vigilante group to fight back against sexual molestation and violence. All of the women have been victims of an attack and they make it their business to humiliate men who perpetrate sexual violence. It is not the first female only vigilante group to form in India, the Gulabi or ‘Pink’ gang have received international recognition in their fight for gender and caste equality. So why do women form vigilante groups and how are they viewed by the communities in which they fight? Jenni is joined by Amana Fontanella-Khan, author of Pink Sari Revolution and Dr Atreyee Sen, an expert in female vigilante groups at the University of Manchester.



The Gulabi Gang

Radio 4 Book of the Week: The Pink Sari Revolution

Lucy Porter

The comedian Lucy Porter is best known for her bouncy, cheerful, feel-good comedy.  She’s a regular on television and radio panel shows and is a captain on Radio 4’s Act Your Age.  She’s appearing as part of the first ever UK Women in Comedy Festival in Manchester with her new show “Northern Soul”. 

Female bloggers oversharing online

On Tuesda On Tuesday this week, a post, and subsequent conversation thread, on one of the Mumsnet messageboards almost crashed its server. Since then, nearly 800 contributions have been made to the discussion which contains graphic and candid descriptions of how people clean themselves up after sex. Do women over-share when it comes to communicating online? Jenni is joined by Kate Williams, editor of the Mumsnet bloggers network and Lucy Porter joins the discussion. 


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray


  • Fri 11 Oct 2013 10:00

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