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Tim Rice

Michael Berkeley's guests is lyricist Tim Rice. His selection of music includes works by Offenbach, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams, Sibelius, Malcolm Arnold and Britten.

Tim Rice has written the lyrics for some of the most successful musicals of our generation: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ... Jesus Christ Superstar ... Evita ... For 45 years he has been creating hit songs, collaborating first and famously with Andrew Lloyd Webber, then with Abba, Elton John, Freddy Mercury and Madonna. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, thanks to the success of his songs in Disney movies The Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. A three-time Oscar winner, he has been knighted for services to music.

In Private Passions, he talks to Michael Berkeley about the process of lyric-writing, about why it's an extraordinary experience to work with Elton John, and about what it is that makes a successful song lyric. He also reveals that his early ambition was to be a pop star, and that he started out as a singer - in fact, he recorded a single.

Music choices include a satirical operetta by Offenbach, Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vaughan Williams's London Symphony, The Swan of Tuonela by Sibelius, Malcolm Arnold's Peterloo Overture and Britten's arrangement of the folk song The Plough Boy. And Tim Rice ends by revealing which is his favourite musical of all - music his father introduced him to as a boy: My Fair Lady.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke

A Loftus Production for BBC Radio 3.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 26 Mar 2017 12:00


Music Played

  • Tim Rice

    That's My Story

    Ensemble: The Nightshift.
  • Jacques Offenbach

    Ah, que j'aime les militaires (La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein)

    Singer: Felicity Lott. Orchestra: Musiciens du Louvre Orchestra. Conductor: Marc Minkowski.
  • Traditional English

    The Plough Boy

    Performer: Benjamin Britten. Singer: Peter Pears. Music Arranger: Benjamin Britten.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    A Midsummer Night's Dream: Overture

    Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe. Orchestra: Orchestre des Champs‐Élysées.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    A London Symphony (3rd mvt: Scherzo)

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
  • Jean Sibelius

    The Swan of Tuonela

    Orchestra: Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Osmo Vänskä.
  • Malcolm Arnold

    Peterloo Overture

    Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Malcolm Arnold.
  • Frederick Loewe

    You Did It (My Fair Lady)

    Singer: Audrey Hepburn. Singer: Rex Harrison.


  • Sun 3 May 2015 12:00
  • Sun 26 Mar 2017 12:00

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