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Selina Cadell

Actress and director Selina Cadell talks to Michael Berkeley about her passion for opera and the music she has turned to in times of loss.

Selina Cadell is one of our most versatile and accomplished actresses - from French and Saunders to Chekhov on Broadway, and from Alan Bennett to Shakespeare, she brings humour and sensitivity to stage and screen. Michael Billington described her recent performance in Charlotte Jones’s play Humble Boy as ‘one of the best pieces of acting you’ll see anywhere'.

Instantly recognisable to millions as the infatuated neck-braced pharmacist in the hugely popular TV series Doc Martin, Selina has another string to her bow – as a director specialising in 18th-century drama and, particularly, opera. She talks to Michael Berkeley about how she coaches singers to become better actors and she chooses arias from operas she’s directed: Handel’s 'Arianna in Creta' and Stravinsky’s 'The Rake’s Progress', written in 1951 but set in Handel’s time.

Selina shares memories of her godfather Sir Ralph Richardson - and his acting tips – and we hear his beautiful reading of Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale. She chooses a song by Noel Coward in memory of her brother, the actor Simon Cadell, and she speaks movingly about the death of her husband and mother earlier this year, choosing Debussy’s 'La Mer' as a celebration of her husband’s love of the sea.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3

19 hours left to listen

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 20 Oct 2019 12:00

Music Played

  • Trad.

    O Waly Waly

    Performer: Natalie Burch. Singer: Robert Murray.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    No Word from Tom (The Rake's Progress)

    Singer: Cathryn Pope. Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
  • Noël Coward

    I Travel Alone

    Performer: Noël Coward.
  • Claude Debussy

    La Mer

    Orchestra: Orchestre national de France. Conductor: Daniele Gatti.
  • Elizabeth Poston

    Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

    Choir: King's College Cambridge Choir. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
  • Georg Frideric Handel

    Son qual stanco Pellegrin (Arianna in Creta)

    Singer: Theodora Baka.

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