BBC Radio 3 is to broadcast every opera by Wagner, Verdi and Britten throughout 2013 - 140 hours of music - in celebration of the composers’ anniversary years. The station will broadcast recordings and live performances from opera houses including The Met, Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Vienna State Opera, La Scala and from the Aldeburgh Festival on Saturday’s ‘Opera on 3’ and Thursday’s ‘Afternoon on 3 Opera Matinee’ slots.
There will also be programmes investigating the composers' works and lives to be transmitted around their anniversary dates on shows including ‘Music Matters’, ‘The Essay’, ‘Sunday Feature’, ‘CD Review’ and ‘Drama on 3’.
Radio 3’s Verdi focus began yesterday (January 6) with ‘Viva Verdi’. This marked the start of the composer’s anniversary month, which will feature transmissions of his five operas - I Lombardi, I Vespri Siciliani, Simon Boccanegra, Il Trovatore and Un Giorno di Regno.
The first Benjamin Britten opera to be broadcast will be English National Opera’s 2012 production of Billy Budd on January 26, followed by Peter Grimes, live from the Aldeburgh Festival (Jun 7), and Gloriana live from the Royal Opera House (June 29).
Transmissions of Wagner’s operas include Parsifal, with Jonas Kaufmann in the title role (March 2), Das Rheingold (April 6), Die Walküre (April 13), Siegfried (April 20) and Götterdämmerung (May 11), all live from the Met, as well as Lohengrin, broadcast live from Welsh National Opera (May 26).
Each opera broadcast will be introduced by a BBC Radio 3 Opera Guide, which will be available to download for free from the station’s website after the performance.