Classical 91.5

Operas from the BBC and European Union

Seasonal, Saturdays at 1:00 p.m.

Classical 91.5 is proud to work in partnership with the WFMT Radio Network, the European Broadcasting Union and the BBC in bringing seven opera productions from some of the United Kingdom’s pre-eminent companies to this year’s opera series.

Throughout the summer, selections from The Royal Opera, Roundhouse, Scottish Opera, Opera North and Glyndebourne will be offered, including the May 2018 world premiere performance of George Benjamin’s third opera, Lessons in Love and Violence.

The line-up continues with The Royal Opera production of Verdi’s Macbeth, featuring Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth, and The Royal Opera-Roundhouse co-production of Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses, featuring Roderick Williams in the title role, and conducted by early music specialist Christian Curnyn. 

More tales of love and loss to follow in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin from the Scottish Opera and Verdi’s vendetta-filled Un Ballo in Maschera from Opera North.

Ways to Connect

Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera tells the tale of the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, who was killed due to a political conspiracy. While at a court masquerade ball, he was shot and died shortly after. Due to censorship issues and political tension in Italy and France,Un Ballo in Maschera which was originally set in Stockholm, was forced to be set in colonial era Boston. This censorship was one of the most frustrating artistic setbacks Verdi experienced during his lifetime. Since the early 1900's, when opera companies perform Un Ballo in Maschera, they commonly revert the setting to Stockholm, honoring Verdi's wishes and initial artistic intention.

Saffron Screen

6/23    George Benjamin:  Lessons in Love and Violence (in English)
    The Royal Opera    
Stéphane Degout    King
Barbara Hannigan    Isabel
Gyula Orendt        Gaveston / Stranger
Peter Hoare        Mortimer
Samuel Boden        Boy / Young King
Jennifer France        Witness 1 / Singer 1 / Woman 1
Krisztina Szabó        Witness 2 / Singer 2 / Woman 2
Andri Björn Robertson    Witness 3 / Madman