Victoria Nick Robinson Lady Macbeth Danielle Denise Claudio Monteverdi Carole King Antonio Papa Albert Venice Stalin London Figaro Verdi Thailand Strauss Salameh Mozart Leningrad Italy Handel

Best Of Today 2017-09-29:11:54.00
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  • Listening to a podcast from the today programme on B.B.C. radio four passion power and politics.

  • That's the title of a major exhibition about what else but Opera, it opens at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London tomorrow, and he's in collaboration with the Royal Opera House in the baby see traces the story of Opera through fuel for centuries, investments, visitors will listen to music, as they walk through paintings instruments costumes, films, theatre props there, take them from the Baroque, all the way to the contemporary, and that's exactly what our special correspondent Jim knocked he did in the company of the soprano Danielle Denise his report begins as the exhibition does with her singing the music of Claudio Monteverdi from sent seventeenth century Venice, where the story of Opera began.

  • Well, it is the first piece that took your medical story was, and made it into more than just tableaux in vignettes, that was a very different thing.

  • For the time we know up so well.

  • Now, but they didn't at the time, they didn't understand that form people move through this exhibition and they see wonderful artefacts from Venice in this seventeenth century, we go past the painting that was done in Caravaggio's time, and we eventually moved forward to London and handle the premier of the renowned because Handel was a huge theatrical star in the early eighteenth century in this city.

  • I always Try to acquit him for people who don't know our prayers.

  • It's sort of the equivalent of Carole King of their great songwriter, and he was the most famous song hit writer of his time.

  • We turned the corner.

  • Now, literally in the exhibition to a later period.

  • In the eighteenth century.

  • Seventeen eighty six, the year in which, for the first time, people had, and sort of Mozart's, the marriage of Figaro.

  • Here's the music, Director of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Papa to conduct Mozart's the marriage of Figaro is one of the great joys for any conductor, it is full of intrigue.

  • We need a character called kettle Beano, he's kind of a page.

  • Boy, but he's in love with everybody.

  • He's a teenager hormones are raging, and when we meet him his first star, it's just breathless on top, you've got a sort of got of lunch, there would be four got that's all looking up, you see how much goes from soft, so what do we see in front of us here, let's speak to the curator twig Bailey, we're looking at at the piano that Mozart played when he composed don Giovanni, but his fingers have been on those Keith, it's very exciting.

  • It's quite a prickly moment as metals in an eighteenth century salon, it feels as the world that he inhabited.

  • What's the kind of atmosphere that you've tried to create around the exhibition very distinct feelings.

  • In each room you kind Of hit with the impact of the musical moments of Opera leads talking about being hit by something, let's joined just heavy Verdi, well, they're the chorus of Hebrew slaves from Verdi's Nabucco, and we're in the heart here.

  • Daniel of Italian Opera at its absolute peak going in tandem with the great political movements of the Middle of the nineteenth century in Italy.

  • And it was a time of visceral excitement in the theatre as well.

  • I mean, it was Opera was changing a lot effect, we think of Opera or something that's really stuck in the past, I think people who don't know about Opera seem, there is something historical and actually Opera has been probably the soundtrack to history, in a way that other genres of music have either been present and then died out up, he's the one constant, there has stayed in the last one hundred as we go on just round the corner.

  • Here, we're stepping into a different world, unfit, I think, is you go through this exhibition mean, you are invited to feel like you're watching it from the inside.

  • Verses on the wrist as watching on the outside, and you felt the intimacy of their Baroque period, and then you felt this sort of luxury us listen away have motored to Thailand.

  • Now we've come to something a little bit more open a little bit more bold very bold musically, because we go to rehearse Strauss and the premiere of Salameh.

  • And that was really the sounding board for a new century of music, talking about the changes we can see a great read hammer and sickle there, and that leads us inevitably to Leningrad and to Shostakovich.

  • And we can see him thundering away on the piano in great style.

  • There are in a in a piece of film, you can absolutely get this energy of Shostakovich.

  • At this point, this clip.

  • He's composing he's frantically playing the piano composing smoking, and you get a sense of this young man just at of beginning of his career, full of all this passion and the premiere of chosen Lady Macbeth of my sense was the one that caused style them to denounce him because, after said it was a piece of rubbish or Stalin didn't like it.

  • So that was that, and put all Shostakovich, you know, a genius, had to go back and start again.

  • He never wrote another Opera after that point, and it was hugely popular with Russian audiences and already popular internationally before Stalin saw it as, it's a very poignant piece, as we get to the end of this Daniel would still moves seem about that mixture of music and drama, nothing will ever take the place of the live that theatrical experience.

  • So, you know this, this will hopefully give people the closest thing to it, they're going to feel the sound kind of come over them, and hopefully that just entices them And makes them want to get into the theatre.

  • I'm Nick Robinson and on my political thinking podcast, or try to give you something that you might not get even listening to the today programme pulling the curtain back a bit on politics, no spin, no sound bites no lime, to take just political thinking.