Rhinegold Photo credit: Bill Cooper / Royal Opera House / ArenaPAL
Jonas Kaufmann in the Royal Opera House's Otello

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Kaufmann and du Pré featured in BBC autumn tv season

10:39, 24th August 2017

Classical music highlights on BBC television this autumn include a documentary on tenor Jonas Kaufmann and a programme marking the anniversary of Jacqueline du Pré’s death.

BBC Four will broadcast a number of programmes as part of a pan-BBC opera season, including Jonas Kaufmann, Tenor for the Ages, a 90-minute documentary by John Bridcut. The film follows Kaufmann over two years at a pivotal point in his career, showing his return to the stage after spending time away from performing, and includes performance segments, concert footage and interviews.

BBC Four will also air recorded performances of Keith Warner’s new production of Otello at the Royal Opera House, conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring Kaufmann in the title role, and Brett Dean’s new opera, Hamlet, which features Sir John Tomlinson, Sarah Connolly and Barbara Hannigan, with Allan Clayton as Hamlet.

BBC Two offerings include Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera, presented in collaboration with the V&A’s forthcoming autumn exhibition, Opera: Passion, Power and Politics. The series will see Worsley travel to six different cities across Europe to explore the role played by the art form in shaping in their history.

The BBC will also mark the 30th anniversary of the death of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who died on 19 October 1987, with an hour-long programme featuring archive footage and tributes of friends and colleagues, and a recently re-discovered performance of Dvořáks cello concerto from August 1968.

Jan Younghusband, head of tv commissioning for BBC Music, said: ‘Putting the artists centre stage, giving incredible access and celebrating the excellence of their craft, is my mission at BBC Music. BBC Four is the biggest commissioner of original classical music television programming and we have something for everyone to love, from cutting edge opera performance straight to your living room, to portraits of artistic excellence.’

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