Ladies' Man Of Opera, The

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20110421Composer Richard Strauss lived a long life crowded with splendid women.|But to the surprise of his friends he belonged to only one- his formidable wife, soprano Pauline de Ahna.|For Strauss's "other women" belonged to the illustrious gallery of heroines he would bring to the operatic stage, beginning with Freihild in Guntram.|Many of his heroines were already immortal in name, Salome, Elektra, Ariadne, Daphne, Helen of Troy.|Even his best male roles (Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos) were written for women.|Indeed all of Strauss' operas would celebrate the soprano voice, because he composed with his wife's voice in his ear.|In 2009 the actor, Michael Pennington, played Richard Strauss in the West End play, Collaboration.|Whilst acting out the Composer's life on the stage he became fascinated with Strauss' life and in particular his marriage.|In The Ladies' Man of Opera Michael Pennington goes on a journey through the music and letters of Strauss to discover the relationship that formed the bedrock of his musical achievements.|Examining the works of the composer he reveals the central role that Pauline played in his music and in doing so explores their enduring and eventful marriage.|Producer: Jo Meek|An All Out Production for BBC Radio 4