One Winter's Afternoon

Episodes

First
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
2013051920131208

As part of BBC Radio 3's Wagner 200, One Winter's Afternoon tells the story of the great operatic rivalry between Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner in the year marking the bicentenary of their births. In real life, the two great composers never met.

Taking as its starting point the death of Wagner, the play travels between two time frames as it explores key moments in their lives, and in imaginary conversations between them about the struggles of creativity.

After the triumphant reception of his masterpiece Aida, Verdi has been coaxed out of retirement to write one more work, Otello, but he is struggling with it. As a voice inside Verdi's head, Wagner continues to taunt him, making him fear that Wagner will be remembered as the greater composer. The complex love lives of both composers illustrate how Wagner's ebullient and insensitive nature contrasted with Verdi's angst and more introverted temperament. The recollection of jealous passion does in the end serve to unblock Verdi in his creative despair.

The play explores - not without comedy - ageing and creativity, artistic loves and differences, the approach of death and the struggle against it bringing alive the texture of 19th-century Europe, its cultural and political influences.

Sound Design: David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown

A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 3.

20130519

As part of BBC Radio 3's Wagner 200, One Winter's Afternoon tells the story of the great operatic rivalry between Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner in the year marking the bicentenary of their births. In real life, the two great composers never met.

Taking as its starting point the death of Wagner, the play travels between two time frames as it explores key moments in their lives, and in imaginary conversations between them about the struggles of creativity.

After the triumphant reception of his masterpiece Aida, Verdi has been coaxed out of retirement to write one more work, Otello, but he is struggling with it. As a voice inside Verdi's head, Wagner continues to taunt him, making him fear that Wagner will be remembered as the greater composer. The complex love lives of both composers illustrate how Wagner's ebullient and insensitive nature contrasted with Verdi's angst and more introverted temperament. The recollection of jealous passion does in the end serve to unblock Verdi in his creative despair.

The play explores - not without comedy - ageing and creativity, artistic loves and differences, the approach of death and the struggle against it bringing alive the texture of 19th-century Europe, its cultural and political influences.

Wagner... Kenneth Cranham

Verdi... Paul Rhys

Giuseppina... Kate Buffery

Ricordi... Clive Merrison

Boito... Nicholas Boulton

Cosima... Lydia Leonard

Stolz... Zalie Burrow

Liszt... Scott Handy

Minna... Emily Bruni

Mathilde... Clare Corbett

Mariani... Sean Baker

Ludwig... Mark Straker

Waiter... Christopher York

Pianist: Will Bartlett

Sound Design: David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown

Writer: Guy Meredith

Director: Cherry Cookson

A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 3.