Opera Profile


EMSCavalli's Giasone20100530

As part of the Opera on the BBC" season, the Early Music Show begins a monthly series celebrating baroque opera, with Catherine Bott looking at Francesco Cavalli's "Giasone".

The work was the only collaboration between playwright and librettist Giacinto Andrea Cicognini and Cavalli - one of the great musical pioneers of the genre.

Giasone became the most frequently performed opera of the 17th century and took its plot from the Greek myth of Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece.

Catherine Bott introduces the background and musical highlights to the work and talks to the conductor, René Jacobs and the counter-tenor Michael Chance, who sang the eponymous role of Giasone, in the recording of the opera from the 1980s, about the merits of Cavalli as an operatic composer.

Catherine Bott explores Francesco Cavalli's groundbreaking opera Giasone."

EMSLully's Armide20100717

Lucie Skeaping presents a profile of Lully's 17th Century operatic masterpiece "Armide" with French conductor Hugo Reyne highlighting some of its qualities and innovations.

Jean-Baptiste Lully almost single-handedly created French opera, and his Tragedie-Lyrique (tragic opera) "Armide" about a sorceress and her love for the valiant hero Renaud, was the culmination of a long and fruitful collaboration with librettist Philippe Quinault.

"Armide" was instantly recognised as a masterpiece, remarkable not only for its attractive music, and affective dramatic architecture, as for its genius in setting the French language to music, and the psychological depths portrayed by its characters.

As part of the BBC year long celebration of opera, and the Early Music Show's monthly profile of important Baroque masterworks, Lucie Skeaping examines "Armide" with contributions from Lully champion and conductor Hugo Reyne.

Key moments from the opera are performed from CD by Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale.

Lucie Skeaping presents a profile of Lully's 17th-century operatic masterpiece Armide.