Sams At The Opera

Jeremy Sams presents a personal selection of operatic delights - familiar and unfamiliar, sublime and ridiculous. Each of the 15 programmes takes as its launching pad an idea from the previous Saturday's `Opera on 3'.


01Men Of The Cloth19980406

Verdi's clergyman-hero Stiffelio sparks off a parade of priests in opera - pagan, Christian and non-Christian - with music from Mozart to Musorgsky via Rossini, Verdi and Gilbert and Sullivan.

02Just Between Ourselves19980413

Hans Sachs in Wagner's `Die Meistersinger' - who could never quite tell Eva he loved her - sparks off a whole set of secrets: from `Nessun dorma' to `The Merry Widow' via Handel, Janacek, Sondheim and Gilbert and Sullivan.

03Do They Mean Us?19980420

EllIan Macgregor - one of the heroine's many alter egos in `The Makropulos Case' - inspires a round-up of operatic Britons in operas by non-Britons. Featuring music by Handel, Mozart and Ravel, kings and queens from Rossini, Donizetti and Saint-Saens, and Verdi's `Falstaff'.

04Flora And Fauna19980427

A bouquet of operatic numbers, from flower maidens in Parsifal, to leafy shades in Handel's Xerxes.

05Fathers And Daughters19980504

From the obedient to the wilfully rebellious (the daughters); from the domineering to the frankly hopeless (the fathers).

From Handel to Puccini, with pride of place given to Verdi, whose operatic father/ daughter relationships explore the deepest recesses of human emotions.

06All In The Cards19980511

Jeremy Sams deals out operatic scenes from the pack, from Verdi's `La Traviata', Puccini's `Fanciulla del West' and Stravinsky's `Rake's Progress'.

07The Devil You Know19980518

Mephistopheles and other inhabitants of the nether regions, both serious and comic.

08La Serenissima19980525

This programme focuses on the romantic city of Venice, site of the first public opera house, scene of many major operatic first performances and setting for many other operas. Music includes works by Monteverdi, Verdi, Britten and Offenbach.

09Let's Talk About The Weather19980601

Chabrier, Janacek, Rameau and Rossini are among the composers in some of whose operas the weather plays an important part.

10The Oldest Profession19980608

Prostitutes have been something of an obsession with male opera composers and librettists down the ages. Including Monteverdi's Poppea, Berg's Lulu, Verdi's La traviata, and the nieces in Britten's `Peter Grimes'.

11Going Places19980615

This week, Verdi's `I masnadieri' performed by the itinerant Royal Opera in Baden Baden, sparks off a journey through operatic travels.

12An Afternoon Of Fauna19980622

Gavin Bryars's `Dr Ox's Experiment' inspires an operatic menagerie - flies, frogs, cats, dogs and a plethora of birds and foxes.

13Painting And Sculpture19980629

Mozart, Puccini and Rameau are among the composers in some of whose operas the visual arts play significant parts.

14Island Magic19980706

Naxos, Tahiti and Robinson Crusoe's island are just some of the isolated pieces of land featured in operas by Richard Strauss, Bernstein, Offenbach and others.

15 LASTEntirely For Pleasure19980713

For the final programme of the series, Jeremy Sams presents a sequence of excerpts from among his own favourites. They range across the centuries, from Monteverdi in 1642 to music which Michel Legrand composed last year.