Orlando Figes - The Europeans

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0120190916

With the building of the railways and new technological advances, 19th Century Europe is hovering on the brink of great change. By exploring the love triangle between a famous opera singer, her husband-manager and a Russian novelist, Orlando Figes’ latest book charts the emergence of a cosmopolitan Europe.

The reader is Hugh Bonneville

Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard
Directed by Gemma Jenkins

The Europeans takes us back to the 19th century and tells the story of the intimate relationship which existed between opera superstar, Pauline Viardot, her husband and manager Louis Viardot and the Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev. Alongside their personal story The Europeans also tells of the role they played in Europe’s cultural renaissance. From the mid-19th century up until the outbreak of the First World War, Europe experienced a cultural revolution which stretched from the British Isles to Imperial Russia heralding in a new age of heady optimism. A thirst for literature, art and music flourished during this period bringing about a commercial demand that was facilitated by technology changes from the railways to the factory scale production of upright pianos.

Each of the five episodes focuses on a different stage of the Viardot’s and Turgenev’s relationship and a selection of the ways in which they and their work contributed to Europe’s evolving cultural landscape.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes' account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change.

0220190917

Hugh Bonneville continues to read from Orlando Figes’ account of a love triangle set against the backdrop of huge cultural change in 19th century Europe.

Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev turns his back on his homeland to follow opera singer, Pauline Viardot, to France.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard
Directed by Gemma Jenkins

Turgenev leaves Russia to follow his heart.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes' account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change.

0320190918

Hugh Bonneville continues to read from Orlando Figes’ account of a love triangle set against the backdrop of huge cultural change in 19th century Europe.

While Turgenev’s relationship with married opera singer, Pauline Viardot, intensifies, cosmopolitan aspirations falter as cries for revolution spread across the continent.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard
Directed by Gemma Jenkins

Cries for revolution spread across the continent.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes' account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change.

0420190919

Hugh Bonneville continues to read from Orlando Figes’ account of a love triangle set against the backdrop of huge cultural change in 19th century Europe.

Rumours swirl around Turgenev’s relationship with the married opera star, Pauline Viardot. He resumes his nomadic lifestyle. Everywhere he goes money is being made from this new cosmopolitan age.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard
Directed by Gemma Jenkins

Rumours swirl around Turgenev\u2019s relationship with the married opera star Pauline Viardot.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes' account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change.

0520190920

Hugh Bonneville continues to read from Orlando Figes’ account of a love triangle set against the backdrop of huge cultural change in 19th century Europe.

The Viardots and Turgenev settle in Baden-Baden, turning their home into an artistic haven, but growing tensions between Germany and France look set to disrupt their cultural idyll.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard
Directed by Gemma Jenkins

The Viardots and Turgenev create an artistic haven in Baden-Baden.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes' account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change.