Shakespeare's Opera

A four-part survey of some of the many ways composers have taken Shakespeare's plays as the basis for music.


01Romeo And Juliet19970814

In the first programme, Peter Conrad sets out the Shakespearean framework by introducing stage versions of `Romeo and Juliet' by, among others, Berlioz, Bellini, Gounod, Prokofiev and Leonard Bernstein

02A Midsummer Night19970821

In the second programme, Peter Conrad introduces versions of `A Midsummer Night's Dream' by Purcell, Lampe, Britten and Mendelssohn, `Measure for Measure' by Wagner, `The Taming of the Shrew' by Hermann Goetz and Cole Porter, `The Comedy of Errors' by Isa Krejci and Rodgers and Hart, and `Much Ado about Nothing' by Stanford and Berlioz.


Peter Conrad goes in search of Shakespearean comedy and introduces versions of the Falstaff story as found in the Henry plays and `The Merry Wives of Windsor' by Salieri, Nicolai, Verdi, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Holst.

04 LASTThe Tragedies19970904

`Macbeth', `Othello', `Hamlet' and `King Lear' - and finds versions by Verdi, Rossini, Ambroise Thomas, Strauss, Wolfgang Rihm, Aribert Reimann and Shostakovich.