BBC Arts Digital in collaboration with Tomorrow’s World will bring together science and opera in a series of experiments as part of the BBC Opera Season. Streamed live from Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry the experiments will reveal whether a tenor can shatter glass, the biological secrets behind their tremendous vocal power and how the body reacts to an operatic aria.

Across the season, which starts on 30 September, the BBC will work with 12 UK partners, including major cultural organisations and leading opera companies, with the shared vision to shine a spotlight on opera and engage the widest possible audience for the art form.

The season is part of a collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum’s blockbuster exhibition: Opera: Passion, Power and Politics – in partnership with the Royal Opera House.

Some of the biggest names in opera including Jonas Kaufmann, Sir Antonio Pappano, Danielle de Niese and Dame Felicity Palmer are joined by opera lovers such as Game of Thrones star Isaac Hempstead Wright, David Threlfall, Julian Barnes, Lucy Worsley and Katie Derham in a major BBC season which will see opera placed centre stage at the BBC across TV, Radio and Digital platforms.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall says: “I want to see a new, bolder approach to partnerships in the arts - to amplify the UK’s creative voice globally – and to collaborate, commission and create content in new ways. The opera season does just that. It’s creatively ambitious; it’s not without risk … that’s what makes it really exciting.”

Announced today:
BBC Arts Digital to curate digital opera festival, #OperaPassion to showcase of the best of opera being made in the UK today and to establish a nationwide opera network to encourage further partnerships, new collaborations and future audiences.
#OperaPassion to feature a day of live streaming on 19 October taking audiences behind the scenes of; the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Glyndebourne and the V&A. Supported by the British Council.
BBC Radio 3 to run an ‘Opera Vote’, allowing listeners to choose one of four operas they’d like to hear broadcast in full that night.
A collaboration between BBC Arts Digital and Garsington Opera uses the latest technology to give audiences an 360° immersive experience of their acclaimed People’s opera, Silver Birch written by Roxanna Panufnik and Jessica Duchen.
BBC Arts Digital to present a performance stream of Garsington’s celebrated Semele.
In a Radio 3 Music Matters special, the future of opera is discussed with Dame Felicity Palmer.

BBC Music will present new documentaries, one-off films and performance broadcasts across BBC Two and BBC Four as part of the season.

Highlights include:
BBC Two and Reef Television’s Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera, a two-part series featuring Sir Antonio Pappano, will explore the history and music of key opera cities.
Award-winning filmmaker John Bridcut will give unprecedented access to one of opera’s greatest living opera stars in BBC Four’s Jonas Kaufmann Tenor for the Ages.
BBC Four will broadcast acclaimed performances of the Royal Opera House’s Otello and Brett Dean’s Hamlet from Glyndebourne.

BBC Radio 3, the regular home of opera at the BBC, will present an enriched opera offering with special programmes alongside its weekly opera offering.

Highlights include;
All seven operatic works featured in the V&A’s exhibition broadcast in Radio 3’s Opera on 3 and Afternoon Concert.
The station’s flagship drive time show In Tune will broadcast live from the V&A on #OperaPassion day.
Familiar faces including David Threlfall, Julian Barnes, Garth Greenwell, Patricia Dunker and Rachel Cooke will discuss how they fell in love with opera in a special edition of The Essay.
Cultural historian Dr Alexandra Wilson will present new research into the 1920’s peratic scene in London whilst Sir John Tusa re-traces his journey through opera in two Sunday Features.


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