BBC Radio 3 to broadcast every opera by Wagner, Verdi and Britten

Performances from the Met, the Royal Opera House and English National Opera to be broadcast throughout 2013

Jonas KaufmannBBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting all the operas written by Wagner, Verdi and Britten in 2013 to celebrate the three composers’ anniversaries.

This year marks the centenary of Britten's birth, and the bicentenary of the births of  Wagner and Verdi.

Over 140 hours of opera will be aired by the station, from companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, the Royal Opera House in London, English National Opera, the Vienna State Opera and La Scala, Milan.

Highlights include five Verdi operas to be broadcast in January: I Lombardi (7 January, 6.30pm), I Vespri Siciliani (8 January, 6.30pm), Simon Boccanegra (10 January, 6.30pm), Il Trovatore (12 January, 6pm), and Un giorno di Regno.

English National Opera’s production of Billy Budd (26 January) will celebrate Britten’s centenary, along with a performance of Peter Grimes live from the Aldeburgh festival (7 June) and a rare performance of his opera Gloriana from the Royal Opera House (29 June).

Wagner’s last completed opera, Parsifal, comes live from the Met with Jonas Kaufmann (above) in the title role (2 March), followed by the entire Ring cycle during April and May.  Lohengrin will be aired live from Welsh National Opera conducted by Lothar Koenigs (26 May).

‘BBC Radio 3 will make 2013 a year to remember for all opera lovers,’ says Roger Wright, controller of Radio 3. ‘For the first time in the station’s history we will be broadcasting in one year all the operas of Verdi, Wagner and Britten, three masters of the genre, as well as providing unique contextual programming and downloadable guides for each work.’

Many of the operas will be broadcast in Radio 3's Opera on 3 Saturday evening programme and the Thursday Afternoon on 3 opera matinee slot. Other programmes tying in with these three composer anniversaries will include Music Matters, The Essay, Sunday Feature, CD Review and Drama on 3.

If you missed the introduction to the Verdi season, Viva Verdi, you can listen again on iPlayer.

Hazel Rowland