Opera on 3: Donizetti’s Les Martyrs

Opera Rara and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment perform rare Donizetti

TV & Radio Information
BBC Radio 3
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 18:15


Donizetti’s 19th-century Italian opera, Poliuto tells the story of a Christian martyr who choses to be eaten by lions rather than renounce his faith. Deemed morally unacceptable due to its religious themes, the work was banned by the King of Naples shortly before its debut performance. As a result, Donizetti rewrote the opera in French and presented it to the more liberal Parisian public under the new name, Les Martyrs

The opera soon disappeared from common repertoire due to its difficulty and the lavish staging requirements, and has not been heard often since. This concert performance, recorded last week, offers a rare chance to hear the opera performed by Opera Rara and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the baton of Sir Mark Elder and starring Michael Spyres. 



• Artist interview: Michael Spyres


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