Operas performed at one of the world’s top opera houses are to be made available on the BBC iPlayer for the first time. From 16 May operas broadcast from the Royal Opera House (ROH) during Radio 3’s Saturday evening programme Opera on 3 will be downloadable for up to seven days. First up in the eight-week-long series is a performance of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann.
The move is part of a general bid by the ROH to make opera more readily accessible and the BBC to increase its arts coverage. As part of the renewed contract, ROH productions will also be televised on BBC Four and BBC Two, starting this May with the broadcast of two innovative productions of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas involving dancers and singers. And plans later in the year include a new three-part BBC TV series Viva Opera Italia – a look at Italian opera presented by the ROH’s music director, Antonio Pappano.