Multimedia engagement with opera can be very useful for research purposes, particularly radio programmes and podcasts. Opera on TV, while no replacement for the ‘real thing’, can (like the cinema) provide a useful opportunity to catch international productions which you might otherwise miss.
Opera on TV
It’s rare that the BBC will show an opera on TV these days, but if you have Sky, Sky Arts often show operas from all over the world. Admittedly, Sky is not cheap, but if it’s already there for other reasons, why not use it to watch opera?
Opera on radio
Here, BBC Radio 3 remains the queen of programming, with plenty of opera and opera-related content:
- Opera on 3 regularly broadcasts live operas in full
- Composer of the Week often gives more detail on operatic composers, among others
- Building a Library sometimes focuses on a particular opera
Opera in podcast
Many opera houses produce podcasts as promotional material for particular productions, and the easiest way to find them is to search for the opera in which you are interested, and see what comes up. For more general research purposes:
- The BBC’s Radio 3 Opera Guides are always well-researched and informative
- BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time podcasts often focus on narratives or ideas relevant to the background of certain operas or composers (particularly Wagner)