Jennifer Saunders to host Classic FM show | An introduction to opera

Jennifer Saunders to host Classic FM show

An introduction to opera

Jennifer Saunders is to host a new series about opera for Classic FM.

The seven-part show – which launches this Sunday – aims to ‘demystify’ the genre for novices.

It follows the challenge the Ab Fab creator took up last year, when she – alongside fellow comics Alex Brooker, Andi Osho, Caroline Quentin and Jayde Adams  – had to  learn the Nessun Dorma aria in just 24 hours and perform it live on television for Comic Relief.

Saunders said: ‘After dipping my toe into the world of opera last year for a wonderful charitable cause and the English National Opera, I’m thrilled to present this new series on Classic FM without having to actually sing’.

From Couch To Opera House (In 7 Weeks) is being made in association with the English National Opera, and each hour-long programme will focus on a different theme, ranging from love (satisfied and unrequited), conflict and turmoil to comedy.

The series will also span five centuries, from Claudio Monteverdi in the early 17th Century to Stephen Sondheim in the 20th.

Philip Noyce, Classic FM’s managing editor, said: ‘One of our central aims at Classic FM is to make classical music available and accessible to everyone, so I’m thrilled that we’re working with someone of Jennifer’s calibre to help us challenge any preconceptions about what opera is and who can enjoy it.

‘Our series will inform, it will entertain, and it will pack an emotional punch – just like a night at the opera, in fact!’

The series launches at 9pm on Sunday as part of the programming commissioned to mark Classic FM’s 30th year. The station is available across the UK on 100-102 FM or digitally.

Here is the Nessun Dorma challenge: 

Published: 2 Mar 2022

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