THE B.B.C. ORCHESTRA
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS THE story of Masaniello deals with a revolt in Naples in 1647. Masaniello is the leader of the revolution, and his hatred of the oppressors is fanned by the wrongs of his sister, Fenella, at the hands of the Spanish Viceroy. The opera ends in tragedy for the chief characters. Masaniello goes out of his mind and is killed, and Fenella throws herself into the sea. An eruption of Vesuvius is a striking feature of the plot. Fenella, the heroine, is dumb, and the part was usually played by the chief dancer in the opera ballet, with gestures only. The opera is known abroad as The Dumb Girl of Portici. The Overture, according to tradition, is made up of tunes from the opera itself.
BEETHOVEN’S Prometheus music was composed in Vienna for a ballet in honour of the Empress. Designed by Vigano, the Diaghilev of that day -he was a nephew of Bocchrini -it was based on the old classical story. Two statues were brought to life not, as in the myth, by fire stolen from Olympus, but by the power of music, and were instructed by the Muses themselves in the arts of the dance, the drama, and music.
Beethoven composed not only the Overture, but an Introduction and sixteen other numbers, and, though we know that he did not think very highly of the music himself, posterity disagrees with him wholeheartedly about that.
Light Fare with a Hibernian Flavour
Production and Dialogue by GORDON MCCONNEL
' ... you'll find two cows lying down in a field, and the one that's standing up will be an Irish bull.' (Old Drawing-Room Story)
At the Piano, Doris ARNOLD
THE ORCHESTRA and the WIRELESS CHORUS
Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON
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