Arts Channel

ARTS CHANNEL – Monday 22 December, 8.00pm

Franz Lehár’s “Die Lustige Witwe” is reputed to be one of the most famous operettes in the world. Under the direction of the French Jerome Savary’s the “Merry Widow” sparkles. At the first staging of this production at the Opera-Comique in Paris (Octobre 2005) the singers appeared to be having as much fun as the audience. The Austrian Maestro Manfred Honeck presents his musical view on this operette.

Classical Music Performance!

Sunday 14 December, 9.00pm on ARTS CHANNEL

Mahler felt himself to be a ‘tone poet’ and made it quite clear that personal experience was the basis for his music. He emphasised on a number of occasions that his first symphony was autobiographical in conception. He gave the work the title ‘Titan” and called the first part ‘From Days of Youth’ and the second ‘Commedia Humana’. In the autograph of the symphony the movements bear the following titles: ‘Spring and No End’, ‘Full Sail’, ‘Funeral March in Callot’s Manner’, and ‘Dall’inferno Al Paradiso’. Christoph Eschenbach and Orchestre de Paris continue with this thrilling reading of their Mahler cycle which they began with his 2nd symphony.

Monday 24 November
8.00pm on ARTS CHANNEL

The Mysteries is a spectacular African version of the English Medieval Chester Mystery Plays. These timeless Biblical stories are brought to life through exhilarating songs, dance and heart-breaking drama. It is both passionate and uplifting. An altogether stunning piece of theatre that breathes fresh life into some of the greatest stories ever told. In 2001, this South African company’s first two productions, The Mysteries and Carmen opened at Wilton’s Music Hall in London and within a day of the first reviews appearing both had sold out. Over the next twelve months the company became an international hit, touring festivals in Australia and America, as well as a sell-out run in the West End. Rarely in the world of theatre does a company appear to such instant and universal acclaim.

“A SPECTACULAR PIECE OF THEATRE. It puts the world on stage and squeezes tears of sorrow, joy and laughter along the way.” Time Out

“MOVING, INVENTIVE, BEAUTIFUL. You feel that you have died and gone to heaven.” Daily Telegraph

It is impossible not to be swept away by this DRAMATIC DYNAMITE. Each story is a miracle of ebergy, invention and humour.” Evening Standard

“THE MOST MAGNIFICENT AND MOVING EVENT OF THE YEAR.” Observer.

Thursday 27 November
9.00pm on ARTS CHANNEL

Loosely based on Choderlos de Laclos’ controversial 1782 novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses “Year of the Lion” is a provocative full-length dance drama especially created for television. Set to an original score, the film blends dance, music and drama in exploring the lives of a contemporary married couple as they play games with each other’s desires and infidelities with tragic repercussions.

Friday 28 November
9.00pm on ARTS CHANNEL

For 50 years Harold Pinter has been at the centre of theatrical life not just in the UK, but all over the world. It is hard to over-estimate the impact of his work. His 29 plays are continually produced with undimmed enthusiasm by school students and the great directors and actors alike. Director Harry Burton invited Pinter to participate in a master class with some actors and observers. The film is an attempt to capture something of the collaborative spirit that makes working with him a very special experience.

ARTS CHANNEL – Friday 21 November, 9.00pm

As this companion docudrama to Kidnapped reveals, the true-life adventures of author Robert Louis Stevenson often outdid the escapades of his famous fictional creations. A sickly provincial middle-class boy, destined to follow in his family’s engineering dynasty, Stevenson somehow managed to break free to live a life of travel and unbridled imagination. For much of his twenties he rebelled, living a Bohemian life across the world with a fascinating band of misfits and troubadours, in search of the adventures that would provide the inspiration for his stories. He died in Samoa aged just 44, leaving behind three of the world’s most memorable classics: Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Dramatisations of Stevenson’s extraordinary life form the narrative backbone of the film, backed up by photographs, interviews with experts and, of course, his enduring literary legacy.

ARTS CHANNEL – Sunday 16 November, 8.00pm

For the opening concert of the Salzburg Festival 2008 there are two extraordinary artists meet the legendary Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Great Festival Hall: Daniel Barenboim, “one of the few musicians in the world today who could accurately be described as ledgendary” (The Times) and Pierre Boulez, the most significant French composer of his generation, as well as a noted conductor and music theorist who championed the work of 20th-century composers. The programme includes Maurice Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales, Béla Bartók, Konzert für Klavier und Orchester Nr. 1 Sz 83 and Igor Strawinsky “The Firebird” (complete version 1910).

ARTS CHANNEL – Monday 17 November, 8.00pm

The reopening of the historical Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, where Idomeneo was first performed at January 1781 is celebrated with a fascinating performance of Mozart’s famous opera seria, composed by him when he was 24 years old. Kent Nagano conducts the Bayerisches Staatsorchester. Stage Director is Dieter Dorn. As Idomeneo acts John Mark Ainsley, one of Britain’s most prolific tenors. Juliane Banse (“formidable … winging effortlessly and musically into the high register, ice-cold but burning with pent-up emotions and questions.” New York Times) is Ilia and Annette Dasch, one of the most promising new talents of the younger generation of singers, sings the Electra.

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Rash

ARTS CHANNEL – Thursday 20 November, 9.00pm

RASH is a contemporary story of modern urban Australia and the artists who are making it a living host for illegal artwork called ‘street art’. This feature length documentary explores the cultural value of unsanctioned public art, and graffiti’s contribution to public dialogue

ARTS CHANNEL – Friday 21 November, 8.00pm

Picturing Mary is a stunning new high-definition documentary that explores how artistic images of the Virgin have reflected a variety of traditions, devotional practices and cultures across the globe. The one-hour program takes viewers on an artistic journey through history from the earliest times to the present day, offering a visually stunning array of art from twelve locations in eight different countries. The documentary is narrated by actress Jane Seymour and features quotations read by actor James Keach. Almost all of the artworks featured in Picturing Mary were filmed in situ, in the original settings where they were intended to be viewed in Europe, Africa, America, and Asia, just as they were hundreds of years ago. Those settings include the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa inVenice, Italy, where we find one of the greatest paintings of the Venetian Renaissance, Titian’s 22-foot-high “Assumption. In Bruges, Belgium, Jan van Eyck used what was then a new medium – oil painting – to astonishing effect on full size pictures of Mary. In the Dutch city of Amsterdam, Rembrandt van Rijn created hundreds of etchings, prints and drawings, establishing himself as the greatest illustrator of Scripture ever. Devoted to realism, Rembrandt depicts Mary in “Death of the Virgin” not as the lovely youth often seen, but as a sick old woman. Through the use of the latest widescreen high definition technology, from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, to Istanbul, Ethiopia, and beyond, Picturing Mary allows viewers to make virtual visits to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces.