Jennifer Saunders brings opera to Classic FM

Comedian Jennifer Saunders is joining Classic FM to host a new Sunday series, where she introduces listeners to the world of opera.

From Couch to Opera House (in 7 weeks), with the English National Opera, launches this Sunday, 6 March at 9pm.

This follows Jennifer’s opera challenge last March, where she teamed up with the English National Opera, as one of five comedians to learn the iconic aria Nessun Dorma in just 24 hours and perform it live on television for charity.

Across the seven programme series on Classic FM, Jennifer will demystify the genre to novice opera-goers – taking listeners by the hand from the moment they enter through the virtual opera house doors, through the foyer to finally settling in the Grand Circle for the anticipated performance.

Each hour-long programme will focus on a different theme, ranging from love (satisfied and unrequited), conflict and turmoil to comedy. With each, there will be a relevant and rich accompaniment of opera music spanning five centuries – from Claudio Monteverdi (early 17th century) to Stephen Sondheim (20th century).

Jennifer 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!”

 Philip Noyce, Classic FM’s Managing Editor, added: “It’s very exciting to be teaming up with Jennifer Saunders and the English National Opera for our new series From Couch to Opera House (in 7 weeks) in our special 30th anniversary year.

“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!”

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