Born in Germany but a naturalised French citizen, Offenbach did more than any other composer to create and popularise the genre of operetta.
Having inherited the title of "The Waltz King" from his father (also called Johann Strauss) Strauss's music went on to conquer the world. We look at the life and music of the composer of "The Blue Danube"
The Strauss Family may have dominated musical life in 19th century Vienna, but other composers also wrote many beautiful waltzes and operettas. We look at the golden age of Viennese music.
Sullivan (and many of his contemporaries) believed he would be remembered by posterity for his serious compositions, and his work with Gilbert was just a passing fad. How wrong can you be! It is only recently that his work without Gilbert has been reassessed, and we look at examples of both.
John Philip Sousa is renowned for his marches, but he wrote much more than that - dance music, waltzes, musical tone poems, even operettas. This affectionate portrait looks at the life and music of Sousa and shows that he wasn't just "The March King"!
If the Strausses were the kings of the golden age of Viennese music, one man can be said to be their main successor in what is known as the Silver Age, and that is Franz Lehar, composer of the most popular operetta of all time, The Merry Widow. We will hear some of the sumptuous melodies of this most sensual of composers, and the voice that brought them to life, Richard Tauber.
The partnership of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan was one of the most successful in operatic history. Their works are still regularly performed over 100 years later. This is the story of how they met, and came to work together - although it wasn't always plain sailing! Illustrated with examples from many of their operas.