BBC explores ‘La Traviata’ script

2 April. BBC Radio4 from Milan.

On 2 April at 12.30 Italian time, lawyer and crime writer Frances Fyfield is joined by soprano Irena Lungu and musicologist and conductor Nigel Simeone to explore the manuscript of Verdi's enduringly successful opera La Traviata on BBC Radio4.

The handwritten score telling the tale of Violetta's noble humility amid the conventions and hypocrisy of 19th century Paris is held by the Ricordi Archive in Milan. With the permission of the Archive and their leading expert Gabriele Dotto, the team get to see the precision and brilliance of a score that contains some of the most familiar music ever to grace an opera stage.

There are also surprising omissions and examples of the striving of a perfectionist, Milan’s favourite composer Giuseppe Verdi.

The 30-minute programme is an episode in the series Tales from the Stave, tracking down the stories behind the scores of well-known pieces of music.

The broadcast will be available on the Radio4 website either live or, from shortly after transmission, from the archive.