Pappano’s Classical Voices is a series of four TV programmes that aired on the BBC last November. I’ve just rewatched it and I’m even more impressed than I was first time around. It’s fronted by Tony Pappano, the Royal Opera’s music director, and he comes across as committed, likeable and inquisitive. Each show features a different voice type and combines archive footage with interviews with contemporary singers. There’s tons of information on how different voice types developed and also a surprising amount of technical singing stuff. This may be a bit ho hum for professional musicians but for amateurs seriously interested in how singers do what they do it’s really interesting.
Historical singers featured range from Maria Callas and Kathleen Ferrier to Enrico Caruso and Tito Gobbi. Interviewees include Anna Netrebko, Felicity Palmer, Sarah Connolly, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel and John Tomlinson. There are many more in both categories. Other highlights include Tony Pappano taking a singing lesson from Thomas Allen.
I have no idea how one might lay hands on these shows as they are not available on DVD or iPlayer but if they do come your way, grab them.