Armida - World Premiere on Channel Four

Armida - World Premiere on Channel Four
© Margaret Williams
High-powered newsreader and journalist Armida is becoming increasingly exhausted with her job. Successful army man Rinaldo is also having doubts about his vocation. Can both of them find a sense of fulfilment in the middle of a war zone?

Armida, a 50-minute musical film written by Judith Weir in collaboration with director Margaret Williams, receives its world premiere on Christmas Day at 6.35pm on Channel Four television.

The opera borrows its storyline from the 16th century epic by Tasso, previously used by Lully, Gluck, Handel, Haydn, Rossini and Dvorák amongst others. The scene is brought thoroughly up-to-date by its location; an army base outside a besieged city, as observed by a television news crew. Both the music and the film were recorded on location in Morocco early in 2005.

Preceding the premiere broadcast of the opera will be a new documentary - Judith Weir: Armida and Other Stories. This looks at a wide variety of Weir’s work and features The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Ulrich Heinen, The Schubert Ensemble, storyteller Vayu Naidu and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Talise Trevigne, Kenneth Tarver, and the Continuum Ensemble.

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