Reef Television has been commissioned to produce a landmark music film for BBC Two about Verdi’s opera La Traviata for June 2015. La Traviata and the Women of London will tell the story of how La Traviata confronted Victorian audiences in London with one of the most challenging social problems of the day – prostitution – and the legacy this had for society as a whole.
This new documentary follows on the success of Reef’s award-winning drama documentary Messiah at the Foundling Hospital which played on BBC Two over Easter 2014. It will once again be presented by the historian Professor Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service, who will lift the lid on the social history and music respectively. The film will include excerpts of the opera specially staged for the film, and Reef Television have engaged Opera North to help produce this music.
The commission for BBC Two was announced by the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall at Sadler’s Wells on Wednesday 14 January as part of the BBC’s Year of Song and Dance which includes a raft of new commissions covering music and dance in 2015.
“La Traviata remains the most popular opera in the world and its tunes are almost like hit singles”, said Ben Weston, Head of Specialist Factual at Reef Television. “But what most people don’t know is the profoundly shocking nature of its story for audiences of that time. We’re thrilled to be working for BBC Two once again to bring that amazing story to life”.