The tables are about to be turned on Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood as he’s the one who’s judged – not on his dancing – but on his conducting skills as part of the BBC’s Maestro At The Opera.
Revel Horwood will be joined by DJ Trevor Nelson, comedian Josie Lawrence and broadcaster and academic Professor Marcus du Sautoy in the new three-part BBC2 series – a spin-off of the original 2008 show, Maestro. The participants will compete to conduct a complete act of an opera performed on stage at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
Each contestant will be assigned a mentor who will help develop their skills and teach them about working with orchestras, soloists, choruses and how an opera is staged.
The participants will need to impress conductor Sir Mark Elder, soprano Danielle de Niese and orchestral musician Dominic Seldis, who will preside as judges. However, it is the orchestra itself which will have the final say.
Contestants who took part in the previous series of Maestro in 2008 (which wasn’t at the opera) included Blur’s Alex James, presenter Katie Derham, Clive Anderson and Sue Perkins, who won the show.
Controller of BBC2, Janice Hadlow, said: “Having pipped Goldie to the conductor’s podium in series one, it’s time for Sue Perkins to pass her champion’s baton to a brand new set of personalities who face a very different challenge. I look forward to seeing whether their natural musical ability will be enough to help them master the skills needed in the new series, which will take viewers right to the heart of one of the world’s greatest opera institutions.”
Tony Hall, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “It’s a wonderful way of bringing opera to BBC audiences. It’s going to be a fascinating journey watching the Maestros meet the challenges of opera in the thick of a working theatre and I wish each of them all the best!”