Opera treat in shake-up

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast around 70 hours of opera by Richard Strauss next year as part of a shake-up of its schedule intended to help it make savings.

It will broadcast every opera by the German composer through the year to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth including some in a new Monday night slot to run alongside the existing live operas on Saturday nights.

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Free Thinking will run at 10pm three nights a week instead of four and planned episodes include programmes looking at subjects including contemporary Australia, Russian culture and a one-off dedicated to Charlie Chaplin’s classic film City Lights.

Topical magazine programme Music Matters, which looks at classical music, will get a regular weekly slot.