Podcast: Being Hamlet - Allan Clayton and Samuel West in conversation

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This summer Glyndebourne hosts the world premiere of a newly commissioned opera based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, by composer Brett Dean and librettist Matthew Jocelyn.

In this bonus episode of the Glyndebourne podcast, we eavesdrop on a specially-recorded conversation between actor Samuel West, who played Hamlet to great acclaim at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and British tenor Allan Clayton who takes up the role of the Danish Prince at Glyndebourne this summer.

Listen as they discuss the challenges and rewards of performing the role of Hamlet, the need to excite people anew with a familiar story, and how staging an opera compares with putting on a play.

Conversation recorded in February 2017. Presenter: Katie Derham. ​​Produced by Katherine Godfrey for Whistledown Productions for Glyndebourne Festival 2017. Extracts from Brett Dean’s From Melodious Lay, commissioned and recorded by BBC Radio 3 and given its world premiere by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joshua Weilerstein at the Barbican on Tuesday 1 November 2016. With thanks to the Barbican Centre and the Corporation of London. Music is courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited.


Hamlet opens at Glyndebourne Festival 2017 on 11 June.

The Glyndebourne podcast features a growing library of episodes that delve into the music and magic of some of the greatest operas ever written – find more episodes here.