South Warwickshire orchestra performs on Radio 4’s The Archers

Members of the Orchestra of the Swan and the Pop-Up Orchestra who performed for The Archers radio serial.

Members of the Orchestra of the Swan and the Pop-Up Orchestra who performed for The Archers radio serial.

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Musicians from south Warwickshire have performed as part of one of the nation’s most popular radio serials, The Archers.

The Orchestra of the Swan were invited to perform during the 17,735th edition of the BBC Radio 4 show, which was recorded at a site near Wellesbourne.

Alongside touring opera company Pop-up Opera, the Stratford-based rorchestra played excerpts from Puccini’s La Boheme and Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte operas at Lower Loxley, home of ‘Elizabeth Pargetter’ (née Archer), a character in the long-running soap opera.

Even the interruption of a mobile phone didn’t deter singers and musicians from giving an impressive performance in the countryside setting.

David Curtis, artistic director of the Orchestra of the Swan, said: “Having been a life-long fan of The Archers, I was delighted when the Orchestra of the Swan was invited to join Pop-up Opera in presenting this performance at Lower Loxley. Elizabeth was the most gracious host and it was a delight to meet her and so many other Ambridge residents!”

Clementine Lovell, founder and director of the Pop-up Opera, added: “We were very excited to be asked by the BBC’s The Archers to record as the fictional ‘Magic Opera Company’ on such a well-loved programme. Bringing opera to the people and to rural communities is exactly what we do, so it made perfect sense to bring one of our performances to Ambridge.”

The Orchestra of the Swan is resident at Stratford ArtsHouse and is associate orchestra at Birmingham town hall. This year, the orchestra is developing new residencies in Malvern Theatre, Countess of Huntingdon Hall in Worcester and Number 8 Pershore.

The orchestra performs at major concert venues and festivals throughout England and Wales, including Symphony Hall in Birmingham, the Sage in Gateshead, Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Albert Hall in London, and reaches over five million listeners via Classic FM and Radio 3 and has been CD of the week on Classic FM, To find out more, visit www.orchestraoftheswan.org

To listen to The Archers episode, visit www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b067wf2t