Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood to face opera challenge


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The Independent Online

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood is swapping the ballroom for the baton - as he learns to become a classical conductor.

The acid-tongued judge will see his own newly acquired skills come under scrutiny as a contestant on TV's Maestro which is being revived by the BBC.

Also taking part in the show Maestro At The Opera - being brought back after an absence of four years - will be DJ Trevor Nelson, actress Josie Lawrence and the broadcaster and academic Professor Marcus du Sautoy.

During the three-part BBC2 series, the trainees will compete to conduct a complete act of an opera performed on the stage of the Royal Opera House in London.

Stars who have taken part in Maestro previously have included Blur's Alex James, presenter Katie Derham, Clive Anderson and series winner Sue Perkins.

Each apprentice will be mentored by an experienced professional conductor who will teach them how to tackle the complexities of a production.

And they will have to impress a panel of judges made up of respected operatic figures - conductor Sir Mark Elder, soprano Danielle de Niese and orchestral musician Dominic Seldis.

The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House will then have the final say in whittling them down to one winner.

BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said: "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 Covent Garden venue, said: "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."