Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 23 May 2015, 7pm

Join Alex James as he takes a closer look at the important dates in the classical world for the week ahead.

beethoven fidelio

On tonight’s show Alex James finds out why it took Beethoven three attempts to perfect his only opera, Fidelio (pictured)The work was premiered at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 20 November 1805. The following year the three act work was reduced to two. Then, after further work on the libretto, a final version was performed at the Kärntnertortheater on 23 May 1814. By convention both of the first two versions are referred to as Leonore.

Alex also investigates why a Debussy ballet caused a stir in 20th century Paris on this week in history. 

And we'll be celebrating the birthdays this week of two great British musicians: the conductor Paul McCreesh and the composer Howard Goodall , about to open his new musical Bend it Like Beckham.