Alex James's Date Night - 2 August 2014

Alex James continues his new series exploring the important classical music anniversaries coming up in the the week ahead.

Tonight, Alex marks the first performance of Rossini's great, and final, opera William Tell on 3rd August 1829. 

He also raises a glass to Poirot composer Christopher Gunning, celebrating his 70th birthday later this week.

INVESTIGATE: Poirot in the study with a ukulele? 10 times Agatha Christie went classical >

Alex also tells the story of how Wagner came to complete his opera Tristan and Isolde on 6th August 1859, and reflects upon the funeral of Pietro Mascagni which resulted in 200,000 people lining the streets of Rome on 4th August 1945 to pay their respects.