Charlotte Green's Culture Club - 3pm Sunday 22 September

In the first episode of her new show, Charlotte meets polymath Stephen Fry to talk about bicentennial birthday boys - Wagner and Verdi.

In the first episode of her new show at 3pm this Sunday, Charlotte Green meets broadcaster, writer, actor and all-round polymath Stephen Fry.

This month, he's curating this year's Deloitte Ignite festival at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Entitled Verdi/Wagner, the festival celebrates the joint bicentenary of musical greats Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, exploring the composers and their music in innovative and creative ways.

The festival spreads across four weekends and includes performances, workshops and other activities inspired by Verdi and Wagner. 

Stephen Fry describes Verdi as a 'supreme entertainer' while Wagner, on the other hand, was a 'really cussed, difficult and extraordinary man to try to explain.'

'Wagner cast an enormous shadow over the 20th century which Verdi didn't,' Fry points out. 'He really transformed everything. Music was never the same after him.'

But the composer was an 'absolute monster - you wouldn't want to spend more than five minutes with him on a train.'