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Ken Russell radio play

The Death of Alexander Scriabin

The Death of Alexander Scriabin from 1995, a play on BBC Radio 3 by Ken Russell with Oliver Reed and Hetty Baynes.  It was broadcast on 18 Jun 1995 and repeated on 4 Aug 1996.

For the opening of the radio play click click to play

"Two exciting firsts for radio as Oliver Reed stars in Ken Russell's new play about one of the 20th century's most revolutionary composers.  In 1914, two men with more than a passing interest in the occult meet in St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow - the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin and the notorious English mystic Aleister Crowley"

Ken Russell writes and directs and the producer was Adrian Bean.

The cast were Oliver Reed (Aleister Crowley), James Wilby (Alexander Scriabin) and Hetty Baynes (Olga), Donald MacLeod (Announcer).  Russell also appeared as Professor R.J. Stone.

Other roles were Brian Murphy (Police Sergeant), Don Warrington (Headman), Tanya Schloezer (Kristin Milward), Joshua Towb, (Ernie Gross), Gavin Muir (Arensky), Don MacCorkindale (Rimsky-Korsakov), Dmitri Sladkowski (piano).

All details from BBC Radio Times, 18 Jun 1995 (click here) and the Diversity Website, Suttonelms (click here).

"Scriabin commenced study at Moscow conservatoire in 1888, studying piano with Vassily Safonov and, later, composition with Anton Arensky... Scriabin’s short symphonic poem, Mechty (Daydreams) op. 24 were published by ‘Belaieff’, and Rimsky-Korsakov conducted the first performance of Mechty" (Simon Nicholls, the Scriabin Association, click here).

James Welby would later play Sir Clifford Chatterley in Russell's Lady Chatterley.  Brian Murphy would appear in The Devils and The Boyfriend.


More opera/stage/radio work

Click title for opera, play or radio  The Rake's Progress *   Madama Butterfly * The Italian Girl in Tangiers * La Boheme *   Die Soldaten * Faust * Mefistofoles * Princess Ida * Salome * Weill and Lenya (play)/font> * Mindgame (play) * The Death of Alexander Scriabin (radio) *


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