Romance, music, intrigue and drama will captivate crowds in Bradford this summer as the BBC broadcasts a celebration of Bollywood live from City Park.
BBC Three bosses last night announced it will stage a one-hour “spectacular”, re-telling the story of Bizet’s opera Carmen in a contemporary Bollywood style, set in the UNESCO City of Film. It will feature a cast of international and national stars, dancers and musicians, as well as involvement from the Bradford community.
Bollywood Live, which will take place on Sunday, June 9, follows the story of Bradford girl Karmen, a wannabe dancer obsessed with movie stardom, who thinks her time has come when an Indian film crew comes to the city to record sequences for their new movie version of Carmen.
David Wilson, director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: “Bradford earned the UNESCO title as a world centre for film because of the city’s rich film heritage, its inspirational movie locations and its many celebrations of the moving image through the city’s annual film festivals.
“City Park will make the perfect set for this live extravaganza.”
The show will include special arrangements of some of Bizet’s best-loved themes from the opera, as well as a new score by Bhangra pioneer Kuljit Bhamra, who worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the West End musical Bombay Dreams.
It will also include pop songs, Bollywood movie classics and Bhangra hits, with dance routines and extravagant costumes.
Peter Salmon, head of BBC North, which is holding the event in conjunction with BBC Three, said: “Bollywood Live continues our commitment to engage with audiences across the region through big, innovative events.
“Following the success of the award- winning Frankstein’s Wedding in Leeds and The Preston Passion, this stylish, contemporary retelling of a classic story should captivate and entertain not only the people of Bradford, but audiences across the UK.”
Bollywood Live is a BBC Classical Music Television in-house production, commissioned by Jan Younghusband, commissioning editor for music and events.
Zai Bennett, controller of BBC Three, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring the excitement and glamour of Bollywood in this unique way to our viewers.”