Born as the Royal Academy was founded and the French Revolution erupted, his biographer Franny Moyle shows how his work pushed the boundaries at a time of great flux throughout Europe. Politics and art also combine in the discussion of two of the most controversial names in culture: Wagner and Mussolini. The English National Opera, which faces serious financial pressures, has announced that the next Artistic Director will be Daniel Kramer. He directs a new production of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. Roger Scruton celebrates the mastery of Wagner's Ring Cycle to express truths about the human condition, while Jonathan Meades ponders the nature of fascism and the influence of the Futurists in the architecture of Mussolini.
Producer: Katy Hickman.