Documentary Saturday

Every Saturday night throughout October


Enjoy new premieres on Stingray Brava every Saturday night! Marvel at the remarkable story of Ludwig van Beethoven's lock of hair. See how the Strauss family kings of waltz navigate the currents of life. Catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Turin's renowned Teatro Regio di Torino. Guess who members of the Berlin Philharmonic will elect as their new chief conductor. Discover these, and much more, on Saturday nights in October at 22:30 CEST on Stingray Brava

A gripping documentary, Beethoven’s Hair (October 7) follows two Beethoven aficionados - a surgeon and a real estate developer - who have come into the possession of a lock of hair belonging to the legendary composer. Using cutting-edge science, these two try to unravel the mystery underlying Beethoven's volatile personality and early death. 

Dance to irresistible waltzes by the Strauss family on October 15, when Lesley Garrett brings them back to life in his docudrama The Waltz King. This film transports you to 19th-century Vienna, with its glamourous ballrooms, beautiful costumes, and whirling dances! 

October 21 brings you the insightful documentary, Maestros in Democracy. In this film about the Berlin Philharmonic, the orchestra votes for its new chief conductor - who will it be, Daniel Barenboim or Simon Rattle? 

On the last Saturday of October, the documentary Teatro Regio Behind the Scenes immerses you further into the life of orchestra musicians. October has plenty of beauty and wisdom in store for you on Stingray Brava!

Saturday, October 7 at 22:30 CEST | Beethoven’s Hair

Beethoven's Hair traces the unlikely journey of a lock of hair cut from Ludwig van Beethoven's corpse, and unravels the mystery of the composer’s tortured life and death. The film begins in modern times, when some Beethoven enthusiasts purchase the hair at a Sotheby's auction. The story then investigates the lock's previous owners. Eventually, science reveals Beethoven's “medical secret”. Set to a lush score of some of Beethoven's most glorious music, the film explores the world of forensic testing, throwing into sharp relief the romance of 19th-century Vienna and the horrors of 20th-century Nazi Germany.

Producer: Rombus Media
Year: 2005

Saturday, October 14 at 22:30 CEST |The Waltz King

At the beginning of the 19th century, Europe was set alight by a shocking new dance craze: the waltz. The story of the waltz is inseparable from the story of the Strauss family. This docudrama, entertainingly presented by Lesley Garrett, tells their story. Composers Strauss Sr. and Strauss Jr., who both held the public title of "The Waltz King", were uneasy rivals in their private life. Strauss Sr., born in 1804, was a hugely popular composer, who transformed the waltz from a simple dance into a Viennese cultural phenomenon. Yet his reputation was entirely eclipsed by his eldest son, who took the waltz to a whole new musical level, writing The Blue Danube and several other pieces. However, in his own mind, Strauss Jr. never quite escaped the shadow of his father. Lesley Garrett explores the origins of the waltz - the music, the dance steps, the ballrooms, and the costumes, while narrating the bitter conflict between a father and a son. This rich and compelling story is lavishly illustrated with the music and dancing of the time, recreated at Vienna's sumptuous Hofburg Palace.

Director: Lesley Garrett
Video provider: EuroArts Music International
Year: 2006

Saturday, October 21 at 22:30 CEST | Maestros in Democracy 

On May 1, 1882, fifty members of the former Bilse Kapelle refused to sign their new contracts and formed their own democratically-governed ensemble. Today still, the present-day Berlin Philharmonic continues to elect its new members and principal conductors. Isabel Iturriagagotia and Paul Smaczny accompanied the Berlin Philharmonic after chief conductor Claudio Abbado announced in February 1998 that he would not be renewing his contract after 2002. Maestros in Democracy, the most extensive documentary ever produced about the Berlin Philharmonic, shows the new candidates for Abbado's position in rehearsal with the orchestra, revealing the various working practices of Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle and Zubin Mehta. Later in the film, after several nail-biting rounds of voting, full of expectation and excitement, the orchestra has to come to a decision... 

Featuring: Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Berliner Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen
Video provider: EuroArts Music International
Location: Berlin, Germany
Year: 2000

Saturday, October 28 at 22:30 CEST | Teatro Regio behind the scenes

Location: Opera Torino, Italy
Year: 2016