RAI buys BBC opera series

Italo pubcaster also takes 'Stones,' 'U2'

LONDON — The Brits have sold a TV history of Italian opera — to the Italians.

BBC Worldwide announced the deal with Italo pubcaser RAI at the 35th Showcase mart, which is taking place in English coastal resort Brighton.

RAI has acquired “Opera Italia,” a three-part docu presented by conductor Antonio Pappano that recounts the history of Italian opera from Monteverdi and Rossini to Verdi and Puccini.

The Italo pubcaster also bought Rolling Stones docu “Stones in Exile,” an insight into the recording of the band’s “Exile on Main Street” album, and “U2=BBC,” a behind-the-scenes look at U2 perfing in London.

Meanwhile, Cielo Television, part of Sky Italia, acquired the John Lennon biopic “Lennon: Naked” starring Christopher Eccleston as the head Beatle.

In drama, Worldwide sold “Misfits,” “Doctor Who,” “Primeval” and “Being Erica” to RAI, while Fox Italy acquired “Luther,” “Misfits” and “Strike Back” for its pay service, and Mediaset licensed “Sherlock.”

Francesca Doria, BBC Worldwide’s territory manager for Northern Mediterranean, said: “We are seeing real growth in the amount of drama sold to Italy.”