The Classic FM presenter gives his vocal chords a workout at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

You may be familiar with his voice on the airwaves, but during the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville Damien Beaumont is stepping out of the studio and onstage in a series of hands-on performing roles.

The host of ABC Radio’s Just Classicswill perform excerpts from the writings of Franz Liszt in a music drama commissioned by Piers Lane for the festival. Scripted by London author Jessica Duchen, Franz Liszt: Sins of the Fatherwill receive its world premiere at the festival on July 31, the 125 thanniversary of the composer’s death.

Beaumont says a complicated triangle of musical passions, love and betrayal lies at the heart of the show, which takes as its subject not only Liszt but also that other Romantic titan, Richard Wagner. “We explore the story of Liszt, his daughter Cosima and her eventual marriage to Wagner. It’s an extraordinary tale of these two men connected by women, and connected by music.”

The suave Hungarian and the imperious German were longtime friends, the wealthy concert pianist often helping Wagner financially. But the relationship turned sour. “The whole story...