Voice of the Arts
Laura Gordon helped co-found the Band of Brothers Shakespeare Company in the Johnstown area. Laura talks about the Company's ongoing, very successful sonnet project in which actors and members of the community make videos of themselves reciting Shakespeare's sonnets. She also talks about her experience in London studying with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Alan Stanford, Adaptor and Director of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol," discusses the 2020 PICT radio play production, the cast and special features, sound design and music, production process at WQED, the meaning of the play and its relevance to today, the 150th anniversary of Dickens death, whether his visit to Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh inspired the chains of Marley's ghost in the play, whether Dickens is the greatest English author of all and theater superstitions including the ghost light left as a single bulb onstage when everyone goes home.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Artistic Director Susan Jaffe speaks with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham about PBT's "Fireside Nutcracker" and much more.
Sara Botkin long time voice on WQED-FM during the fundraising drives and President and Financial Advisor in the Botkin Family Wealth Management firm discuses her singing career and her work with the investment management company. Sara tells the story of her escape from the World Trade Center on 9/11. Sara began her career in finance with AON Corporation in New York City, where she worked on the 105th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. Sara has helped raise awareness and funds for March of Dimes, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The United Way and the American Heart Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Washington County. Sara has recorded three CDs including An Angel's Christmas and Breath of Heaven using them for great causes: helping Pittsburgh’s WQED-FM 89.3 raise over $20,000 by donating the discs.
Pianist and Conductor Walter Morales talks about his Chatham University Beethoven Sonata series and its latest installment. He also updates the happenings for the Edgewood Symphony and gives post pandemic travel suggestions for his homeland of Costa Rica in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.
December 13th at 3pm, Resonance Works Pittsburgh presents "Verdi by Vegetables: The Movie." "Verdi by Vegetables" explores Verdi's life, loves, and losses in a time of Italian political upheaval and his music's profound impact on opera history. Rigoletto! La Traviata! Aida! Verdi's entire operatic canon plus the Requiem beautifully sung by... puppets made of produce. It's a hilarious, informative, and tasty afternoon of opera. Resonance Works Artistic and General Director, Maria Sensi Sellner, spoke with WQED-FM's Anna Singer to talk about this unique event.
Susan Medley, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, has been rehearsing online since mid-September, so they can present a Virtual "Sounds of the Season" Concert online on Friday, December 11 at 8:00 pm. (It's free.) The singers have recorded themselves and compiled their videos into a virtual choir. Susan says " It's pretty amazing how well it is coming together, particularly since they weren't hearing each other as they were singing. I am assembling the audio part of it and Janine Michael, the sister of two of the PCC singers, is putting the "Brady Bunch faces" on the screen and adding some other video as well. It's incredibly labor-intensive putting the final product together, but it's keeping the choir singing in some way and the singers have really enjoyed making music and seeing each other on screen every week."
Chatham Baroque lutenist and theorbo virtuoso Scott Pauley has the story on the pandemic season of video programs for both Chatham Baroque and Renaissance and Baroque available for $18 per concert and $120 for a subscription. Scott gives the details on the programs, the venues and recording team.
Richard Thomas appears as Ebeneezer Scrooge in the CLO production of "A Musical Christmas Carol" on WQED13 from December 10-23rd. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham, he reveals how much he loved the role, working with the CLO and visiting Pittsburgh. He reflects on his decade as John Boy in the Waltons and his films including "Winning," starring Paul Newman near the beginning of his career. Topics include the central message of Dickens Christmas Carol and the influence of the play on modern holiday life, as well as his love of classical music from the dance world that his parents grew up in.
Karla Boos, the Founder and Artistic Director of Quantum Theater with Executive Director Stewart Urist tell us about "Wild," the new play by Mike Bartlett which runs through December 13th on the Quantum website with a pay what you feel ticket. Inspired by the events of Edward Snowden and his Wikileaks events with a twist of Franz Kafka, the play has a mystery thriller feel with some humor and a fantastic finish. Karla saw it in London and said she had to produce it in Pittsburgh. Karla and Stewart have details on the next production and highlights on the way in the pandemic year, a status check on the financial health of Quantum, and plans for music theater and an opera in the works.