New York Public Radio will launch an opera-focused radio show Jan. 19 on WQXR, its classical station in New York City, and also make the program available nationwide. Operavore will cover opera news, preview new recordings and feature interviews with opera personalities as well as playwright Terrance McNally, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and TV and theater star Tyne Daly. The show will be hosted by WQXR’s Naomi Lewin and will feature mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne as a weekly guest. Operavore expands on a WQXR website and all-opera web stream of the same name that launched a year ago.
In the 1980s, Peter Gelb produced 25 Metropolitan Opera broadcasts for PBS. Now, as the Met’s general manager, he runs the red-carpeted center of the opera world. The first media guy to run the hallowed New York institution has begun an ambitious but carefully modulated makeover of the Met. He’s putting its operas on more media platforms than ever before but using electronic media to reproduce the gilded in-theater experience. He’s bringing in a new breed of directors for fresh staging but relying largely on the beloved music of the past.Hired two years ago, Gelb was off to a running start in August when he took charge.
A local tale from Fayette, Maine, that came to public TV seven years ago in an American Experience documentary will return next year as an opera on Great Performances. The musical retelling will be taped later this week during the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s new opera, Emmeline, at the Santa Fe Opera. [The premiere received more than its share of rave reviews, using words like “sensational” and “a triumph.” Great Performances’ version aired April 2, 1997 on many stations.]
“I’m very happy that it’s coming full circle,” says Picker. “It shows that public television is so important, because it’s capable of generating art.”