NY Public Radio Community Advisory Board

NY Public Radio Community Advisory Board The NY Public Radio Community Advisory Board represents listeners of WNYC, WQXR, and wnyc.org, to the station and its Board of Trustees.
New York Public Radio's Community Advisory Board (CAB) is an independent volunteer group of interested listeners who meet monthly to gather public comments and advise New York Public Radio's Board of Trustees as to whether the programming and policies meet the specialized educational and cultural needs of the community. The CAB covers WNYC media outlets including WNYC-FM, WNYC-AM, WQXR and wnyc.org.

NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD Members as of June 2016: Officers Chair: Lue Ann Eldar, elected as Chair June 2015 & 2016, appointed to the CAB August 2012 Vice Chairs: Grace Clarke, elected as Vice Chair June 2016, appointed to the CAB June 2015 Barbara Gerolimatos, elected as Vice Chair June 2016, appointed CAB June 2014 Merwin Kinkade, elected as Vice Chair June 2016, appointed to the CAB June 2014 Nancy Walcott, elected as Vice Chair June 2015, appointed to the CAB June 2015 Secretary: Raesha Cartagena, elected as Secretary June 2016, appointed to the CAB June 2015 Members: Anita Aboulafia, appointed August 2013 John Bacon, appointed August 2013 Chad Bascombe, appointed June 2015 Gary Brocks, appointed August 2013 Lisa Buffa, appointed June 2016 Carole Chervin, appointed June 2015 Judith Cholst, appointed December 2011 Andrew S. Greene, appointed August 2013 Stan Ince, appointed June 2016 Peter Kentros, appointed June 2016 Carmina Lu, appointed June 2015 Lisa Nearier, appointed June 2016 Samantha "Sam" Pedreiro, appointed June 2016 Steven Rapkin, appointed December 2011 Theodore Schweitzer, appointed August 2013 Kathryn Tornelli, appointed June 2016 David N. Sztyk, appointed August 2013 Adam Wasserman, appointed June 2014 Jacob Wojnas, appointed June 2016

Mission: The role of the WNYC Community Advisory Board is to advise the WNYC Radio Board of Trustees with respect to whether the programming and other policies of the station are meeting the specialized educational and cultural needs of the communities it serves, and to make such recommendations, as it considers appropriate, to meet these needs. The role is purely advisory in nature, as provided for by Congress.

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I am now listening to the third and final act of Gotterdammurung, the final opera in Wagner's Ring of the Neibulung. I started listening this morning at 11 am when I was in my car but now I am relaxing at home (well it is really hard to "relax" when listening to The Ring). Thank you Brunnhilde for always being my ultimate heroine. I can't get out of my head a comment broadcast on WQXR during the first intermission today by another heroine, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg, who said "agreement must be met."

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I missed the Friday marathon but I am delighted to learn that the station has made a commitment to play more music written or played by women. Is there a way to access some of the pieces played or get a list of what was played?

Published by
WQXR Features
Challenge: Women Are for Life, Not Just for International Women’s Day

Mar 8, 2019 · by Jacqui Cheng and WQXR Staff :
"This Friday, March 8, marks an important day at WQXR: a 24-hour marathon of some of the best and most unique music in the classical repertoire — that was all written by women. For the first time, we’ll be playing over 100 pieces written by 60 different composers that happen to carry two X chromosomes — including at least 10 composers who are making their first-time debut on the station. For those listening online, you can partake in the marathon via WQXR’s stream and on Pandora.
We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done leading up to this marathon. The project has been a source of inspiration and discovery for our own staff in the process of putting the programming together. “For me, some of the biggest revelations were getting to know more of the works of earlier composers like Francesca Caccini, Leonarda Duarte, Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and Barbara Strozzi,” says WQXR’s Music Director Jenny Houser “I also became a huge fan of Louise Farrenc, a 19th-century composer who wrote really wonderful chamber music and orchestral works, and of Florence Price, whose beautiful music was featured on at least six new releases over the past year.”
But like all honorary efforts to increase representation in this space, we don’t think a music marathon or a special month is enough. This marks the beginning of a new commitment at WQXR, and a new challenge we’re posing to the rest of the industry.
This International Women’s Day, we’re calling to action our fellow classical music curators, radio broadcasters, playlist creators, and influencers to join us in making a commitment to increase the percentage of music being played written by women year-round.
Our Research
Why is it that, in 2019, we still have a hard time achieving real representation of women and other groups when it comes to classical music — especially given that this world is very much alive, and new music is being written every day?
We began pulling on the thread for the answer in the fall of 2018. Sparked by a Courageous Conversation seminar last year, our staff embarked on an ambitious internal research project into WQXR’s own music database of approximately 32,000 pieces, in order to have a clearer view into the balance of underrepresented composers in the so-called “classical canon.”
What we found was disheartening: Despite the fact that, in recent years, we’ve added a substantial amount of music by women to the database of recordings we play, only 4.4% of our library consists of music by female composers.
As one of the largest classical radio stations in the United States who has one of the most comprehensive collections, we have good reason to believe that this is reflective of many of the other larger classical music libraries out there.
“The results weren’t surprising for a few reasons that we already know,” says WQXR’s Program Director Mike Shobe. “Classical music is an artform that was largely developed in patriarchal Europe over multiple centuries, and it was largely state- (and throne-) funded for most of that time. We also know that arts presenters, orchestras, and, to some degree, even the audience have been among the slowest to change, which has a downstream impact on both recording industry and curators like us.”
The Challenge
Our findings were just the tip of the iceberg, but what this research did was to open our eyes to the data behind the problem. It allowed us to establish a base from which we could continue to improve, and allowed us to set up processes that we’ll use in the future to continue checking up on ourselves.
So, this International Women’s Day, we’re making a commitment to measurably increase the number of women whose works get added to our library and the percentage that gets played on the radio.
We will track our progress and post regular updates to our site throughout the year in order to make a full commitment — with accountability — to our readers and listeners.
“My hope is that people in this country notice our work, especially the other classical broadcasters, and are moved to join us in the pursuit of a more equitable and open classical music industry,” said Shobe.
We challenge other music curators to dig into the data on their libraries and playlists, post the results, and make a commitment to increasing the percentage of women composers being played over the next 12 months. On International Women’s Day 2020, we will post an update to our website on how we did, and we’d like to include as many partners and peers as possible.
“What I would love is to never hear the phrase ‘woman composer’ ever again,” says WQXR’s Creative Director Clemency Burton-Hill. “I’d love for us to just talk about composers, but we need to take the steps to get there by making a conscious decision to elevate accomplished composers who happen to be women. When I think about the tragedy of Schubert and Mendelssohn and Mozart, who died in their 30s, and what kind of music they could’ve made if they lived longer, I also think about those hundreds of thousands more women who never got to put their ideas on paper — or those who did, but were written out of history. This is the beginning of our own movement.”

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For Anyone who has missed this posting by Fred Plotkin:

Met Opera '19-'20 Season

Feb 20, 2019 · by Fred Plotkin

The annual announcement of the Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming season is subject to intense advance discussion by opera fans who think they have inside information on what is coming. Once the official announcement is made, it leads to animated debates on social media and at intermissions of live performances in New York and elsewhere. That is how it should be — we opera lovers have a proprietary stake in the art form’s well-being, and our passionate interest in what is to come is essential. Woe betide opera if its audiences become indifferent.
I, for one, find a great deal to be excited about in the Met’s 2019–20 season. I do have some concerns but, overall, I plan to spend a lot of nights at Lincoln Center next season, and hope you will too. The most important takeaway in next year’s programming is the degree to which the operas are unusually well-cast, often down to the smallest roles. Veterans such as Larissa Diadkova, Mihoko Fujimura, Denyce Graves, Hei-Kyung Hong and John Tomlinson will bring their experience and presence to small roles that could have been cast with less care, and that is to the benefit of both their fellow artists and to audiences.
There are at least 25 major debuts including sopranos Lise Davidsen, Anja Kampe, Camilla Nylund and Brenda Rae, and mezzos Gaëlle Arquez and Marianne Crebassa. You’ll want to hear all of them! Many fine younger singers with growing fan bases will be back, including Jamie Barton, Angel Blue, Javier Camarena, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Michael Fabiano, Quinn Kelsey, Ailyn Pérez, Luca Pisaroni and Nadine Sierra.
The Met gets a healthy share of some of the world’s best singers and conductors. Many of the brightest stars in the operatic galaxy return next season. You know them by their last names: Beczala, Damrau, DiDonato, Domingo, Finley, Garanča, Goerke, Netrebko, Stemme, Terfel — to cite just 10.
There are some singers whose work is always riveting, and whose presence not only enthuses audiences, but also enhances the creative atmosphere in the theater. Among those who are conspicuously absent in the upcoming season are Daniela Barcellona, Lawrence Brownlee, Stephanie Blythe, Leah Crocetto, Juan Diego Flórez, Ferruccio Furlanetto (let’s see his marvelous Don Quixote and Boris Godunov), Susan Graham (perhaps in the title role of Blitzstein’s Regina, presented last year in St. Louis), Thomas Hampson, Gregory Kunde, Ambrogio Maestri, Karita Mattila, Angela Meade, René Pape, Marianna Pizzolato, Anita Rachvelishvili (who will no doubt be back after a string of Met triumphs), Sondra Radvanovsky, Marina Rebeka, Dorothea Röschmann, Russell Thomas and Pretty Yende. In some cases the Met is not presenting operas these artists are suited for, but I would hope the company will always think to prioritize the scheduling of works to include singers with singularly special qualities, such as those I have just listed.
Also absent is Jonas Kaufmann, who returned to the Met last October after a four-year absence to sing four performances of La Fanciulla del West. He limits his appearances outside of Europe but knows that he is always welcome at the Met. Similarly, the wonderful soprano Anja Harteros has often been asked to the Met, but confines her appearances to a small group of European theaters. Her Met performances as the Countess Almaviva (2003, 2007), Donna Anna (2004) and Violetta (2008) are unforgettable, and if she would consent to return, I hope that would be facilitated. Here are Kaufmann and Harteros in a Munich Andrea Chénier from 2017.
In recent years there has been some weakening of the conducting standard at the Met, day in and day out. While there are some very fine conductors on the roster next season (including Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Harry Bicket, Emanuel Villaume, Marco Armiliato and Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who leads three operas), I would like to see more nights that have a conductor of real consequence. These might include Paolo Carignani, James Conlon, Riccardo Frizza, Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi, Susanna Mälkki, Michele Mariotti, Kirill Petrenko, Donald Runnicles, Daniele Rustioni, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Stuart Stratford. Gianandrea Noseda, who was a key reason why the recent new production of Adriana Lecouvreur was a raging success, is only slated for a concert with the Met orchestra. Antonio Pappano, who has not worked at the Met since his debut conducting nine performances of Eugene Onegin in 1997, will play the piano in a recital with Diana Damrau on March 29, 2020. Pappano is long overdue to conduct another opera at the Met.
The Met will present 25 operas in the 2019–20 season, five of which are new productions. Fourteen of these will be in Italian, followed by three each in English, French and German, and one each in Czech and Russian. Remarkably, these operas are by 16 different composers, which means that there will be works that appeal to traditionalists as well as those who are more adventurous. I hope the traditionalists in the ticket-buying public will experiment with operas they have never heard or seen before.
The only work that is conspicuously absent is Fidelio. In 2020, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth is being observed by most major opera companies and symphony orchestras. Perhaps the Met is waiting for the 2020–21 season, as the composer’s birthday is December 16.
The choice of repertory for the five new productions are all excellent and span opera history from 1709 to 1984. Two of them (Agrippina and Akhnaten) are getting their Met premieres. Both should generate considerable excitement. Three of the five (Porgy and Bess, Der fliegende Holländer and Wozzeck) have been staged at the Met and the existing productions are all worthy of revival. New productions for an opera company require huge investments of time, money, faith, hope and a fair amount of luck and good karma to succeed. Therefore, if a company already has a production that works well, it should not be discarded unless it physically does not work anymore or is an acknowledged dud. I know you can name an existing Met staging that needs a new production.
Opening night (September 23, 2019) has a new production of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. This American masterpiece is making a welcome and long overdue return to the repertory with a very appealing cast led by Eric Owens and Angel Blue. The Met first presented Porgy and Bess in 1985 in a perfectly fine production by Nathaniel Merrill and Robert O’Hearn. It received 54 performances in four seasons, most recently in 1990.
While having Porgy and Bess return is wonderful, I wonder if the old production would still be usable. This particular opera is very expensive to produce, not only for its having a large cast, but also because the Gershwin estate requires that a chorus of people of color be used. The Met will have to engage a completely new group of choristers, unless some easements have been secured that I am not aware of in which African-Americans who are part of the permanent chorus can sing in this production. The new production, already seen in London and Amsterdam, has been well-received, but I am thinking of how the Met might best use precious funds to good effect.
On November 8, Philip Glass’s Akhnaten will have its Met premiere in the production by Phelim McDermott premiered at the English National Opera to great acclaim in 2016. The title role will be assumed by Anthony Roth Costanzo, who recently described in a Guardian essay what is involved in creating his already legendary interpretation. Conductor Karen Kamensek makes her Met debut, as does the excellent mezzo J’Nai Bridges as Nefertiti.
Berg’s Wozzeck (opening December 27) has outstanding leads in Peter Mattei in the title role and Elza van den Heever as Marie. It will be conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The production is by William Kentridge, replacing the superb 1997 version by Mark Lamos that has only been performed 26 times. Kentridge is an extraordinary artist and director whose work I admire. His Wozzeck arrives from Salzburg, where it was a big success. Yet I hope the Met does not discard the Lamos production that has so much to offer and may prove useful at some point.
Agrippina (February 6, 2020) with Joyce DiDonato in the title role, conducted by Harry Bicket, in a production by David McVicar, should be very hot stuff. It was Handel’s first success in Venice, in 1709, and set him on his course to compose many Italian-language operas to be performed in London. Just as certain operas (such as Le Nozze di Figaro and Der Rosenkavalier) are often presented at the same time because one directly influenced the other, I would love to see an opera company stage Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643) in rotation with Agrippina. Both include some of the same characters, and Handel was influenced by the flamboyant vocal styles, political candor and theatrical possibilities found in his predecessor’s crowning masterpiece. Both operas are among the finest ever created in Venice, the first great capital of opera.
Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer opens March 14, 2020, in a new production by François Girard, whose Met Parsifal has many admirers. The Met’s 1989 production of Holländer by August Everding has held up well. While an opera can certainly merit a revisiting after 30 years, this staging does not require urgent replacement. Valery Gergiev conducted the old production at the Met in 2000, with James Morris and the debut of Nina Stemme. This time he leads Bryn Terfel (a marvelous Dutchman singing the role at the Met for the first time) and the debut of excellent German soprano Anja Kampe as Senta. Franz-Josef Selig (Daland) and Mihoko Fujimura (Mary) are wonderful choices in supporting roles.
There will be 55 Puccini performances, about one-quarter of the season’s total. There are five of his operas: La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, Tosca and Turandot. Fine though Puccini’s work is, that is a lot for one composer. Despite their ubiquity next season, these very familiar works have not been shortchanged in terms of casting. There are excellent Cio-Cio-Sans, Mimìs, Rodolfos, Toscas and Marios. The title role of Turandot will be shared by Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme, two of the world’s top dramatic sopranos. In addition, the New Year’s Eve gala will be headlined by Anna Netrebko. She will be Mimì (in the first act of La Bohème), Tosca (Act Two) and conclude with the tantalizing prospect of hearing her in the second act of Turandot, a role she has not yet sung.
Mozart is represented by Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro and the holiday version of The Magic Flute in English. Among the many fine singers in the two da Ponte operas are Gaëlle Arquez, Ben Bliss, Nicole Car, Marianne Crebassa, Gerald Finley, Anita Hartig, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Luca Pisaroni (in both) and Nadine Sierra.
There are only three works by Verdi, but they include excellent singers such as Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo and Matthew Polenzani (in Macbeth), Carlos Álvarez heading a strong cast in Simon Boccanegra, and Lisette Oropesa starring in La Traviata. Oropesa is an American who has become a big star in Europe. Álvarez, who will also sing Marcello in La Bohème, is a superb baritone who has not appeared at the Met since 2008. I am very pleased he is coming back.
There are two Massenet operas next season, both with luxury casting. Oropesa and Michael Fabiano will co-star in Manon, and Piotr Beczala and Joyce DiDonato will sing in Werther in what should be one of the not-to-miss nights at the Met.
All five new productions are the only works by their composers next season. Many of the most enticing operas are revivals that don’t come around often and, in this case, they have very strong casts. They, too, are the only works by their composers to be presented next season.
Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice will star Jamie Barton in an ideal role for her bounteous gifts and expressiveness. The Euridice will be Hei-Kyung Hong, who has sung more than 370 performances of starring and small roles at the Met since 1984. Not everyone loves Mark Morris’s 2007 production, but I think it is great and look forward to seeing it again with this cast conducted by Mark Wigglesworth.
Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust will star Bryan Hymel in the title role, with Elīna Garanča (Marguerite) and Ildar Abdrazakov (Méphistophélès). I love this work and Robert LePage’s production does many things well. Edward Gardner conducts.
Only two operas next season could be considered bel canto. Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda is well-cast with Diana Damrau in the title role and Jamie Barton as Queen Elizabeth I. Maurizio Benini conducts. Rossini’s La Cenerentola should be a breakout role for the gifted Irish singer Tara Erraught as Cinderella. Her prince is Javier Camarena, a bel canto superstar. James Gaffigan conducts. Rossini was born on February 29, 1792, so his birthday only comes around every four years. It is a shame the Met did not schedule one of his works for February 29, 2020, as it sometimes has presented Rossini on leap years past.
Janáček's Kát'a Kabanová has only had 19 performances at the Met since its premiere in 1991. It was last seen in 2005, with Karita Mattila in the title role. This is a very fine opera that will only have three performances in May 2020. The Kát'a will be Susanna Phillips, while the powerful role of the Kabanicha will be sung by the formidable Dolora Zajick. The cast also includes Štefan Margita and John Tomlinson, conducted by Lothar Koenigs.
Czech mezzo Magdalena Kožená has only sung 25 performances in the Metropolitan Opera House since her debut as Cherubino in 2003. Her most recent appearance was as Mélisande in 2011, conducted by her husband Simon Rattle in his Met debut. They return next season in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, with Kožená in the title role (Octavian), Golda Schultz as Sophie, Günther Groissböck as an unusually attractive Baron Ochs and Matthew Polenzani as the Italian Singer. Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund has the makings of an excellent Marschallin in her Met debut. Not everyone loved Robert Carsen’s production, but it was my favorite when new in 2017.
Elijah Moshinsky’s 1995 production of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades is on my short list of very favorite Met productions. When last seen in 2011, it suffered technical snafus that ruined certain key moments, including Lisa’s drowning herself in St. Petersburg’s Neva River. This was unfortunate because this production is beautiful, coherent and manages to spring surprises on audience members that are thrilling and chilling. The opera opens on November 29 with conductor Vasily Petrenko making his Met debut. The cast includes Aleksandrs Antonenko (Hermann), Igor Golovatenko (Yeletsky) and Larissa Diadkova (Old Countess). The debut I am most looking forward to in the entire Met season is of Lise Davidsen (in the role of Lisa). She is a remarkably gifted soprano from Norway, and the couple of times I have heard her in Europe I have been mightily impressed. I hope this is the beginning of a long and exciting Met career.
The 10 offerings in The Met: Live in HD series are Turandot (October 12), Manon (October 26), Madama Butterfly (November 9), Akhnaten (November 23), Wozzeck (January 11), Porgy and Bess (February 1), Agrippina (February 29), Der Fliegende Holländer (March 14), Tosca (April 11), and Maria Stuarda (May 9). It is great to have the five new productions, but do three others really have to be Puccini operas whose Met stagings are already overly familiar in HD and video? I would have wanted The Queen of Spades and Werther.
In October, I opined in an article about the Met’s plan to add Sunday matinee performances during certain weeks of its new season. As I discuss in the article, I think this is a very positive development for many reasons, but have one hesitation: in weeks with a Sunday matinee, the Met will be “dark” on a Monday evening. Mondays in New York have fewer live cultural offerings than any other day — less theater, very few symphonic concerts and dance programs. A Monday night opera would allow the Met to occupy a huge portion of the live performance terrain in New York that evening. The company could use this to attract audiences who might be new to the art form, as well as devoted local opera lovers and those visiting the city from elsewhere. Live cultural performances in New York are more prevalent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, nights on which the Met might consider a rotating dark night in weeks when it does a Sunday matinee.
I hope you have found operas and singers that appeal to you next season, and that you will attend performances at the Met and elsewhere. Many other opera companies in North America have recently announced their 2019–20 seasons. Among them are Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Glimmerglass, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Omaha, Philadelphia, Phoenix / Tucson, St. Louis, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington.


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