New Arts Model and Role for the Arts and Science Council

by John Clark

John Clark

“Artistic Ambition,” the January 2007 article by Meg Whalen in Charlotte Magazine, demonstrated that Charlotte lagged behind comparably sized cities in its development of the arts and created a stir among the arts/cultural community. Two interview programs on public radio WFAE have been devoted to the topic.
The article inspired my own opinion-editorial article in the January 29th issue of the Charlotte Observer in which it was suggested the Arts and Science Council’s (ASC) approach to the arts is flawed, and the chairperson of the Arts and Science Council Board of Directors Jennifer Appleby responded with her own opinion article published in the Observer. Additionally, affiliate members of the ASC (those that receive annual basic operating grants–BOGs) met in late January, and, although it is not clear if the response is due to this recent public discourse, the ASC is organizing meetings among members and individual artists scheduled in March.

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A Rare Encore at La Scala

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at playbillarts.com tells a thrilling story: Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Florez, delivered the first encore sung in 74 years at Italy”s top opera house, La Scala. The aria he stopped the show to repeat contains no fewer than nine high Cs. As you”ll , it”s the same aria that earned Pavoratti the nickname, “King of the High Cs”.
You can hear Juan Diego Florez sing the aria and the encore here. (The recordings sound as if they were made through someone”s coat pocket. The orchestra is quite muffled, but Florez”s voice cuts through like a laser beam.)
Isn”t it nice to know a stunning tenor voice still gets to bend the rules every now and then?

WDAV Listeners Turn Up in the Funniest Places

A public radio colleague told me a funny story recently that reminded me how far flung WDAV listeners can be. We know our Charlotte area listeners are well traveled, and also that we have listeners via the Internet across the country and around the world.
But what I’m talking about are those odd moments when you come across a listener in an unexpected place. So I wondered: what’s the furthest or strangest place you’ve ever come across one of your fellow WDAV listeners?

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Last Night’s Classical Grammy Winners

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The results are in. I, for one, am thrilled beyond words that Lorraine Hunt Lieberson won Best Classical Vocal Performance. All the winners in classical categories are listed below. Reactions? Favorites? Disappointments? Share your comments.
Best Engineered Album, Classical
• Elgar: Enigma Variations; Britten: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Four Sea Interludes, Michael Bishop, engineer (Paavo Järvi & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)
Producer of The Year, Classical• Elaine Martone

Best Classical Album
• Mahler: Symphony No. 7, Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Andreas Neubronner, producer (San Francisco Symphony)
Best Orchestral Performance
• “Mahler: Symphony No. 7,” Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)

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Menotti Dies at 95

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The opera world, and indeed the classical music world, has lost one of its most prolific and famous contemporary composers with the death of Gian Carlo Menotti at age 95. Menotti died February 1 at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco. His legacy is considerable, and part of it, the Spoleto U.S.A. Festival in Charleston, is a marvelous cultural gift to those of us who live in the Carolinas. Many of us will also remember him as the composer of Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Christmas opera that enjoys many amateur as well as professional productions year after year.
For more about his remarkable life, there are articles at the New York Times and BBC News. What are your thoughts about Menotti’s music and career? Have you personally enjoyed or benefitted from Spoleto, U.S.A.? We’d love to see your comments.