May Highlights on VIA Radio

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Keystone Edition


Sundays at 7:30a & 4:30p

VIA Radio unveils a new weekend audio magazine that will better connect you to this region of Pennsylvania. With news, interviews, features, and reviews it promises to be a lively and informative addition to the schedule both on the air and online. The program premieres Sunday May 5th and will be heard each Sunday at 7:30am and 4:30pm. It will also be available on demand at Paul Lazar hosts.




Saturday, May 4th, 1p

In what should be a highlight of the new season, soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, going toe-to-toe with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris. Tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko is Radamès, the object of love of both ladies. Nicola Luisotti takes the podium for the Met’s monumental production.

This grandest of grand operas features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story. Set in ancient Egypt and packed with magnificent choruses, complex ensembles, and elaborate ballets, Aida never loses sight of its three protagonists. Few operas have matched Aida in its exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty, and perhaps no other has remained to the present day so unanimously appreciated by audiences and critics alike.


A VIA Simply Grand Concert

Sunday, May 5th, 2p

Pianist Holly Roadfeldt opened the 2018-19 season of Simply Grand Concerts with a solo program of music by women composers including Clara Schumann, contemporary master Joan Tower, and Lili Boulanger, the talented sister of Nadia Boulanger one the most important composition teachers in music history. Holly also played music written expressly for her. (Encore)


Alyssa Lazar


Tuesday, May 7th, 9p

Youthful singer-songwriter-pianist Alyssa Lazar is from Clarks Summit, PA, and creates appealing songs that are influenced by both classic singer-songwriters and more contemporary artists. This is an encore of her early 2018 Homegrown Music debut.


Dialogue of the Carmelites


Saturday, May 11th, 1p

The Met radio season concludes with a modern masterpiece. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the classic John Dexter production of Poulenc’s devastating story of faith and martyrdom. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the touching role of Blanche and soprano Karita Mattila, a legend in her own time, returns to the Met as the Prioress.

One of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th century, Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts. The opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer her life’s calling. The score reflects key aspects of its composer’s personality: Francis Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the opera addresses both the characters’ internal lives and their external realities.


A VIA Simply Grand Concert

Sunday, May 12th, 2p

A newly-formed piano trio, Trio Kisosen, came to the Sordoni Theater of the VIA Public Media Studios for a Simply Grand Concert Sunday December 2, 2018. The program offered Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat, Op. 11, and Dvorak’s Piano Trio No. 2 in G minor, Op.26.

Trio Kisosen is named after the Abenaki solar deity, an eagle spirit who creates day and night by the opening and closing of his wings, just as music evokes changing contrasts of light and shadow.  Together, the trio offers years of internationally recognized performances in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, South America, and Asia, performing in renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal of Berlin, and les Invalides, Paris.  All Yale School of Music graduates, the trio shares an interest in exploring new music as well as standard trio repertoire, and a love of teaching students of all ages.  Cellist An-Lin Bardin and pianist Naomi Niskala, the founding members of Trio Kisosen, formed the group in 2017, with violinist Matheus Sardinha Garcia Souza joining in 2018. Dr. Niskala is on the faculty of Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove. Larry Vojtko hosts. (Encore)


A Homegrown Music Concert with Teen Town and Eddie Severn Quartet


Monday, May 13th, 8p

It’s an evening of two generations of jazz and fusion on this month’s live concert in WVIA’s unique long-running live performance and broadcast series.

Named after a composition by the late bassist Jaco Pastorius, the trio Teen Town are literally teens, ranging in age from 14 to 19, but playing jazz-rock fusion at a world-class level. They recently won a 2019 Down Beat Student Music award, and were a big hit at the 2018 Scranton Jazz Festival. They made their Homegrown Music debut in a session last month, but they will make their live concert debut.

Trumpeter Eddie Severn, former lead player with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, has performed with Benny Golson, Sammy Nestico, Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, and many others. Severn will perform a set of original pieces with keyboardist Steve Rudolph, drummer Marko Marcinko, and his 14-year-old son, and Teen Town member Gabriel Severn, on bass.

As usual, two-hour the concert will be broadcast live on WVIA-FM and streaming on Free audience seating in the Sordoni Theater in the station’s studios is available for WVIA’s members and listeners on a first-come-first-served basis here.


The Ann Kerstetter Band


Tuesday, May 14th, 9p

From Northumberland, PA, Ann Kerstetter is a retired teacher who returned to her first love, playing and singing the blues. This archive session from 2009 features the band is fine form with mostly original tunes. Notable blues pianist Greg Burgess is a featured member.




Saturday, May 18th, 1p

Verdi’s final opera is a true masterpiece. Based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor as well as Henry IV it premiered in Milan in 1893. It was his first comedy in 50 years! Verdi supplied a stunning score full of wit, warmth, and wisdom to the libretto of Arrigo Boito, arguably the finest libretto ever delivered to a composer. Sir Bryn Terfel portrays the portly knight, Simon Keenlyside sings the role of Ford and Ana Maria Martinez is his wife Alice. Nicola Luisotti conducts.


Deutsche Welle Festival Concert: Opera Gala

Sunday, May 19th, 2p

The annual opera gala by the German AIDS Foundation provides a one-stop listen to the vocalists shaking up Europe's opera houses. Wall-to-wall fireworks in this broadcast, with plenty of pain and passion, jealousy, generosity, base and noble sentiments – and of course, love. Among the highlights: Caro nome from Rigoletto; The Love Potion duet from L’Elisir d’amore; Parigi o cara from La Traviata; and Vissi d’arte from Tosca.


Greg Jacquin


Tuesday, May 21st, 9p

A singer-songwriter based in New York State, Greg Jacquin released his debut full-length album Clocks Slow Down earlier this year, and it has been receiving national airplay on college and non-commercial stations. He makes his Homegrown Music debut with a set of his original music in a solo acoustic setting.


Das Rheingold


Saturday, May 25th, 1p

Wagner intended this opera to be a prologue to the other three music dramas in The Ring of the Nibelung, however it has earned a place of its own in the opera house. The story sets the stage for all that follows in the series of operas. The dwarf Alberich steals the magic gold from the Rheinmaidens who are charged with protecting it. So powerful is the gold that, if crafted into a ring, it could make its possessor the ruler of the world, with one stipulation: the would-be ruler would have to renounce love.

In this production Johannes-Martin Kränzle plays the vengeful Alberich. Wotan, the king of the gods is sung by John Lundgren, his wife, Fricka, by Dame Sarah Connolly. Alan Oke, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, and Lise Davidsen round out the cast. On the podium: Sir Antonio Pappano.


Deutsche Welle Festival Concert: Britten’s War Requiem

Sunday, May 26th, 2p

"All a poet can do today is warn," wrote Wilfred Owen, an English poet who died in battle just days before the end of World War I in 1918. In 1962, after a second disastrous world war, English composer Benjamin Britten took those words of warning and built them into his War Requiem. This performance with children's choirs and orchestras from five countries is subtitled "May War Rest in Peace!" Recorded in performance at the Philharmonie, Cologne.


Timothy Zieger Band


Tuesday, May 28th, 9p

Composer, guitarist and vocalist Timothy Zieger is from Factoryville, near Scranton. He writes appealing, melodic original songs, and performs them in two-couple quartet setting with his wife Abigail, along with Seth and Sarah Mitchell in this encore from 2018.

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