September Highlights on WVIA-FM

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Bel Canto


Saturday, September 1st. 1pm

In this modern music drama, superstar American diva Roxane Coss has flown to Peru to sing at the vice president's home for a visiting Japanese mogul who is an opera buff. Dignitaries of every nationality are there — but an international crisis explodes when terrorists storm the mansion and take everyone hostage. Isolated for months, unlikely alliances form between captors and captives as fear and anger mingle uneasily with desire and even love. Music is the one universal language — but can it draw forth the humanity that exists in us all? Ann Patchett's best-selling novel Bel Canto took the literary world by storm. Now, this riveting story inspired by a real-life event becomes a powerful opera.

The extraordinary international cast of Bel Canto is led by Danielle de Niese. Sir Andrew Davis is on the podium for this performance this powerful opera with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz and music by Jimmy López, a native of Peru and "one of the most interesting


Bloomsburg University Young Artists’ Competition

Sunday, September 2nd, 2pm

This program presents performances by the winners of this competition designed for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. Seven budding talents were chosen this year. Well-known professional pianist, Ron Stabinsky, served as coach for the competition and is featured as the collaborative pianist during the recital. Music of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Schumann is featured. Recorded in WVIA’s Sordoni Theater on May 21, 2017. Larry Vojtko hosts.


56 Men


Tuesday, September 4th, 9pm

A long-running band from the Philadelphia area, 56 Men is named after the number of people who signed the Declaration of Independence. The group has members from both sides of the Atlantic. They serve up melodic original rock inspired by the British Invasion. This is an encore of their 2016 session, done at about the time they released their EP Holy Hannah.




Saturday, September 9th, 1pm

The dazzling Ana María Martínez returns to Los Angeles as opera’s most seductive temptress. Nobody—not even a lover—can tame Carmen, who bursts into life on the stage with an intoxicating whirl of thrilling choreography, vivid orchestrations and heart-stopping drama. Georges Bizet’s unforgettable score is an endless parade of one great melody after the other, from the languid allure of Carmen’s sensual songs to the macho boasts of the dashing bullfighter.


San Francisco Symphony

Sunday, September 9th, 2pm

The new season of concerts of the San Francisco Symphony begins with a program of contemporary music that includes two works of Stravinsky: The Song of the Nightingale and a suite from The Firebird. Pianist Yuja Wang is featured in the 1st Piano Concerto of Shostakovich the concert opens with an overture by Bright Sheng. Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas conducts.


Canción Franklin


Tuesday, September 11th, 9pm

With a first name that’s the Spanish word for “song” it’s only natural Canción Franklin got into music. A native of Tuscon, Arizona, he came east to attend college in New Jersey and has been on the NY/NJ/PA music scene for the past few years. A roots-rock style singer-songwriter with articulate lyrics who recently released his first EP, True as Time Allows, Franklin makes his Homegrown Music debut with a three-piece electric band performing 10 original songs.




Saturday, September 15th, 1pm

As an aging king descends into madness, his bloodthirsty daughter begins a reign of terror, leaving a defenseless populace to battle for freedom from their oppressors. A monumental opera that made Giuseppe Verdi a national hero, Nabucco boasts a bold score that goes straight to the heart, highlighted by the immortal chorus of the Hebrew slaves.

The powerful tale is loosely based on the historical and biblical figure of Nebuchadnezzar, a mighty king whose madness is cured by divine intervention. In Thaddeus Strassberger’s production, the towering drama is exquisitely presented as it might have been staged at its 1842 premiere at Teatro alla Scala. Plácido Domingo continues his astonishing exploration of the Verdi baritone repertory with his portrayal of the title role, with one of today’s brightest stars, Liudmyla Monastyrska, making her company debut as the king's power-hungry daughter, Abigaille.


San Francisco Symphony

Sunday, September 16th, 2pm

Richard Strauss explores the attributes of heroism in the expansive tone poem Ein Heldenleben. And the virtuosity of the orchestra is showcased in Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts and also offers one of his own compositions: Urban Legend.


Charles Havira Band


Tuesday, September 18th, 9pm

A long-time part of the regional music scene going back to the early 1990s in the popular group Freight Train, Charles Havira has performed in numerous contexts from solo acoustic to rock band. Last year, he released an EP called Actual. This archive segment from 2001 features an all-star quartet featuring Pat Flynn and Mark Kiesinger from Mere Mortals and Bent Blue, and drummer Marko Marcinko of the Dave Liebman jazz group.




Saturday, September 22nd, 1pm

In the Roman Empire, a clandestine love affair brings two mortal enemies together during a time of war. But when Norma discovers that her beloved now loves another, a fiery new battle begins as betrayal, anguish and fury take the reins.

A superlative quartet of soloists is led by the extraordinary Angela Meade—hailed by Opera News as “a voice to be reckoned with”—in the iconic title role, opposite the Adalgisa of mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, this year's winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award. From the sublime “Casta diva” to the blazing finale, Norma delivers an overwhelming feast of vocal fireworks. This is Vicenzo Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece.


San Francisco Symphony

Sunday, September 23rd, 2pm

Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful, inventive musical retelling of the Tales from 1001 Nights, Scheherazade, is the centerpiece of this program. Michael Tilson Thomas also conducts


Mickey Spain


Tuesday, September 25th, 9pm

A veteran folksinger, Mickey Spain has been a member of the traditional Irish band Makem and Spain, and has recorded with such luminaries as Tom Paxton, Roger McGuinn, Noel Paul Stookey, and Jonathan Edwards. Now living in Scranton, Mickey Spain makes his Homegrown Music debut with a collection of original and traditional songs in a solo acoustic setting.


Gianni Schicchi & Pagliacci


Saturday, September 29th, 1pm

Two legendary directors combine forces for a sensational season-opener. First, Plácido Domingo stars as Gianni Schicchi in Woody Allen’s riotous staging of Giacomo Puccini’s comic masterpiece, conducted by Grant Gershon. When greedy relatives descend upon their kinsman’s deathbed, they enlist Gianni Schicchi to rewrite the will to their benefit. Handed an opportunity too good to resist, the devious Schicchi turns the tables, securing the future happiness of two young lovers in the process.

After the intermission, Plácido Domingo conducts the conclusion of the double bill, Franco Zeffirelli’s epic production of Pagliacci starring Marco Berti, Ana María Martínez and George Gagnidze. Filling the stage with hair-raising drama, the action plays out in a breathtaking contemporary urban landscape. When a cuckolded husband takes his revenge, his desperate wife must fight for her life in front of a cheering, oblivious audience.


San Francisco Symphony

Sunday, September 30th, 2pm

One of Mahler’s monumental symphonies comprises the program. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. The regard for this tonally and structurally complex work has only grown since its premiere in Prague in 1908. The scoring calls for bass clarinet, E-flat clarinet, 2 harps, as well as mandolin and guitar!

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