Pittsburgh Opera's General Director, Christopher Hahn, talks about the company's New Year's Eve gala concert at Carnegie Music Hall, returning by popular demand.
One of the opera world's rising young conductors is former Pittsburgher Christopher Franklin, the son of University of Pittsburgh musicologist and Bach authority Don Franklin. Christopher Franklin developed his career in Italian opera houses, including some major ones, and now has a handful of opera CDs to his credit including a new release on the Naxos label. He spoke with Jim Cunningham via Skype between performances of Rossini's Cinderella with Minnesota Opera.
Brooklyn-born conductor Gilbert Levine conducted several of historic concerts for Pope John Paul II beginning with a concert to Commemorate the Holocaust in 1994 and ending with the Pittsburgh Symphony's Concert of Papal Reconciliation at the Vatican in 2004. The story of how the Jewish Levine forged a musical bond with the pontiff is told in his new autobiography "The Pope's Maestro."
Bruce Fink, Duquesne University psychology professor and translator of the writings of 20th-century French psychologist Jacques Lacan, talks about his first novel, inspired by his dual interests: Lacan and classical music.
Rolf Smedvig, solo trumpet of the Empire Brass, sings the praises of Elizabeth von Trapp, of the famous "Sound of Music" family. Smedvig talks of his work and friendships with Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Berstein, his appearance on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and his utter delight with von Trapp, who until recently was unknown to him.
Artistic Director Greer Reed-Jones presents a retrospective honoring this repertory company's previous artistic directors and dancers. She tells Stephen Baum about a work that premiered on Mister Rogers, a nontraditional Swan Lake, and her own work that combines photos, video, text and dance into a 10-minute tribute to her predecessors danced by the company's two veterans and three new members.