Classical 91.5

Arts

Rochester Fringe reiterated its call for entries Tuesday with a specific emphasis on submissions by artists of color.

The festival opened its submission process in June, and regularly repeats its calls for entries. But the latest invitation was notable for its appeal for artists of color.

Earlier this month, people around the world sat down to watch "Hamilton" -- the Broadway musical phenomenon written by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the titular founding father.

And they did so from their own homes, giving everyone with a Disney+ subscription access to a show they might not have seen otherwise.

Imagine if art was this accessible all the time.

“It’s not hard to do,” says Gregg Beratan, director of development for the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester. “We have decades of research of making venues more accessible.”

It’s been 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, mandating public spaces be accessible to all. But it’s still an ongoing battle.

Alexander Lloyd Blake

American conductor Alexander Lloyd Blake has launched an effort to encourage musicians to sign a pledge of anti-racisim in choral practice.

Blake is the Founding Artistic Director of Tonality, Director of Classical Choirs at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and Principal Associate Conductor at the National Children's Chorus.  He also offers consulting work for organizations wanting to increase equity and diversity in the arts.

(Photo Bettina Stoss)

Gregory Kunde is supposed to be singing in Europe.  

The internationally-acclaimed tenor had just finished a run as Jean de Leyde in Giacomo Meyerbeer's grand opera Le Prophète at the Deutsche Oper Berlin when the pandemic hit.

Now he finds himself at home in Rochester with time to clean the garage and croon his favorite Frank Sinatra standards.

Longtime local film critic Jack Garner has died. The Democrat & Chronicle, where Garner worked for decades, says he died Sunday at the age of 75.

Garner’s wife, Bonnie, was quoted in the D&C saying they would have celebrated their 50th anniversary next month and they were planning to take international trips after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Garner was elected an Honorary Trustee of WXXI and The Little Theatre (which is operated by WXXI).

Aaron Winters

The Public Media Journalists Association (PMJA) has announced awards for outstanding journalism, and two WXXI staffers have earned accolades for their work.

Mona Seghatoleslami won 2nd place in the ‘Best use of Sound’ category for a feature she did called “New Sounds from Ossia” about student-run ensemble at the Eastman School of Music.

Listen to Mona’s feature.  

Three of Rochester’s largest cultural attractions: the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Museum and Science Center, and The Strong National Museum of Play, will open Saturday, June 27, as part of New York Forward’s Phase 4 for reopening. Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week the Finger Lakes and four other regions are on track to begin Phase 4 on Friday.

The George Eastman Museum will remain closed until mid-July due to construction on the Thomas Tischer Visitor Center. The Strong and MAG will be open to members only to start, and RMSC will be open to the general public.

On a warm spring morning, Allison Roberts walked with bare feet to the art box she installed in front of her South Wedge home.

It looks like a little library, with glass panels on the door and a handle in the shape of a red bird.

"I finally had to put a little note up because people kept putting books it in. No! Only art supplies!” she said with a laugh.                          

Inside are colorful ribbons, paper, and other things people can use to create something.

When will it be safe to sing together again? It’s a question the New York Times asked earlier this month when reporting on how choirs have been linked to several coronavirus outbreaks. Scientific research shows that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets. When singers project in performance settings, they may unwittingly spread the virus, if infected. There have been conflicting messages across the globe about the risk of singing during the pandemic.

This hour, we discuss what the data shows and how local and national groups are adapting, both in the short and long term. Our guests:

  • Lee Wright, director of music ministry at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, and founder artistic director of First Inversion choral ensemble
  • Janet Galván, professor of performance studies, and director of choral activities and conducting at Ithaca College
  • Dr. Scott Stratton-Smith, family medicine specialist with Rochester Regional Health
  • Brenda Tremblay, host for WXXI's Classical 91.5, and member of a local choir

There’s no ’20 in the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s 2020-’21 season.

With the coronavirus pandemic remaining a nationwide concern, the RBTL’s upcoming calendar will skip this year entirely and open Jan. 26, 2021, with the Broadway-proven hit Mean Girls. But the undisputed highlight will be the return of one of the most-acclaimed musicals of recent years, Hamilton.

The RBTL, which presents its shows at the Auditorium Theatre, generally opens its season in October.

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