This is my interview with Kelly. She can teach you all about opera. Don’t read this without clicking on the link for the music player she made for me to hear all of the music she talks about.
Where do you live?
In Michigan, in the United States (for those readers outside of the US) It is the big mitten-shaped state, surrounded by lakes. There are 5 of them: Erie, Ontario, Michigan Huron and Superior. I can see part of Lake Erie ½ block away from my living room window.
Everyone from here does 2 things:
1 – when you tell someone where you are from, or showing where a city is in relation to another, you lift up your hand and point to it.
Yes, that is where I live!
2 – say this about the weather: if you don’t like it, wait 5 minutes. It really can be sunny, snowy, and rainy all in one day.
What is it like where you live?
Very quiet. I’m in a small town south of Detroit, (which is the most famous city in Michigan, and considered the auto capital of the world, although their title is slipping). I live half a block from the Detroit River, which connects Lake Erie to Lake Huron.
It is a normal suburb, and in the summertime/fall, we have a lot of outdoor fairs and festivals on the street – I help run the Scarecrow Festival in October. We have lots of contests and raise money for charity. Half the money goes to a human health organization, and half to an animal rescue organization.
What is it like running Classical Music Broadcast?
Busy and extremely fun – I get to listen to a LOT of music – usually 30 CD’s a month or more, I research articles to put on the website, I participate in online newsgroups about classical music to stay aware of what is going on, I go to concerts, I interview musicians and there is all the recording – opera plot synopsis, promos for shows and fund raising and then there is all the technical work – I also am the primary person who keeps it running – so there is a lot of coding and a LOT of loading music and typing in all the titles, genre, and other items. It’s a hobby that has taken up a lot of time. I love it, but it is a very expensive hobby – it costs over $1,000/month to keep the station on for a month, which is why it is only on a few hours of the day now. (usually 10AM-2PM EST) I am also a “real” radio host (part-time) at WRCJ in Detroit.
What is your favorite classical music song?
I can’t pick one, so here goes:
Favorite opera: Mozarts Don Giovanni http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Giovanni
followed by Offenbachs Les Contes D’ Hoffmann
(I use the Oeser version, most use the Choudens – Michael Kaye, who did a new version in 2004, is an acquaintance of mine)
Favorite concert song: Mahlers Songs of a Wayfarer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieder_eines_fahrenden_Gesellen,
followed by Brittens Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenade_for_Tenor,_Horn_and_Strings
also take a look at the history of Dennis Brain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Brain
to this day, there has not been another virtuoso of this instrument.
Favorite symphony: Mahlers 6th. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._6_(Mahler)
Beethoven’s Waldstein http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Sonata_No._21_(Beethoven) this is often called his “punk rock sonata by pianists – my dream for years has been to learn to play this before I die. Note that I did not say play it well.
Favorite solo instrument piece: Mozarts Clarinet Concerto in A.
Followed by Dvoraks Cello Concerto Op.4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cello_Concerto_(Dvorak)
I also like Tarrega’s “Capricho Arabe” for solo guitar, Erik Saties piano music, and Michael Nyman’s film scores, which tend to be thematically based in classical music. My favorite conductor is Leopold Stokowski http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Stokowski
I have collected 127 of his recordings – almost 2/3 of them.
*****Matthew: here is your own music player with samples of all the music I talk about:
I also listen to a lot of non-classical music: indie rock, jazz, blues, country, and even some rap (mostly old school). I used to DJ at a college radio station that played all of those types of music.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you choose?
I would be my cat Linus – he is the mellowest, sweetest cat I have ever had, and he has a great life – he gets to hang out and play, people pet him a lot, and he gets to eat and sleep whenever he wants. I would love to be him for a week.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
Oh, when I was little I could read at 2, and so was always trying to impress adults with my vocabulary skills, and would often use really inappropriate words to try and describe something. I vaguely remember trying to use words like “leagues” and “knots” from Defoes Robinson Crusoe in a conversation about our family boat and making my dad laugh for about a week.
What is your favorite type of writing? What do you read?
I love historical novels, history non-fiction, and primarily from what is known as the “romantic” period – anything from the late 18th-early 19th century. Having said that, I am also a MASSIVE book hound and will read just about anything – as a kid, you could always find me with a book and an apple. I just finished re-reading the following: A Fatal Shore – a history of the colonization of Australia. Sense & Sensibility, by Jane Austen, and a book on CSS2 and liquid design (it’s a website development book)
What type of clock do you like better? Analog or digital?
A radio clock (its both) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_clock
My sister wants me to ask if you like being a grown up?
I had to think about this question for a week – and I still went back to my original answer, which is yes – when I was a kid, I always wanted to be a grown-up, I was really “adult” for my age. I wasn’t much of a kid when I was a kid. I’m OK with that and never really regretted it.
What is your favorite color? Why?
Blue, followed by red. Why? Wow…I have never had to think about that before. Blue tends to be a lot of my favorite things – water, sky, flowers. Red also is the color of a lot of my favorite things, and its just so warm and rich. I also like to wear both of those colors.
Do you like to travel? What is your favorite place to travel to?
Before I did what I do now (broadcasting) I worked in the theater/opera industry for 16 years, and traveled all over the US – I have lived in all but 5 US states. (Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico) So yes, I like to travel, I do it a lot now at my day job, which is broadcasting events live on the Internet in video for a company called Michigan Live Events.com – this summer, we will broadcast about 20 different events. I tell everyone that they should see as much of the US as possible – we live in an amazing country.
What was the worst thing you ever did as a kid?
Oh, my sweet tooth would get me in a LOT of trouble at family events – I was always sneaking sweet treats when I shouldn’t have. When I was REALLY little, I ate all the candied fruit out of a full punch bowl. I think it was a 50th anniversary party for my great-aunt.