Sep 7, 2020
Ep 434 - Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Play episode · 1 hr

What if all we knew about alien culture was their garbage? Or is it their garbage? The Strugatsky brothers' most famous novel is about a world where stalkers crawl through hazardous Zones for precious artifacts. Also it's about hope, bureaucracy, and our relationship to the unknown.

Our theme music was composed by Nick Lerangis.

Aria Code
Aria Code
WQXR & The Metropolitan Opera
Rossini's La Cenerentola: Opera's Cinderella Story
Gioachino Rossini’s operatic version of the Cinderella story may not have any enchanted mice or pumpkins, but there’s plenty of magic in the music. Cinderella (or La Cenerentola, in Italian) has silently suffered the abuse of her stepfather and stepsisters, but in true fairy tale fashion, her fate changes for the better and all is made right by the triumph of goodness over evil. In the opera’s joyous finale “Nacqui all’affanno… Non più mesta,” Cenerentola looks ahead to a future with no more sadness. In this episode, Rhiannon Giddens and guests explore this universal tale and how it still resonates today. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sings the aria onstage at the Metropolitan Opera. The Guests Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato loves the strength and sincerity of this great Rossini heroine. She has performed the title role in La Cenerentola at leading opera houses around the world and believes in its absolute celebration of human goodness. Writer Fred Plotkin loves opera – all of it! – and he shares this love in his book Opera 101: A Guide to Learning and Loving Opera. He has a special connection to Rossini’s music, which he feels is all about the heartbeat. Maria Tatar is a research professor at Harvard University in the fields of folkore and mythology. She vividly remembers when her sister used to read fairy tales to her as a child, and believes that we have the right and responsibility to keep retelling these stories in a way that’s meaningful to us today. Mezzo-soprano Alma Salcedo’s mother tells her she’s been singing since she was nine months old. Her personal Cinderella story began in Venezuela and has brought her to Spain, where she has fought to keep her dreams of being a singer alive.
41 min
Bad Gays
Bad Gays
This "deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love" rose to stardom playing "classical music without the boring parts" and didn't need to stay in the closet because he wore its entire contents. How could he become an emblem of Middle American family entertainment? The United States of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s was undergoing enormous social change –– the Civil Rights Movement, the Summer of Love, Women’s Lib, the Stonewall Riots, Gay Liberation, and the beginning of the AIDS movement –– and Liberace was an entertainer who appealed to precisely those parts of the country who sought to resist those changes. Hated by classical music critics, he was beloved by audiences precisely because of the openness of his secret and the way he performed a kind of minstrel act that nevertheless won him fame, riches, and glory. Visit our website for Patreon, T-shirts, and an eopside archive.----more---- Gabler, Neal. “Robert Harrison’s Scandalous Confidential Magazine.” Vanity Fair, April 2003. https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2003/04/robert-harrison-confidential-magazine.Liberace Music Video & Entrance 1981, 2008. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dioRwB4RvrQ.O’Connor, Pauline. “Mapping the Many Razzle-Dazzle Homes of Liberace.” Curbed LA, May 24, 2013. https://la.curbed.com/maps/mapping-the-many-razzledazzle-homes-of-liberace.Pyron, Darden Asbury. Liberace: An American Boy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.Rechy, John. “Randy Dandy.” Los Angeles Times, August 6, 2000. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-aug-06-bk-65295-story.html.Thorson, Scott. Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace. Head of Zeus, 2013. Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, downloaded from WFMU's Free Music Archive and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Our outro music is by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicsdesigner.
1 hr 23 min
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