Joe Patti

Classical Host

It's his parents' fault. For Joe's sixth birthday, they gave him a transistor radio. All of a sudden, their dreams of having a doctor or lawyer (or even a fry cook) in the family went down the tubes.

For more than three decades, Joe has been defiantly disappointing his parents, to the benefit of radio listeners across the tri-state area. From Trenton to the Jersey shore, and from Philly to Wilmington, he's been programming, producing, and performing in almost every radio format, even winning an award or two along the way.

After having worked with such Philadelphia stars as Hy Lit, Sally Starr, and Johnny "Green Grocer" Lerro during his career, and having made some major noise as the operations and programming head for a South Jersey AM/FM combo, Joe thought it was time for a new challenge. Almost simultaneously, the opportunity to work as production manager at WRTI arrived. "Divine intervention," he says.

Joe is WRTI's production manager as well as a substitute classical host.

Ways To Connect

Soprano Diana Damrau usually sticks with her forte of mainstream opera. Indeed, she's made her name in such demanding roles as Mozart's Queen of the Night, Strauss' Zerbinetta, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi's Violetta. But not long ago, she had this itch that needed scratching. And scratch she did, to excellent result.

Every so often, we like to check in with artists who've appeared on Crossover in the past to find out what they're up to. This week's returning guest is Anna Bergman, cabaret singer, concert artist, chanteuse.  

Listening to Ms. Bergman is an exercise in sophistication. From Francis Poulenc to Carole King, and everything in between, she performs opera, operetta and the so-called Great American Songbook, thrilling audiences worldwide with every bit of it.

First they were students at AVA. During their studies, they were companions. Eventually they performed together on stage.  Then came love, and later, the altar. All because of opera. And we can say, "We knew them when."

The 2014 Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, a signature program of Philadelphia's Gershman Y, runs November 1st through the 16th. The festival will showcase 17 films from eight countries, in seven different venues across the city.

Two of our favorite guests return to Crossover this week. In their own ways they create classical concert experiences...but they endeavor to take it further than that.

Once upon a time, in the world of classical music, there lived the "Big Five." The term was used to lump together the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and our own Philadelphia Orchestra as the finest performing orchestras in the U.S.

But, over time, as other orchestras gained stature, both in performance and finances, the term became passe and no longer indicative of the American orchestral scene.

Crossover takes its annual look at the Walnut Street Theatre's new season. Beginning its 206th season as the oldest theater company in the English-speaking world, the Walnut has always represented the best of Broadway in Philadelphia, but with a twist.

A museum tour is not something you'd think would translate well on radio...but it always winds up being an audience favorite on Crossover. It must be the theater-of-the-mind element of the broadcast. And the subject usually relates to theater and the performing arts.

This week on Crossover it's a re-broadcast from 2013. Our guests are the musicians of the Serafin String Quartet. Renown worldwide for their excellent music making and lively, infectious performances, the quartet is in residence at the University of Delaware's College of Arts and Sciences. 

Brigette Lacombe

The old saying goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  Angele Dubeau is living proof.  An acclaimed violinist and leader of the ensemble La Pieta, Dubeau's story is both hopeful and enlightening.