Creatively Speaking

Throughout the week

Creatively Speaking is WRTI's weekly look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Meet the people behind the footlights and the artists in the spotlight, as Jim Cotter and company introduce you to those who make the performing and visual arts come alive in our region. Listen to six Creatively Speaking features each week.

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Creatively Speaking
11:04 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Opera Company of Philadelphia Opens New Season With Fresh Take On Old Favorite

Some rough-and-tumble opening chords can mean only one thing to opera lovers - Puccini’s La Boheme.  The iconic work is back in Philadelphia  for what could feel like the 300th time since first arriving here 114 years ago. Audiences rarely tire of the story of starving artists in 19th-century Paris, or the famous arias that convey the rapture of young love. But they might also feel like it’s a rerun.

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Creatively Speaking
11:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Internationally Renowned Singer Nathan Gunn to Lead OCP New-Opera Initiative

Nathan Gunn

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is furthering its commitment to the creation of new American works with the recruitment of star baritone Nathan Gunn to lead its American Repertoire Program. The project aims to produce an American work in each season for the next 10 years.  

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Creatively Speaking
11:01 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and THE LIFE LINE

The Life Line, 1884, Winslow Homer, American, Oil on canvas, 28 5/8 x 44 3/4 inches (72.7 x 113.7 cm) The George W. Elkins Collection, 1924, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Nineteenth and early 20th-century American artist Winslow Homer painted civil war scenes, landscapes, and seascapes, but his tour de force was a close up of a dramatic rescue at sea. 

The Life Line, part of the American art collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is the focus of a new exhibition that explores the artistic foundation and historical events that set the stage for this groundbreaking work.

Creatively Speaking
6:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

New, Major Hannibal Lokumbe Work Debuts in Philadelphia

The Kimmel Center is the venue for the world premiere of a monumental symphonic gospel work.  Several amassed choirs bring to life an evening-length work by Hannibal Lokumbe, the stubbornly unclassifiable jazz trumpeter and composer.

The new piece is titled, Can You Hear God Crying, the composer's tribute to his great-great grandfather who was born in the Sahara desert, kidnapped in Liberia, sold into slavery in Charleston S.C., but escaped and made his way as a free man to Texas, where L0kumbe was born and still lives.

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Creatively Speaking
3:00 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Intercultural Journeys Starts Its 10th Season

Cellist Udi Bar-David

Neither arms nor diplomacy has achieved peace in the Middle East, but ten years ago an Israeli-born Philadelphia Orchestra cellist became convinced that music might help further the prospects for people in conflict learning to live in harmony. 

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Arts & Culture
2:50 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

People’s Light and Theatre Company Presents August Wilson’s Iconic Play Seven Guitars

When playwright August Wilson died in 2005, The New York Times writer Ben Brantley compared his writing to "the sweep of Shakespearean music," his plays "like grand opera rooted in the blues." Wilson won a host of awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes;  his magnum opus, now known as the Pittsburgh cycle, includes 10 plays, each set in a different decade of the 20th century, chronicling the lives of ordinary African Americans.

Creatively Speaking
2:41 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

American Philosopical Society Adds Dance to Museum Exhibition

Benjamin Franklin’s many gifts to Philadelphia and the nation include free libraries, fire companies lightning rods, bi-focals, and the University of Pennsylvania. The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743, is perhaps one of his lesser-known gems.


Despite the large statue of Franklin above the main entrance, many people may unknowingly walk right past the centuries-old Society, which is discreetly housed in a neo-classical building in Old City, Philadelphia.

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Creatively Speaking
9:58 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Walnut Street Theatre Presents a Fresh Reworking of an Iconic Love Story

The film Love Story was a massive cultural phenomenon in the early 1970s. Adapted by Erich Segal from his novel of the same name, the romantic tragedy starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw as two students from different social classes who meet at Harvard, fall in love, and wed. After which, personal tragedy strikes.

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Creatively Speaking
9:56 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Wharton Esherick: Twentieth-Century PA Sculptor and Furniture Maker

Pioneering 20th-century sculptor and furniture maker Wharton Esherick  lived and worked in Philadelphia and the surrounding countryside, where his onetime studio and home is now a museum.

WRTI’s Susan Lewis considers the life and influences of this artist who practiced a variety of artistic disciplines before achieving fame for his  curvilinear free-form sculpture.

Creatively Speaking
9:54 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Private Citizens in Public Perfomances at Philly Live Arts Festival

Inspired by Edinburgh’s renowned Fringe Festival, Philadelphia’s version took root in 1997.  Over the next several weeks,  galleries, bars, and public plazas will be among the ordinary spaces turned into venues for experimental performing arts.  Some people are also transforming - stepping away from their day jobs and out of their comfort zones. 

WRTI’s Susan Lewis takes a broad look at the festival and a close up on how one Live Arts show is turning ordinary people into dancers.

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