Part One: Opera Carolina's Aida. This month, Opera Carolina kicks off its new season with Verdi's Aida. This production stars soprano Othalie Graham in the title role and also Mark Rucker as Aida's father. We'll be joined by these two opera veterans and by Opera Carolina's James Meena to talk about this production and the popularity of Verdi's work here in Charlotte, and we'll discuss the importance of collaborating with other opera companies around the country in order save costs in a time when funding for performing arts is harder to come by.
James Meena - Opera Carolina's General Director and Principal Conductor since 2000
Othalie Graham - Canadian-American Soprano who is critically acclaimed across North America. She plays the title role in Aida at Opera Carolina
Mark Rucker - American Baritone who plays Amonasro (Aida's father) in Aida at Opera Carolina
Part Two: 50th Anniversary of Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. When one thinks of the Cold War and espionage, exotic and international destinations come to mind. But in the early 1960s in a beautiful corner of our own Blue Ridge Mountains, the United States government created a facility to help with its fledgling space program. Soon after the site became the East Coast's most important satellite tracking and data acquisition facility. PARI, or the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, has played an important role in some of our most vital agencies, including NASA and the Department of Defense. Now it’s an educational facility teaching STEM and other programs but PARI has a most dynamic and interesting history and we’ll explore it.
Dr. David E. Clavier - Vice President of Administration & Development at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
Ken Steiner - Volunteer at PARI, Member of Charlotte Astronomers Club