The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Michael Johnathon’s folk opera Woody: For the People will be featured on the Feb. 22 (Note, this is a date change from the original posting of this story) broadcast of The Story, a show produced by American Public Media and North Carolina Public Radio that is heard locally at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday on WEKU (88.9 FM).
The opera was written by Johnathon, the host of Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, and focuses on the friendship between Woody Guthrie and fellow folk-singer Pete Seeger and the writing of Guthrie’s signature song, The Land is Your Land. The Story broadcast will fall the day before the 72nd anniversary of the day Guthrie wrote the song as a retort to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America.
Woody: For the People is a work in progress aimed for an eventual premiere in Lexington. A CD of five arias from the opera was recorded last February conducted by Jo Nardolillo with a 37-piece orchestra and Nick Provenzale as Guthrie, Gregory Turay as Seeger, and Reginald Smith Jr. as Paul Robeson.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich