Chris Silva, Executive Director - Bardavon 1869 Opera House
Host Mike Harris draws back the curtain and brings you backstage at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House that is located in Poughkeepsie, New York. For more than 150 years, notables such as Mark Twain, Frank Sinatra, James Earl Jones, Mary Tyler Moore, Santana, Aretha Franklin, and John Legend have graced its stage. Since 1994, Chris Silva has been at the helm of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie, NY. Chris arrived at the Bardavon via Hollywood and Broadway, having served in the capacities of theater manager, and the producer and director of theater and film. As the Associate Director of the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Chris worked with Sam Shepard on the productions of “Fool For Love” and “A Lie of the Mind”, which received the NY Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award for Best Play. Most recently, Chris was instrumental in affiliating the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, NY with the Bardavon, and oversaw its $10M restoration that was completed in late 2017. Additionally, the Bardavon opened the Hutton Brickyards, also in Kingston, which presented two sold-out Bob Dylan shows in June 2017. Who better than to begin the Backstage with the Bardavon Podcasts than with Chris Silva.
Mary Stuart Masterson - Actor, Director, Producer and Activist
Mary Stuart Masterson’s award-winning career includes roles in the iconic films Some Kind of Wonderful, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Benny and Joon. She has also directed and produced indie films, network television, and documentary theater. As a full-time resident of the Hudson Valley, she and her husband, Jeremy Davidson, have created Stockadeworks.org in Kingston, NY, to provide job training to the local under-served community in all aspects of motion picture production and post-production. Additionally, they have been instrumental in attracting the film industry to the valley. On April 21st, Mary performed “Elegy to Anne Frank” with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic at the Bardavon Theater.
Floriana Frassetto- Founder and Artistic Director of Mummenschanz
During its 2018 season, the Bardavon presented Mummenschanz, the Swiss mask theater troupe that uses masks, light, shadows and choreography to entertain every age. In this episode, we are lucky enough to be speaking with one of the original founders of Mummenschanz, Floriana Frassetto. For more than forty years, Mummenschanz has entertained international audiences with their unique and often hilarious prop-oriented mime. Besides touring the world, Mummenschanz has performed on Broadway, and has been a special guests on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and in an award winning music video for “Devil’s Ball” by Double, featuring horns by Herb Alpert. Presently, Mummenschanz is on tour with its production of “ You and Me”.
Johanna Pfaelzer - Artistic Director, New York Stage and Film
For thirty-four seasons, New York Stage and Film has fostered professional playwrights, directors, actors, and designers at its summer residence at the Vassar College Powerhouse Theater Season in Poughkeepsie, NY. Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer discusses the new, innovative productions to be presented at its 2018 Mainstage, Powerhouse and Shiva Stein Theaters, as well as the Tony award and Pulitzer prize nominated projects by Duncan Sheik, John Patrick Shanley, Taylor Mac and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton which found their start at New York Stage and Film.
Randall Fleischer, Conductor and Musical Director for the Hudson Valley Philharmonic
Since 1992, Maestro Randall Fleischer has served as Musical Director and Conductor of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and has conducted orchestras for a president and a pope, as well as audiences around the world. Randy is just off a smash six-week engagement of the Broadway production of "Rocktopia", a mash-up of rock music by such icons as Pete Townsend and Queen with symphonies by Wagner and Bach. He produced "Rocktopia" with Broadway and former Trans-Siberian Orchestra Star Rob Evans and the show is currently on tour with Rock Legend Dee Snider. Additionally, Randy is a composer, arranger, educator and author. He is currently conducting the HVP 59th season at the Bardavon Opera House. You will be missed.
A conversation with Mary Kay Vrba, President and CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. Since 2006, Mary Kay has helmed this non-profit designed to promote Dutchess County tourism around the world. In 2017, Mary Kay was honored by Women in Travel and Tourism International as an outstanding Woman in Destination, Management and Marketing for her work in helping to generate over $600M in revenues for hotels, museums, landmarks and the arts in Dutchess County. In this podcast, she will be giving a sneak peak of exciting spring and summer 2019 events in Dutchess County.
New Paltz Ballet Theatre
For the past 24 holiday seasons, the Bardavon Theater has presented Tschaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet as performed by the New Paltz Ballet Theater. Under the direction of Lisa Chalmers-Naumann and Peter Naumann, the New Paltz Ballet Theater has brought a world-class production of this classic Christmas time tale to the Hudson Valley. As principal dancers in the New York City Ballet, the Naumann’s trained the incomparable George Balanchine and continue his traditions to inspire students of all ages in their own dance academy.
Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado
Astronomer, astrophotographer and filmmaker is the executive director of KV 265, a non-profit whose mission is the communication of science through the arts. Jose recently brought his Science and Symphony project, which has been presented to audiences around the world, to the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. In celebration of the 50th Moon Landing, one of his brilliant films, “Moonrise”, which features his own photographs, NASA footage, historical and cultural references to the moon, was synchronized to Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe”.
Lisa Cortes, Film Producer and Billy "Mr. Apollo Theater" Mitchell
Film producer, Lisa Cortes and Billy Mitchell, the resident Historian of the Landmark Apollo theater in Harlem speak with host Jode Millman backstage at the UPAC Theater in Kingston, New York. Lisa started her career in the music industry working with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin to launch the iconic Def Jam brand, and then transitioned into filmmaking, working with Director, writer and producer Lee Daniels on such movies as “Precious” and “Monster’s Ball.” Her current projects include the forthcoming “The Remix; Hip Hop X fashion” and the HBO documentary “The Apollo." Since landing at the Apollo’s stage door during a waylaid trip to borrow money from his cousin in 1965, Billy has worked at The Apollo. Becoming a beloved institution himself, Billy’s knowledge and affection for the theater are infectious. This outstanding HBO documentary was recently screened as part of the Woodstock Film Festival at Kingston’s UPAC theater.
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Grammy Award winning musicians
For more than four decades, Emmy-nominated and Grammy Award Winning musicians, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason have brought their love and folk, country, swing and zydeco expertise to the Hudson Valley through their involvement with the Askohan Center, in Shokan, NY, recordings, books and educational programs. In addition to scoring several motion pictures like Legends of the Fall, they’ve worked with Ken Burns on several of his documentaries, including the award-winning Civil War and Huey. Mr. Burns had praised Jay and Molly, remarking that they “play music from the heart which reminds us of the best in all of us.”
In these days of COVID-19, Backstage with the Bardavon has reached out to residents of the Hudson Valley who have been instrumental in the development of our unique music scene. Joining us today is Stan Beinstein, local music maven, historian and chronicler of music in the Hudson Valley. Stan began his career producing concerts like THE WHO at SUNY New Paltz, then moved on to become Sales Manager at WPDH during its hey-days and establishing it as THE HOME OF ROCK ‘N ROLL, and of course, he remained close friends with Larry Plover, music impresario and owner of the THE CHANCE, until his untimely death.
Danny Louis, musician, songwriter, producer, and someone who was born and bred in the Hudson Valley. Danny has toured with Joe Cocker, Cheap Trick and the Allman Brothers Band, among others, and has appeared on discs by Ronnie Spector, Rosanne Cash, and Ricky Martin. Danny is a founding member of the rock band the Cars and, of course, he’s best known as keyboardist for Government Mule.
Musician, songwriter, and political activist. In addition to being one of the founding members of the rock band Orleans, his songs have been recorded by Janis Joplin, Jackson Browne, Little Feat and Bonnie Raitt. His song, “Power,” has become the anthem for the No Nukes movement and John helped spark Musicians for Safe Energy with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash. And John’s interest in politics took him all the way to Congress where he served as a U.S. Representative for New York’s 19th Congressional District, and back to the Hudson Valley. He'll be discussing his past projects and his new exciting projects..
Freelance writer, and former music and arts writer for the Poughkeepsie Journal. In these days of COVID-19, our podcast has reached out to residents of the Hudson Valley who have been instrumental in the development of our unique music scene. Joining us today is John Barry, freelance writer, and former music and arts writer for the Poughkeepsie Journal. During his time at the Poughkeepsie Journal, John has covered everything from Woodstock 40 to the recent Covid pandemic and it’s effect on the Music Scene.