The Work of Art

Fridays at 4:44 p.m.

This series of interviews profiles folks who fervently support the arts, frequently with minimal acknowledgment, as they contribute to the creative product.

Over the next cultural year we’ll wander through the backstages, the attics, the storage rooms and the shops and artists spaces to reveal the work of art - the people who contribute to a bigger creative vision. Karl Lengel’s life experience includes a substantial career in generating and delivering live performance. Behind every great work of art, he has witnessed countless legions of committed micro-artists who enrich detail in the creative effort. As the program host, he will seek out and give a voice to these devoted enablers. You might see their names roll past in the movie credits if you stay that long, or you might skim them in the tiny print at the back of the program. They are the people who help perfect the work of art.

Support for this series is provided by The Helis Foundation.

Steve McCale

Last week, Karl spoke with Frank Farrell, who mixes monitors for Elvis Costello, and was on the show this past week at New Orleans' Mahalia Jackson Theater. This week, the series features an interview with Steve McCale, the front-of-house engineer for Tim McGraw. Steve discusses his entry into the profession, his thoughts on mixing differences, and some suggestions for aspiring audio engineers.

Frank Farrell

Today on the Work of Art, WWNO's Karl Lengel chats with audio engineer Frank Farrell. A concert has the front-of-house engineer who mixes for the audience and the monitor engineer who mixes for the artist. Frank Farrell has an expansive career doing just that - among others, for Kenny Rogers, Steve Miller and, currently, Elvis Costello. Like many audio engineers, he got started as a musician in his teens.

Karl Lengel

Maestro Robert Lyall of the New Orleans Opera discusses the co-production of "The Falling and The Rising" with Jefferson Performing Arts Society and Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC) Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at JPAC.

Howell Binkley is a Tony Award winning lighting designer. He frequently collaborates with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and, today, discusses the value of collaboration in artistic endeavor. Portions of this intervciew were originally aired in WWNO's "Inside the Arts" in March of 2019.

IATSE Local 39

New Orleans’ Saenger Theater originally opened in 1927 as a vaudeville palace, and struggled through the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s as a movie theatres accommodated changing tastes. In 1977, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was renovated for the large musical theatre tours of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Since then, Katrina damaged it in 2005 and it was again renovated and reopened in 2013. As officials plan an implosion on the Hard Rock site across the street, the theater building sits idle.

Karl Lengel / WWNO

This Work of Art episode features an interview with Hardy Weaver. The New Orleans native found theatre in his teens and attended NOCCA. He then went on to the theater program at FSU and a showcase in New York. Following some road tours with productions of Footloose, Cats and A Chorus Line he landed a spot in the national tour of The Book of Mormon, opening in Chicago. He stayed for about a year and headed back to NewYork as an understudy for The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Karl Lengel / Work of Art

This week on The Work of Art, an interview with Alex Smith, Technical Director for Southern Rep Theatre (SRT). Southern Rep has been New Orleans’ premiere professional theatre for a few decades, and lost their permanent residence in 2012. The company went on a local tour of New Orleans' theater spaces. Smith moved here from the Northwest in 2012 and quickly picked up work; for awhile, he was at Le Petit Theatre as they restructured the facility. In 2013, as SRT was leaving its long-time home in Canal Place, Alex came on board as Technical Director. He joins us to share the company’s five-year use of a variety of existing city theaters until their relocation at the new facility on Bayou Road in Gentilly.

New Orleans Public Radio begins a new series today entitled “The Work of Art.” Support for this series is provided by the Helis Foundation.

A play, a concert and even a simple painting on the wall, all require the contributions of many people, some with very unique and individual perspectives on their “work of art.” How does an artist’s work get to its audience - who are the contributors, why do they prefer the shadows, and what makes art work?