On Radio: April 30, 2016

by Fiona Rae / 29 April, 2016
Including Saturday Morning with Jim Mora, and West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2015.
Nina Simone, The New Jazz Archive, Saturday. Photo/Getty Images
Nina Simone, The New Jazz Archive, Saturday. Photo/Getty Images


Saturday Morning with Jim Mora (RNZ National, 8.10am). The Panel’s Jim Mora steps into the Saturday Morning hot seat; he’s the last of Kim Hill’s stand-ins and interviews Julian ­Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey and the recent adaptation of Doctor Thorne. Fellowes isn’t the only high-profile guest this week: on Friday, Kathryn Ryan talks to political theorist Noam Chomsky about his new documentary, Requiem for the American Dream, a “vision of a society in an accelerating decline”, said the New York Times.

The New Jazz Archive (RNZ Concert, 5.00pm). ­Composer and musician Jeff Haas investigates the big brother of the blues with stories and ­interviews. In the first of four programmes, he looks into the music and life of the great Nina Simone, speaking to her ­biographer Nadine ­Cohodas and New York magazine’s Joe Hagan and playing top tracks from her reign as the high priestess of soul.


West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2015 (RNZ Concert, 10.00am). A new series of five programmes from 2015’s chamber music festival in the west of Ireland. Concerts are recorded in the 18th-century mansion Bantry House and today’s features British early-music ensemble Arcangelo, with soloists Peter Whelan on bassoon and Sarah MacMahon on cello, playing Vivaldi.

Opera on Sunday (RNZ ­Concert, 6.00pm). There had to be Madama Butterfly eventually in the Met’s season, and there was much praise for ­Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais in one of the world’s most popular operas. Her “voluptuous, expressive voice soared over Puccini’s dense orchestration” (New York Times) “and there were riveting moments in her portrayal”. There were also plaudits for French tenor Roberto Alagna as the dashing Pinkerton.


Music Alive (RNZ Concert, 8.00pm). In this live broadcast of the Auckland Philharmonia, Beethoven’s Fifth will round off a concert that also features Gillian Whitehead’s … the improbable ordered dance …, written for the orchestra in 2000, and virtuoso violinist Ning Feng, who performs Korngold’s sumptuous Violin Concerto.


Your chance to comment on TV and radio


We find it strange that anyone would think that Coro Street scripts do not reflect real life (Talkback, April 9), given, of course, that the time frames have to be shortened somewhat to keep momentum. For example, when a character is rude to their mother or mother-in-law, we look at each other and say, “Our kids treat us exactly like that – even worse at times.”

Maybe it is time for the viewer to just stop watching, rather than thinking that the clever multiple storylines are not “art ­imitating life”, as the saying goes.

Chris Allen
(Grey Lynn, Auckland)


As a Kerry Greenwood fan, I thoroughly enjoyed earlier episodes of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. The next series, alas, is on Sky.

Does that mean that some things screen on free-to-air so as to seduce us into subscribing to Sky? Sorry, not on my retirement income. A pity, as I’d love to meet Baron Henry Fisher and see Aunt Prudence again.

Jenny Chisholm


The superb acting on ­Shortland Street on April 11 moved me to tears (no other programme has). The show is outstanding and unrivalled by any other soap anywhere. Real, sensitive and clever storylines keep it relevant, educational and interesting, especially for the younger, more vulnerable audience.

Thank you to producers, directors, writers, cast et al. You are doing a brilliant job and all deserve medals.

Clare Dudley

Talkback responds: You’re not one of the writers, are you? Just checking.


You ask (Talkback, April 23) which listings might be eliminated to make room for Freeview channels. The Sky listings are the obvious choice: Sky gets an enormous amount of money from subscribers and should provide them with programme listings as part of its service.

There are apparently several Freeview channels that no one watches because no one knows what’s being broadcast. How about ­listing their schedules?

Terry Marsh
(Beach Haven)

Talkback responds: Thanks for your input, Terry, although when we dropped The Box for Choice TV, we had a lot of complaints. Would readers be happy to lose the Living ­channel in favour of Duke?

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