On Radio: March 26, 2016

by Fiona Rae / 24 March, 2016
Including Giuliano Sommerhalder, NZ Skeptics’ Vicki Hyde, wordsmith Max Cryer, music reviewer Grant Smithies and professional American John Dybvig.
Giuliano Sommerhalder, Easter Monday.
Giuliano Sommerhalder, Easter Monday.


Weekend Variety Wireless with Graeme Hill (RadioLive, 8.00pm). A treasure trove of flora, fauna, science, history and guests. For example, NZ Biteys and Ancient Fruit & Veges is the title of a recent show. Regulars include NZ Skeptics’ Vicki Hyde, wordsmith Max Cryer, music reviewer Grant Smithies and professional American John Dybvig. Regular features include Secret Museums of New Zealand, Shipwreck Tales with John McCrystal and ­Outsiders with Gerard Hindmarsh, which are archived on the show’s web page, ­tinyurl.com/NZLGraemeHill.


Opera on Sunday (RNZ Concert, 6.00pm). South African artist William Kentridge wowed them again at the Met with his production of the modern opera Lulu, by Alban Berg – an “ideal fit for Mr Kentridge’s darkly fantastical sensibility”, said the New York Times. German soprano Marlis Petersen plays the alluring Lulu, who was discovered on the streets at 12.


The Trumpet Shall Sound (RNZ Concert, noon). Italian trumpeter Giuliano Sommerhalder was a welcome replacement for an indisposed Tine Thing Helseth in this Auckland Phil concert from 2015, and in taking on Haydn’s solitary trumpet concerto, he “stamped his personality on a familiar score”, said the Herald’s William Dart. Under Norwegian conductor Eivind Gulberg Jensen, the Phil also performs Haydn’s Symphony No 34, Jean Francaix’s Prelude Sarabande et Gigue (with Sommer­halder) and closes with Beethoven’s 7th.

Music Alive (RNZ Concert, 7.00pm). Handel’s Messiah – what else? – for Easter; this concert is one of the last conducted by Christ­church City Choir’s long-serving director, Brian Law. The soloists are Francesca Lombardi-Mazzulli, Russell Harcourt, Christopher Bowen and Jonathan Lemalu, with the Christchurch Symphony.


Music Alive (RNZ Concert, 7.00pm). Tonight’s recording from Womad Taranaki features the rebel general of Congo, Jupiter Bokondji, and his band Okwess International. His political and social messages are carried over a hotbed of Afropop, Congolese rhythms, funk and rock that he calls Bofenia Rock.


Your chance to comment on TV and radio


Congratulations to all the folk of Country Calendar. The retrospective episode marking 50 years on TV was excellent.

Our No 8 fencing wire mentality has evolved with the times to encompass electronic and digital processes – but computer-programmed sheep dogs doing stock work? Shades of an old programme featuring Christmas turkeys wearing gumboots. That one was for the bird brains. Wonder how many mutts got caught out this time? Good one!

Marilyn Wightman


Could some one please tell me why Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts gaze intently into each other’s eyes before starting the news on Newshub Live? Melissa Davies and Tom McRae try to out-stare each other as well.

What do other viewers think?

Brian Collins
(Aro Valley, Wellington)


Last night I watched Prime’s new series Beneath New ­Zealand – a great documentary with excellent photography. Sometimes you forget that when you see a man squeezing through a small gap underground or dangling from a rope above a canyon’s mouth, there’s a cameraman who has done it first.

But the usual complaint comes with this – why the useless, intrusive background music that all ­documentary- makers seem to find essential?

Alasdair Abernethy


I agree with Robin Rutherford and Bernard Redshaw and their comments on advertising and programming (Talkback, March 5).

I would also like to know what is TV1’s agenda on the future of Coronation Street. On March 11, it was listed as screening at 10.20pm for 30 minutes (to make way for a certain cooking show, which was on for two hours and 50 minutes). Will Coronation Street soon be relegated to the early hours?

Janet Fursdon

TVNZ spokesman Jason Antill responds: The late start for Coro­nation Street on March 11 was a one-off due to the Master­Chef Australia finale. We were uncertain of its exact duration when ­listings went out, so allowed until 10.20pm. However, MasterChef wasn’t as long as originally anticipated, which meant Coronation Street began at 10.00pm.

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