On October 8, Newport Music Festival Executive Director Pamela A. Pantos will host “WCRI’s Festival Series featuring The Newport Music Festival,” a one-hour show that airs on Classical 95.9 WCRI at 9 p.m. ET on Sundays. The program will feature pivotal music and artists from the festival’s illustrious history and will offer a sneak peek into what the 50th anniversary summer festival (July 4-22, 2018) will have in store.
The show will begin airing on October 8, just a few weeks ahead of the festival’s announcement of its full summer line-up. Asked if she will be revealing any clues on the summer schedule, Pantos hinted there will be plenty of revelations. “In revisiting our 49 years, we have discovered fascinating details about the festival’s programming, events, artists and trends,” said Pantos. “For the Newport Music Festival devotee and for those who have yet to join us, each week will feature revelations, not only on the forgotten history of the festival, but of what is to come.”
Pantos began her tenure at the Newport Music Festival in May 2017 and brought with her 25 years of experience on the stage and in the boardroom. An internationally acclaimed opera singer and fluent in five languages, she has performed the title role in Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Rotterdam AHOY Arena in The Netherlands (recorded for the Companions label), Donna Elvira in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at the Megaron in Athens, Greece and the title role in “The Csardas Princess,” in which Ms. Pantos sang at the State Opera Houses of Wiesbaden and Munich, Germany as well as Bern, Switzerland. During her career Ms. Pantos recorded for EMI records, was represented by Columbia Artists Management, and collaborated with international artists including Ghena Dimitrova, Marilyn Horne, Ruggiero Raimondi, Brigitte Fassbaender, Brian Zeger and Trevor Pinnock. As an award-winning business executive, her work with Arts Consulting Group, Opera North and W.R. Grace have earned her a reputation as entrepreneurial team-builder with demonstrated success in strategic initiatives and organizational planning.
The festival’s remarkable past is exemplified by the 130 American debuts of artists that went on to international acclaim, including Pianist Bella Davidovich, who appeared at NMF just before her heralded Carnegie Hall debut in 1979, and Greek pianist Dimitris Sgouros, who made his North American recital debut at NMF at the age of 12 in 1982. The festival has also presented American legends like mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, who performed in the festival’s second season directly before her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1970. “In my research I was impressed by the sheer number of world-class artists who have performed at the festival at different phases of their careers,” said Pantos. “I am delighted to work with Classical 95.9 WCRI and share what I have learned about the festival in conjunction with my own musical experiences, knowledge and personal insights.”
The partnership between the Newport Music Festival and Classical 95.9 WCRI started in 1974 when then General Director, Mark P. Malkovich III, conceived and hosted “My Music,” a program for previewing European artists who were unknown to American audiences and would be making their American debuts at the festival.