COURTESY RODGER MALLISON
"Classic Arts Showcase" allows musicians such as pianist Stanislav Ioudenitch and conductor James Conlon to reach television viewers in hopes of inspiring them to support the arts.
Olelo TV show offers a pupu platter of classical arts
Opera, folk dance, chamber music, ballet, big band, museum art and animation can all be found on "Classic Arts Showcase" -- in bits and pieces.
"We don't show anything in completion," said Jamie Rigler, president and programming director. "We want to expose people to a variety of arts -- they may get a taste of Mozart, but don't need to sit through a two-hour show."
The showcase, often referred to as the MTV of classical music, airs daily on Olelo (Oceanic Cable Channel 49) from midnight to 7 p.m. in a broadcast that reaches all 50 states and parts of Canada and Mexico.
Rigler said his uncle, Lloyd Rigler, created the show in 1994 as a means of inspiring viewers to attend live performances in their own communities. "He was an arts philanthropist who wanted to bring the arts to everyone."
Charlie Mount, general manager of the showcase, said classical performances were shown regularly in the early days of television, but no longer. "The material that is shown probably hasn't been on television for about 40 years," Mount said. "The medium designed as an educational tool has become a vast commercial enterprise."
A new eight-hour show is aired each week, from clips provided free by record companies or musicians' unions. The same show repeats throughout the week. Most segments are less than 15 minutes long. "It's fun to move onto something else. My job is to make sure things flow and it is entertaining," said Rigler.
Mount said, "Our mission is to inspire viewers to support the arts in America."