WTVP - President & CEO
October 2007 - State Cuts & Pavarotti
Photo of WTVP Retired CEO MChet Tomczyk
Chet Tomczyk
Chet Tomczyk - President & CEO, (retired 2014)

There were two big news items that hit the headlines last month: Luciano Pavarotti died, and the Governor slashed funding to public broadcasting and the Illinois Arts Council by about 30%. Both events are noteworthy and worth grieving over.

Pavarotti was heralded throughout the world for his astounding talent and for helping to bring new audiences to the art form by cross-over events, i.e. performing with pop artists and taking opera from the stages affordable to the very few to concert halls and media where it could be enjoyed by the masses. For this, he was equally pilloried by the purists who felt that perhaps he cheapened opera by doing so.

I don't know about that, but I do know that his participation in the original THREE TENORS concerts with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras was extremely well-viewed and well-supported when it ran on WTVP, and it earned many friends for WTVP and for opera at-large. So thank you Maestro Pavarotti, and may you rest in peace.

As to the Governor and the cuts to the budget, they are draconian. We are looking at an approximate $65,000 cut and are still assessing the overall impact, but it won't be good. Some way, some how the show will go on. As Maestro might have observed: Vesti la giubba.

Chet Tomczyk
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired)

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