Lois Reitzes

Host of Second Cup Concert, ASO Broadcasts and Spivey Soirée

The distinctive voice of Lois Reitzes has been heard over WABE’s airwaves since 1979. Lois is Atlanta’s favorite classical announcer. As host of the weekday program Second Cup Concert, which airs from 9 a.m. until noon, she selects music especially to complement your morning tasks. In addition to Second Cup, Lois produces and hosts WABE’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra broadcasts and Spivey Soirée series.  She served as Program Director from 1992-2007, and became Director of Arts and Cultural Programming in 2007. Hosting arts features and interviews is an ongoing joy of her job.  

Lois pursued graduate study at the  Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. She lists her favorite exercise as reading - preferably while eating! Her favorite island getaway is Manhattan. Lois resides in Atlanta with husband Don, who chairs the Sociology Department at Georgia State University.  The Reitzes’ have two children, Jackie and Michael, and a golden non-retriever named Rex.


Downton Abbey
12:30 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Christmas at 'Downton Abbey'

John Lunn, renowned for his work on "Downton Abbey," conducts the show's theme in Los Angeles.
Credit Vince Bucci / Invision/AP

Fans of the public television series "Downton Abbey" have certainly been through a lot with the Crawleys over the past four years.

Viewers have witnessed the sinking of the Titanic and other historic events through the eyes of the fictional aristocratic English family. "Downton Abbey's" audience has also endured the sometimes sudden departure of beloved cast members.

Read more
Alliance Theatre to Benefit
1:10 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Woodruff Arts Center To Receive A $38 Million Facelift

Artist's drawing of the upgrades to the Alliance Theatre.
Credit Alliance Theatre

The Woodruff Foundation has awarded a $38 million grant to the Woodruff Arts Center.  They say it will go to support a range of artistic, educational and capital improvements across the Woodruff Campus. It is the is the largest gift in the organization’s 46-year history. 

A good portion of the funds will go to the Alliance Theatre, as WABE's David Barasoain explained to host John Lemley on City Cafe today.  

You can read the whole press release about the grant here.

Read more
12:31 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Comedian David Koechner Brings his Characters to Atlanta Improv

Lois Reitzes and David Koechner in WABE's Studio 4
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

David Koechner may not be a household name, but his face – or better yet, his characters – certainly are. He's the actor behind Champ Kind, the chauvinist sportscaster in the "Anchorman" movies, and Todd Packer, the boorish brute to Steve Carell's bumbling nice guy Michael Scott from NBC's "The Office."

Our own Anchorlady, Lois Reitzes, spoke with Koechner about his craft, and his comedy.   

David Koechner performs Thursday through Saturday night at Buckhead's Atlanta Improv Comedy Club.

Read more
1:27 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Comedian Wyatt Cenac On His Career, The Art Of Stand-Up, And Puppets

Wyatt Cenac at One Night Only: An All-Star Tribute To Don Rickles in New York.
Credit Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

You may know comedian Wyatt Cenac for his time as a correspondent for The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Cenac was on the show from 2008 to 2012. He is also a stand-up comedian, and he has a new Netflix special called Brooklyn.

He’ll be performing  at the Laughing Skull lounge this weekend. Cenac recently spoke with WABE’s Lois Reitzes about the art of stand-up and his career trajectory.

Web Extra: Wyatt Cenac on his love of puppetry and his visit to the Center For Puppetry Arts. 

Read more
12:10 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Brenda Bynum on the Strange Fruit of Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith's name has slipped from the pantheon of Southern writers, but now her story has been adapted into a one-woman show by Atlanta actor Brenda Bynum.
Credit C. M. Stieglitz / Library of Congress

You may not have heard of Georgian author Lillian Smith.  She was one of the first prominent white southerners to speak out publicly against racial segregation in the 1930s and 1940s. Already seen as somewhat of a radical, it was her book Strange Fruit which brought Smith the most controversy.

Read more
The High Museum
2:41 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

High Museum Director to Retire

MIchael Shapiro.
Credit The High Museum

The director of the High Museum of Art has announced his retirement.  Michael Shapiro has been working with the High's leadership team for the past 20 years, and as the High's Nancy and Holcombe T. Green Jr. Director for the past 15 years.

His official last day will be July 31, 2015. He sat down with WABE's Lois Reitzes to talk about his departure.  She began by asking him, "Why now?"


Read more
Second Cup
12:00 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

A New Season, a New Edge with the Atlanta Opera's Tomer Zvulun

Still from Lorin Maazel's 2014 Castleton Festival production of "Madama Butterfly." Directed by Tomer Zvulun, set design by Erhard Rom, lighting by Robert Wierzel.
Ray Boc Castleton Festival

Perhaps no one is more enthusiastic about the Atlanta Opera’s new season than Tomer Zvulun. And rightfully so — it’s his first planned season as the company’s General and Artistic Director. Zvulun’s planned three new productions for this Atlanta Opera Season — "Madama Butterfly," "Rigoletto," and a contemporary opera, "Three Decembers." Mozart's classic "The Marriage of Figaro" rounds out the 2014-2015 season. Lois Reitzes spoke with Mr. Zvulun and asked how he chose these particular operas:

Read more
12:35 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

How August Wilson Learned What He Learned - True Colors Stages Playwright's Final Work

Eugene Lee in True Colors Theatre Company's How I Learned What I Learned
Josh Lamkin Photography

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater is staging the Atlanta premier of playwright August Wilson’s final work—a biographical reenactment of his life told in a one-man show. Called How I Learned What I Learned, the show shares some of the origins of Wilson’s critically-acclaimed plays—shows such as “Fences,” “The Piano Lesson,” and “Radio Golf.”

Read more
Second Cup
12:00 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Artists at their Best: Spivey Hall's Sam Dixon on their New Season

Beatrice Rana was the Silver Medalist and Audience Award winner at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition. She opens Spivey Hall's 2014-15 season.
Credit Spivey Hall

Spivey Hall, located 25 minutes south of Atlanta on the campus of Clayton State University, is an intimate performance venue well-known for its superior acoustics. Classical and jazz artists love to perform here because "they know they can do their best work at Spivey Hall." That's according to Sam Dixon, the Hall's Executive and Artistic Director. Dixon is responsible for booking the Spivey Series concerts, and his keen ear is appreciated by performers and audience alike. Lois Reitzes recently spoke with Dixon and asked him how he curates each new Spivey season.

Read more
12:26 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Bending Theater to Serve Poetry - Native Guard at the Alliance

Natasha Trethewey and Susan Booth

A Pulitzer Prize-winning work will take to the Alliance Theater stage this week. The theater is presenting Native Guard by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, in what they’re calling a “theatrical installation.” WABE’s Lois Reitzes spoke with the poet and with the Alliance’s Artistic Director Susan Booth about their approach to the work.

Read more
Second Cup
12:00 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

A "Melody Faucet:" Michael Kurth, Composer

Michael Kurth is Composer-in Residence for the Riverside Chamber Players, as well as a section bassist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Kurth to talk about his writing process, and the story behind his "Mean Old Pony Tango."

The Riverside Chamber Players perform Sunday, September 21 at Roswell United Methodist Church. The program includes Kurth's "signature piece" as well as Paul Salerni's string quartet arrangement of Mendelssohn's "Song Without Words."

Read more
Second Cup
12:00 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

25 Years at the Opera with Walter Huff

Walter Huff and Lois Reitzes in WABE's Studio 4
Credit Erin Wright / WABE

The Atlanta Opera kicks off their new season this weekend, but they're not opening with an opera. The company's Chorus Master — Walter Huff — celebrates 25 years with the Atlanta Opera this year, and what better way to celebrate than in song? WABE's Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Mr. Huff for a little reflection, and a toast to another 25 years.

Read more
11:45 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Charles DeRamus: An Atlanta Bassist In Sweden

Used with permission of Charles DeRamus.

The Gothenburg Symphony is known around the world for its recordings of composers, such as Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Nielsen.  

But there’s a reason why Atlantans, specifically, might appreciate the Northern European symphony: its double bassist, Charles DeRamus, is an Atlanta native.

He sat down with Second Cup Concert host Lois Reitzes last time he was in town to talk about his work with the orchestra.

You can also listen to excerpts of the orchestra's performances:

Read more
1:29 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

The Alliance Collides With Grapes of Wrath

The students of 2012's Collision Project at the Alliance Theater
Credit Alliance Theater

The Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project assembles a diverse group of 20 teenagers from metro Atlanta to explore and unpack a classic text under the guidance of a professional playwright and director—to “collide” with a piece of writing and with each other, so to speak.

Read more
City Café
12:59 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Kenny Leon Returns to Atlanta Stage after Tony Win

Chris Coleman (from left), Lois Reitzes, and Kenny Leon in WABE's Studio 4
Jennifer Dwyer McEwen WABE

True Colors Theatre Company Artistic Director Kenny Leon is fresh off winning a Tony Award for directing his revival of "A Raisin in the Sun."

Now he's jumping back into work, but this time he's on stage. Leon asked his longtime friend — and co-founder of Actor's Express — Chris Coleman to direct him in "Same Time Next Year."

Read more
Second Cup
12:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Student Musicians to Perform Alongside the Pros

Student musicians rehearse and perform side by side with Atlanta Symphony professionals.
Credit Jeff Roffman / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

On Saturday, June 14 at 8 p.m. in Symphony Hall, music students from all over Atlanta will play side by side with their Atlanta Symphony counterparts. The "Side-By-Side" concert marks the end of an intensive week-long orchestral workshop. The students participate in special coaching sessions with ASO musicians and sit next to ASO members in rehearsals. WABE's Lois Reitzes sat down with Kenn Wagner, an ASO violinist, and his longtime student, James Pinder. In the audio clip, we'll hear from Kenn first:

Read more
Atlanta Chamber Players
11:54 am
Tue May 13, 2014

"A Very Supreme Experience" - Paula Peace on Chamber Music and Retirement

Paula Peace (seated, center) and members of the Atlanta Chamber Players. Peace is retiring after 38 years with the group.
Credit Atlanta Chamber Players

Paula Peace has announced her retirement after 38 years with the Atlanta Chamber Players. Peace is the co-founding Artistic Director of the Players and served as pianist for the group. She joined WABE's Lois Reitzes for a conversation about her retirement and to look back at starting the Chamber Players almost four decades ago.

Read more
Second Cup
11:55 am
Fri April 18, 2014

What Makes a Mezzo a Mezzo? A Conversation with Irene Roberts

Irene Roberts is Rosina in the Atlanta Opera's production of Rossini's "The Barber of Seville."
Credit Kristin Hoebermann / irenerobertsmezzo.com

If you've ever wondered what the difference is between a mezzo-soprano and a soprano, Irene Roberts has your answer. Roberts, a mezzo-soprano, will be singing the role of Rosina in the Atlanta Opera's upcoming production of "The Barber of Seville." Lois Reitzes sat down with Irene and began by asking her how she got into music.

"The Barber of Seville" opens April 26 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Read more
Second Cup
11:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

"Power and Seduction" in ASO's 2014-15 Season

ASO Music Director Robert Spano
Credit Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. The maestros revealed the ASO's 2014-15 season, highlighting concerts of "sumptuous tone poems," a truly creative partnership with Emory University and an all-star season finale.

Season tickets are on sale now on the ASO's website.

Read more
12:45 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Kevin Young on his New Collection, 'Book of Hours'

Poet Kevin Young reads from 'Book of Hours' Monday, April 7 at 7:00 pm at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater.
Credit Ayca Christman


Multiple-award winning poet Kevin Young reads from his new book Book of Hours tonight at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater. Young’s eighth poetry collection finds him at a personal place, chronicling his grief following the death of his father, his sense of wonder following the birth of his son, and the echoes that pass between one event and the other.

WABE’s Lois Reitzes sat down with Kevin Young to talk about the book and the life events that led him to write it.

Read more
Second Cup
10:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

A "Young" Conductor for the ASO

Credit www.josephfyoung.com

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has had a vacant Assistant Conductor position since 2009. It’s a job where many young conductors make a name for themselves.

After several rounds of auditions, the ASO has selected Joseph Young – a truly “young” man of only 31.

Maestro Young was born in Charleston and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2004 and the Peabody Conservatory in 2009.

He’s also a trumpet player, music educator and former resident conductor of the Phoenix Symphony. 

Read more
Art Around Town
12:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Live Reading of 'Odyssey' Will Be Epic

Detail of work by Romare Bearden
Credit Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University

  This weekend, more than a dozen Atlantans will be giving a live reading of the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer. The Michael C. Carlos Museum is hosting the event, along with Theater Emory. WABE’s Lois Reitzes sat down with Elizabeth Horner, the Museum’s director of Education Programs. They talked about what to expect from a nine-hour reading, and the exhibit the event highlights, “Romare Beardan: A Black Odyssey.”

Note: WABE 90.1 FM is the media sponsor of this event.

Read more
Second Cup Concert
11:10 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Jamie Barton on Winning Cardiff, the Met, and What's Next

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (right) visits WABE with classical host Lois Reitzes.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

 When Jamie Barton last visited WABE, she was preparing for, as she called it, “The Olympics of Opera.” It's more formally known as the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Barton went on to win both the Song Prize and the entire competition. It's thrilling to win, but what happens next? 

Georgia native mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton will perform this Sunday afternoon at 3 at Spivey Hall

Read more
Second Cup Concert
11:55 am
Fri November 1, 2013

ASO Launches "First Friday" Concert Series

ASO cellist Jennifer Humphreys (left) with WABE's Lois Reitzes
Credit Erin Wright / Lois Reitzes

For many Atlantans who live or work in town, the prelude to the weekend is the long drive home. The ASO has a new solution for those who would rather start the weekend with music, food and drinks instead. WABE's Lois Reitzes sat down with ASO cellist Jennifer Humphreys and asked her what audiences can expect from the “First Friday” series at Woodruff Arts Center.

Read more
Second Cup Concert
12:00 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Jacques Martial to Perform at Rialto

Jacques Martial performing 'Notebook of a Return to the Native Land.'
Credit James Hercule / Martinique Promotion Bureau

Jacques Martial, known in France as an actor and leader of the arts, visits Atlanta for two special – and free – events.

On October 24, Martial presents his one-man stage adaptation of "Notebook of a Return to the Native Land."

On the morning of October 25, Martial will give a public lecture about the links between culture and place titled "La Villette: Culture and Urban Territory."

Read more
Musicians At WABE
12:46 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Georgia-Born Mezzo Soprano on "The Olympics of Opera"

Mezzo soprano Jamie Barton says that her stage preparation revolves around truly embodying a character.
Credit Courtesy of jamiebartonmezzo.com

During this Fall Fund Drive, we’re looking back at some of our favorite work we’ve brought you on City Café in recent months.  

Jamie Barton is a Georgia native, a rising star in the world of opera, and this summer she became the U.S. representative in what's often referred to as "The Olympics of Opera."  

Read more
12:00 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Tosca and Beyond at the Atlanta Opera

Tomer Zvulun, General and Artistic Director of the Atlanta Opera
Credit Atlanta Opera

  The Atlanta Opera’s 2013-14 season begins this weekend with their production of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. The show is being directed by the company’s new General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun. Zvulun recently stopped by our studios to talk to WABE’s Lois Reitzes about the show and his vision for the Atlanta Opera.

Read more
4:59 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Jennifer Stumm on the Viola

Violist Jennifer Stumm
Credit project440.org

  Violist Jennifer Stumm is a globetrotting viola player, dividing her time between England and the U.S., and has performed with the New Haven Symphony, the Aronowitz Ensemble, and pianist Christopher O’Riley… as well as holding down a day job as the International Chair of Viola Studies at the Royal College of Music, London.

Read more
11:15 am
Tue August 27, 2013

GSU First Year Book Meditates on Katrina


Georgia State University welcomes its incoming students with a reading assignment. The First Year Book program puts one book in the hands of an entire freshman class and this year, the author is the U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. This past Sunday, Trethewey addressed that incoming class during their Convocation. WABE’s Lois Reitzes has the story.

Read more
12:20 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Three Page-Turners...from Matt Hutchinson

WABE's Lois Reitzes with Adult Swim senior writer and producer, Matt Hutchinson
Credit Kate Sweeney / WABE

If you’ve ever watched Adult Swim, the comedy-for-grown-ups day-part of Cartoon Network, you might have noticed a familiar voice on one of their station IDs.

WABE’s Lois Reitzes did a series of tongue-in-cheek spots written by senior writer and producer at Atlanta-based Adult Swim, Matt Hutchinson. (You can see some here and here. Warning: They’re addictive.)

Read more