From Development server
18 December 2007

Alan Wagner, 76, Lecturer, Commentator and Longtime Host of WNYC's Living Opera, has Died

New York, NY, October 1, 1931 - December 18, 2007

An unashamedly passionate opera advocate, Wagner was the host of the long-running (1957-68) WNYC radio show Living Opera, a popular lecturer and commentator and a frequent intermission guest on the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday-afternoon radio broadcasts. Wagner began contributing to OPERA NEWS in 1958, with "Tristan and God," an essay that placed Tristan und Isolde in the tradition of Christian redemption drama; his more recent work for the magazine included a survey of online sources for CD-shopping and an interview with Judith Blegen. Wagner was also a regular lecturer and interviewer for presentations by the Metropolitan Opera Guild's education department. In his life away from opera, Wagner was a successful television executive. He was East Coast vice president of programming at CBS from 1976 until 1982, when he became the first president of the Disney Channel. He published a book of backstage anecdotes, Prima Donnas and Other Wild Beasts, in 1961.

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