Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shakespearean Actor Albert Verdesca, Host of Classics in the Catskills, and My Dinner with Albert

Albert Verdesca, host of Classics in the Catskills and My Dinner with Albert on WIOX is kind of a Renaissance man, good at many things. He has written and produced a number of plays, worked as an actor, made a career as a wine salesman, flew an airplane, and did many other things in his life. His philosophy is quite simple: life is short, so take advantage of all the possibilities - “Carpe Diem,” or “Seize the Day,” he says. Albert has directed extensively for stage and teleplays during the early days of cable TV. Also, three of his plays have been published in the Smith & Krause series Best Stage Scenes of 1996, Best Stage Scenes of 1997, and Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 1996. Currently he is working on a rewrite of a play.

As a wine connoisseur, Albert’s articles have been published by various publications, including Sante, Dinner and a Show, The Sommelier Society of American Newsletter, and The Bedford Record Review.

On WIOX you can hear him every Monday at 2 p.m. with Classics in the Catskills, and also Tuesday at 6 p.m. with his cooking show called My Dinner with Albert. My Dinner with Albert alternates with Mike Kane’s show The Citizen.

Albert has always been a classical music lover. His older brother played it at home constantly, so he was exposed to classical music from an early age. Albert’s father and uncle were Italian immigrants, and it just seemed like the love of the Opera was inbred in them. Albert’s father took him to his first Opera when he was only 9 or 10 years old. It was at the old Met on Broadway and 39th St. in New York City, he recalls. After all these years, Albert remembers: it was Wagner’s Parsifal. “Even though it was very long, and I sat behind a pillar, it was mesmerizing,” he says.

My Dinner with Albert was born out of Albert’s lifelong interest in good food. “My mother, even though she was an immigrant from Naples, was not a good cook,” he confesses. “As a teenager, I became interested in the food and wine articles in the Playboy magazine - really. They were wonderfully written by the late Thomas Mario. I would go to the local market, buy all the ingredients and cook dinner for my mother and me. These articles led to a lifelong love of food and cooking. I eventually went into the wine industry where I spent a great deal of time eating in the great restaurants of New York City, California and France,” he says.

My Dinner with Albert is conceived as a blend of Albert’s passions – music, food and literature. “The programs I do on the radio allow me to indulge in these subjects that I love,” he confesses.

Listen to Classics in the Catskills Monday at 2 p.m., and My Dinner with Albert every other Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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