tv KQED Newsroom PBS September 24, 2022 1:00am-1:31am PDT
tonight on kqed newsroom, inflation is driving up the úco here about the impact to agriculture in our region. sales forces dream force conference puts sustainability front and center with úappearances from al gore and jane goodall. plus -- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> we hear from the san francisco opera about bringing the passionate love affair of antony and cleopatra to the
stage. do you have a piece of artwork by diego rivera? he might to mention it in this week's edition of something beautiful. coming to you from kqed headquarters in san francisco this friday , september 23rd, 2022. hello, and welcome. this is kqed newsroom. the federal reserve raised interest rates another three quarter of a percent this week, working to put an end to inflation. the inflation is being felt by consumers and also by food producers, farmers in our community. we are starting this week in tomales bay, where i talked with organic dairy farmer albert strauss about the impact of rising production costs. >> all the forms are in a big crisis. not just here but throughout the western united states. >> you are reaching out to the
government. what are you looking for? >> not subsidies but emergency release. grant that we need to get as quickly as possible. cannot raise prices quickly enough in the market to offset this loss. >> albert strauss pointed out that because of this, people are sensitive to changes right now. pain another dollar or two for a gallon of milk is untenable. joining me now to discuss inflation and the economic news is marketwatch senior reporter thanks for joining us today. >> thanks for having me. >> what more can you tell us about the difficulties that california's farmers are facing? >> it's very difficult for farmers because we have inflation rising and prices everywhere. fuel costs are up and being in california is a special kind of challenge. we are in a historic drought. not only do they have
to deal with inflationary pressures, the have to do with mother nure, which the federal reserve cannot do anything about. >> the federal reserve did increase prices this week. how do you expect that to impact inflation? will that bring any relief to farmworkers and farmers here? >> i'm not sure what it will mean for farmworkers. i do know that what the fed is trying to do is balance everything out. prices are really high. raising rates will cost borrowing to possibly slow down on the consumer and producer side. it could help balance things out. but we will see what happens. i know that the fed said that they plan to continue to raise rates more as they tried to balance things out and slow it
down. >> what other ways is inflation being felt in the food sector? >> most prices are up. beef and prices are really high. a lot of pele all around you are feeling the pain for their restaurant owners, et cetera. it's being felt evenly across the food sector. we pay attention to earning reports. the margins of some retailers are the same as they have been. there have been some questions out whether this pain is really being felt evenly across the country. >> right, and who is bearing the weight of that? >> right. >> you mentioned the droughts earlier. the historic mega droughts that we are in right now in
california. albert strauss talked about ways that he is working to be carbon neutral. dream force, salesforce big conference this year. happens in san francisco. al gore was here. jane goodall is here. really talking about digging into sustainability. >> a couple of days this week, it felt like i did before the pandemic. at least back for this week. i did see jane goodall and al gore speak. one of the things that al gore talked about was california's historic drought. that was one of the things that he talked about. god bless california for all it is doing, trying to have a sustainable future. but he did talk about some of the difficulties that california and the rest of the west, what we are facing as we
have this historic drought. >> steps that we are going to have to keep working through in the years ahead. let's turn and talk about another piece that you came out with this week. a huge interest to our audience who has been following prop 22 and a.b. 5. specifically relating to big workers and the community. the proposition was that they could not be classified as employees and had to be independent contractors. that was overturned. tell us about what you found from the fallout of all of this political action. >> sure, sure. prop 22 was passed in 2020 by 58% of california voters. at the time, it was the most expensive proposition ever. over $200 million spent on by companies like gruber, left, door dash, instacart, et cetera.
this week, there was a report published by ride-share drivers united and policy link. they collected data directly from drivers. their wages. as well as interviewed drivers. it was a small sample. 55 drivers. what they found was that if you take into account erything that the drivers would earn and everything they would be entitled to in terms of benefits , that if you took all that into account, the median earnings of over and left drivers are $6.20 per hour. that's less than half of california's minimum wage at $15. so, the conclusion of the report was that prop 22, which they were against in the first place , is bad for huber and left drivers. now i of course asked huber and left what they had to say.
they came out strongly against it. they called it a flawed report. they touted their own numbers. numbers from studies that save backed that say drivers make over $30 an hour. >> so there is a disparity between what both sides say. that is the report you came out with. >> marketwatch senior reporter. we really appreciate you coming in today and sharing your knowledge with us. >> absolutely, thank you. 100 years ago, the san francisco opera was born in the cities civic auditorium. it is now one of only three opera houses in the united states to celebrate a centennial. the others are in new york and cincinnati. to celebrate its 100th season, cincinnati opera has planned new performances to welcome
newcomers to the community. i don't know much about opera yet but i'm joined now by two people who know a lot and are ready to help me learn. matthew is the general director of san francisco opera. and pulitzer directed the latest commission which had its world premiere this. thank you both for being here. >> thank you for having us. >> first of all, any relation there? >> yes, my great, great grandfather found of the prize and helped establish the school of journalism at columbia. and also friend of the pedestal on which the statue of liberty rests. >> we are your family a debt of thanks. >> tell me about this particular opera you are directing. brand-new, world premiere. composed by a bay area artist and composer, john adams. tell us about antony and cleopatra. >> my absolute delight to do
so. it's a project i've been working on with him for four years. john adams is truly, i would say, one of the greatest composers living in the world today. and has a history with san francisco opera. matthew, you can speak to that. this is his fifth commission with the company. it is deeply inspired by shakespeare. itis truly a story of these famous lovers of history. and the clashes, politically, that they endure. and ultimately, the tragic love that they've experienced. >> did you look for john adams to do this story on antony and cleopatra, in particular, for the centennial, or did you say, please make us something? >> back in 2017, we were doing the premiere of the latest
opera which was girls of the golden west set up in the gold country. just before we open but, i sat down for lunch with john and asked if he would like to write the opera for that centennial season. it was the first of 10 that we were putting in place knowing that it was coming five years later. thankfully, he said s. he didn't say what the subject was. he's been reading all of the place just for fun. he came back and said he would like to do anthony and cleopatra. it has all of the trappings of a great opera epic. think about a lot of the stories. they exist on an epigram but are ultimately about two people in love. that is the case here. it is spectacular in terms a new expression of this very old story. >> i want to lean into that new expression piece. what is new here? as a
director, what sort of choices did you make to push the envelope that is telling the story? >> sure. the approach in terms of the design to marry the ancient world with kind of the glamorous hollywood lanes, but also, in bed a questioning around media and the and how people frame their public personas and the mask that they wear, and public life, how it looks and feels. private, more conflicted situations that happened and the scenwork between these two people. >> cleopatra somebody that we think about with their worldview. beautiful, strong, powerful leader. is that still the way she is presented? >> my way into the piece, absolutely. she is an incredible figure of
history. she lives in the public imagination. she is larger than life. a polyglot. a political rhetoric session with savvy. founded relationships with rome. was one of the wealthiest women in that time of history and all the stuff. there is a lot more than just being a kitten in terms of the narrative to she was. we really wanted to celebrate that and give her ownership and authority over how she is being presented in terms of her public media persona and e narrative that she is defining in relationship to what that looks and feels like, as opposed to having it done by others. let's take a quick listen now to a clip from the opera.
♪ [ speaking non-english ] [ singing in non-english ] ♪ ♪ >> what powerful, powerful voices. that just comes through, even not being there in person yet. there are still some performances but there are how many more? >> four performances through october 5th. this is a piece that the opera world is really paying attention to. john is one of the greatest composers living at the moment and he is right over here in berkeley. his beloved in the community. he is someone that we pay attention to. whatever he writes becomes the next important horizon for music. that is really the case here. so many of his textures and orchestral writing. the intense intimacy at the end
during the death scene and the agency for cleopatra. all of the agency that she takes at the end when she defines her own fate. it is expressed with such beauty and power through john's muzak. what they are doing with it is extraordinary. bringing all of this together musically. if people have not had a chance to see her on the podium, this is an amazing chance to see one of the great conductors bringing all of this together musically in san francisco. >> what does it feel like to work with these people, these living legends? >> i'm still pinching myself. they are dear friends. we are surrounded by amazing collaborators. you have to step back and say that history is being made here. it is a real privilege. >> it's not just these people who put a production together.
it's not just the spaces that we have seen here. there is a large cast, it seems, who were on the stage, and all the supporting roles, as well. here's a little bit about what it takes to put the production together. >> sure. between 303 50 people who were a part of putting on a performance ery single evening. many of them are behind the scenes, working the magic. creating all of these allusions that we get to enjoy out front. the orchestra, the chorus, the crew. and the world of the paces are intimate. it's monolithic. there are even people who are helping to convey these huge pieces, scenically, that i'm living around the stage as he watched. >> talk tome about that. it seems like there are large pieces that are open and closed and moving around. and a lot of multimedia aspects
, where different things are portrayed on the screens, as well. >> absolutely. the set designer, and bill morrison, who did the film content, where larry knew from the get go that media would play a big part in terms of the formation of these public identities. so, meaning came up with this fantastic aperture that opens and reframes and moves throughout. and upstage, obliquely, you perceive this epic scale of these cultures. if you look back at things like pyramids and things of that nature, the scale of the human being is minuscule. we really want to do have that relationship between architecture and human. >> a lot of people are working on this. many of the people working on the show are in unions. we had someone reaching out to
us when they learned we would be talking with you from the costuming department to said they've been working this to the bone here. they had not had a weekend off all summer long. really alleging that the work was not commenced with fair treatment. how would you respond to that? >> we place a huge amount of emphasis on treating people fairly at the opera. i have so much incredible respect for the amazing skills and crafts that it takes to come together to build and operate. one of the really amazing things about san francisco is it is one of the very few cities in the country that has the capability to produce the sets and costumes. everything you are seeing is both right here in the bay area. it was so important to us as we went to the pandemic to keep the skills alive that we were still building during the pandemic making sure we can keep those skills alive. this has been one of the most intense periods that i have
ever seen in the company since 2005. building three new productions. we're doing antony and cleopatra and to others that will be here the pace of work across the entire company has been extraordinary. just to see everybody coming together and making this really uniqueoments of the centennial come to life. i have such pride to be working with all of these people. we have up to 1000 people that work in the opera and make all of this come together. it's a real communal effort. >> anything to add to that, concerns from crewmembers? >> the only thing to add is that we all worked extremely hard to make the show. what we put out to the audience, which ultimately makes the thing real, when we share it. we definitely spend long hours in the theater. that is part of the hard work
that goes into making the magic. everyone across the board that i've worked with inside of the organization works tirelessly and at an extremely high level. it's an honor and a privilege to be there. certainly, you go to different places as a stage director and freelance. i travel and see a lot of different cultures and i have just really been moved by the commitment and the level of passion and the focus and support that the community really fosters. i think it allows us to take risks creatively and also speaks to leadership. generally, when somebody in a leadership position as values and takes care of people, and trickles down and everybody feels it. >> let's talk about what's coming up.
one of the criticisms, sometimes, the opera is that it is expensive. hard to get there and see it and access it. you have found different ways to try to bring it to more people. one of those is opera in the ballpark. at the giants ballpark. so, will it be there later this year? >> yes, on november 11th. free simulcast relay from the opera house stage to oracle stadium. so many ways that we are working to welcome the community. this is san francisco's opera company. we want them to be welcome here. just did a wonderful concert at golden gate park for opening weekend. have the simulcast coming up on november 11th. the opening-night. we also have a really exciting program for the bay. every single performance this year, no restrictions. we have 100 and $10 tickets. >> not just in the back. >> great seats.
if you live in the bay area, sign up on our website and take advantage of a pair of $10 tickets each. we want people to feel the rush of energy, the beauty, the craftsmanship of this great company that's sitting right here in the middle ofthe bay area. >> let me talk to a little bit about that. it's a historical artform in many ways. they've been around for a long time. we live in a digitally focused, fast-paced world. do you find it is hard to attract people to the opera, or údo you find that new audiences are discovering it and coming all the time? >> i think it is interesting. it's an age-old question that emerges. what is happening to opera? is it alive, vital, dying? i think the question comes over and over again. that is part of the idea of asking, in any artform, what's going to be new or help give it life and have it be seen in a
different capacity, and relationship to culture and community and what is relevant for people in the immediacy of their lives. ultimately, you know, great art finds residence because it is reflecting back to you and mirroring what your own capacities as a human being are. it teaches empathy and also helps with defining our culture and our community and our politics. is that relevant? absolutely. unwaveringly yes is the answer. >> such unique expressions that happened on the stage and with the operatic talent, we have spent the last year or so working on a digital series that we call in song, available for free on the website. and really explore the traditions, cultures, family of a number of different of opera singers and what led them to be who they are today. the traditions and cultures that they bring.
we did one with cleopatra before she knew she would be the cleopatra. we found it on location in cairo with her mily. i think it speaks to the immediacy of what the human voice can deliver. the stories that we tell on the opera house stage are stories as human beings that are being told and larger-than-life ways. a huge set, a beautiful orchestra. at the end of the day, it allows us to reflect who we are as human beings. i think, particularly after what we have all gone through in the last couple of years, to be able to gather in a space together and be able to focus on the and be able to celebrate what we bring us humans to the world, it's a beautiful thing. every time the curtain goes up, everybody in the house, i
think, just feels the great blessing of having these kinds of cultural organizations in the city. >> i can show your passion for it, too. it is certainly inspiring me to take advantage of the opera here. thank you for your time, matthew. general director of the san francisco opera. and pulitzer, the director of this particular show, antony and cleopatra. thank you. thank you. san francisco was an important place to the well- known mexican artist diego rivera, who painted his first murals in the city. he and his wife, freda kahlo, married here. san francisco's museum of modern art currently has a 150 piece collection of his work on display, focusing on his vision for america. this week's look at something beautiful.
yamiche: trump, legal blows. russia's military woes. >> donald trump falsely inflated his wealth to cheat the system. yamiche: the new york attorney general announces a lawsuit against former president trump and his children for committing fraud. and the justice department can regain access to classified documents seized at trump's home. pres. trump: if you are the president of the united states, you can deal classified just by thinking about it -- can declassify just by thinking about it. yamiche: