Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts Renewed For One More Season

Laurence Glavin
Sat Mar 6 14:54:03 EST 2004

Donations totalling 7-million dollars have enabled the 
Metropolitan Opera Company to announce that the 2004-2005
season of live Saturday matinees will be broadcast 
nationwide (the U.S. that is) and in other parts of
the world.  This was speculated on a few classical
music and opera websites and in the New York Times at
least, but confirmed by Beverly Greenough during today's
(03/06) first intermission feature.  To avoid the 
vicissitudes and vagaries of economic cycles, The
Met is attempting to raise 150-million dollars as a 
permanent endowment so the broadcasts can continue
until the end of radio broadcasting as we now know it.
as a result of the uncertainty of future carriage of the
operas, some stations now part of the network may have 
made other plans (or more pernicious, regarded this as an
EXCUSE to drop The Met.)
Also, the opera company plans to take a couple of weeks off in mid-winter.  The network will either go 
on hiatus, requiring stations to fill about 4 hours a few
Saturday afternoons, or the source, i.e. the Metropolitan
Opera Network, will have to provide some programming,
perhaps recordings of either broadcasts from previous
seasons, or of performances that occurred between
the season opening usually in late September thru the
first week in December.  
The problem with either is that The Met has required
all stations (except Alaska, Hawaii and foreign countries)
to carry every note LIVE, even though a Wagnerian opera
could start at 9:00 am on the West Coast.  It will
be interesting to see how this plays out.  However,
in my case, it's of little moment since there's not an FM station I receive clearly enough for extended listening
in stereo that carries the broadcasts.  
When there's an opera I DEFINITELY want to hear, I'll
just have to go to NYC to hear it live (it's already
happened so far this season).

Laurence Glavin 

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