In case you’re just joining us, I’m blogging this week from Smalltown, U.S.A, the southeast Missouri town where I grew up and where most of my family still lives. My sister-in-law, who lives in Smalltown and reads this blog from time to time, e-mailed yesterday to inform me that she and my brother now have a high-speed modem, thank you very much. (I had previously mentioned in this space that I was having trouble getting used to the dial-up connection at my mother’s house.) Of all the new wrinkles that have come to Smalltown, U.S.A., since my last visit home, that one might just be the most significant.
I haven’t gotten around to replying to Felix Salmon’s recent comment on what I wrote about the Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts, but it’s relevant here, so I’ll mention it now. In case you didn’t see my posting, I was writing in response to an article by Tony Tommasini, the chief classical music critic of the New York Times, in which he explained why it was a bad thing that the Met broadcasts, which have lost their corporate funding, might be in danger of cancellation. I begged to differ:
[T]he future of classical radio lies not in what has come to be called “terrestrial radio” (i.e., conventional radio broadcasting) but in satellite and Web-based radio, which make it possible to “narrowcast” a wider variety of programs aimed at smaller audiences. I suspect that’s where the Met really belongs–not on terrestrial radio. And if I had to guess, I’d say that the Tony Tommasinis of today would be more likely to listen to the Met on their computers than on high-quality radios bought by their parents.
(In his original piece, Tony had reminisced about how he’d discovered opera by listening to the Met broadcasts as a boy.)
Here’s part of Felix’s response:
The Met radio broadcasts reach 11 million people