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From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:59:11 -0500

text/plain (37 lines)

Tonight was the standard WHRB Sunday Night At The Opera.  The opera being broadcast was Boris Godunov.  The sweet young thing serving as announcer (WHRB calls them "DJs" and claims to have 125 of them) was so ignorant about opera that she didn't know that Boris has a prologue.  She also took so little time (anytime ???) to prep for her evening's work, that when she gave the synopsis as to what happens at the start of the opera, she advised that the opera opens in Pimen's Cell.  Fortunately, that was followed by the playing of the Prologue. 

Regretfully, that is the state of opera on WHRB when David Elliott is not around.

And there has been far worse.  My favorite is the Sunday Night At The Opera announcer waxing poetically as to how great Caruso's voice remained even late in his recording career as witnessed in the 1926 Caruso recordings he had just played -- amazing preservation indeed, considering that Caruso died in 1921!

Also note the decades long near total absence of opera during the Orgy periods.

I am not the only one to have noticed the above, witness the following comment published at Harvard a few years ago:

"I appreciate the richness of WHRB's classical offerings, but I am distressed that its DJs seem never to have heard of half the composers and performers on the playlist, or to have read the jewel case before playing the piece. How else to explain the mangling of so many European names, the hesitations as of a person afraid of the microphone, and the fumbling gaps, found especially before the "brought to you on a XXX compact disc"? Surely Harvard has some DJs who actually know classical music? I cringe at the end of many pieces, and delight in both the fluency of the WCRB DJs and the vitality of ERS's young people. Musical literacy, please, HRB!"

We can be grateful for the many things that Elliott has brought to Harvard Radio -- in particular his saving of the Met Saturday afternoon broadcasts for Boston after the whores who took over WCRB following the death of that station's founder cancelled them --  but opera is a throw away for him when he is not on the air.  So enjoy Elliott for so long as he decides to continue broadcasting, for there will be no successor at WHRB to follow him.

Best from Boston.

Ray Gouin (former broadcaster)

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