June 06, 2020

Joining the protest

It is all my fault. Having been out of state for three weeks, I was unaware that my failure to return the member opinion form caused Maine Public Radio to cancel the Metropolitan Opera, “Pipedreams” and afternoon classical music. I would like to have my vote counted.

Surely the knife-wielding Charles Beck could not have sliced all of the worthwhile music, drama, commentary and news from MPR. So I grabbed my copy of Airplay and counted all my favorite programs that survived what the many letters to the editor would have you believe was a bloodbath. Thankfully, there are 20 of my favorite programs remaining.

Methinks I must join the protest since the cut included my two most favorite programs, the Met and “Pipedreams.”

Maybe I should skip my annual contribution this year and see if it gets anyone’s attention. Hey look, they listened and moved “Schickele Mix” off the church hour to Friday. They didn’t mess with Friday night. “Jazz and Blues” and “World Cafe,” “Echoes,” “Selected Shorts,” “St. Paul Sunday,” “With Heart and Voice” and “Car Talk” are still there.

However, I object to nothing but talk for eight straight hours on weekdays. I like some “MaineWatch,” some “Public Affairs,” some “All Things Considered,” and “Marketplace” is a fresh and catchy way to address a usually dry subject.

However, I followed Rob Gardiner’s request and listened to some of the new stuff and cannot warm up to much of it. There is certainly enough talk, call-ins and eclectic music on commercial stations for those who care.

The bottom line for me is opera; having moved to Maine 25 years ago from Bloomington, Ind., where one of the nation’s premier music schools offer a full five opera season with three more in the summer. Their world-class performances and opera house are second only to the Kennedy Center. After arriving in Maine, first the New England Opera helped my withdrawal problem, but that soon faded away. There are occasional performances on Maine Public Television and the Maine Center for the Arts, but nothing can replace the Met on Saturday afternoon.

Ed Andrews


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