In a small town in Wisconsin in the early 1940s, a small girl sits rapt in front of the console radio, building houses out of clothes pins (no Legos then) and listening to the Metropolitan Opera. I was that small girl, seduced into music first by Milton Cross narration of the plots and second by the music itself. That first opera was part of the Ring Cycle and (Melchior) and Traubel were singing the major roles. I had found a secret world.
My mother thought that I had lost my mind. "Why are you listening to that screeching?" she'd call from the kitchen. "I like it. I like the story and music." From then for sixty years (until KNPR, the NPR affiliate in Las Vegas, senselessly cancelled the broadcasts in the face of great community opposition) I was transported to the Met on Saturday afternoons during the season. Its loss was oddly devastating - it was only a radio program after all I tried to tell myself. But, of course, it wasn't. It was part of the fabric of my life, as it was for many others, and then it was gone.
Now, wonderfully, it's back. Sirius Radio's new Metropolitan Opera channel, broadcasts both live and from the archives, giving us more than we could have dreamed of asking from any other venue.
...by Felicia Florine Campbell