Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Timeouts

[from Geoffrey, not Liz, my better half]

We've had severe hard disk problems, or we would have responded sooner. Regrets for the long delay.

Sarah makes some excellent points. Unfortunately, while ninety minutes can accommodate much of the repertoire -- if, that is, one remembers to go out and come back in to the signal on one's own terms during appropriate pauses rather than waiting to be yanked off at an inopportune time automatically -- ninety minutes cannot accommodate all the repertoire. Occasions like Strauss's Salome/Elektra, performances of Mozart's Nozze di Figaro that sometimes have only one intermission, the last act of Meistersinger or the first act of Parsifal, performances of all five acts of Don Carlos with only two intermissions, and so on, will often entail at least one uninterrupted chunk of over ninety minutes, sometimes over two hours. Hollaender and Rheingold, in particular, are frequently over two and a half hours of uninterrupted music. All these exceptions simply cover too much familiar repertoire, in our opinion, to be overlooked.

Consequently, we have adopted the policy of only carrying stations that permit a minimum of three hours' uninterrupted listening.

A further consideration is the sheer number of stations now carrying opera on the web. When we started this site around the turn of this century, the number of opera programs on the web came from roughly forty or so stations. Today, we are up around one hundred and growing! With all this choice (and with there being only 24 hours in the day to put all our listings together), standards eventually had to be set more strictly.

We like to encourage the kind of listening routinely vouchsafed to those in the hall. At live performances, one is in one's seat for however long an uninterrupted sequence of music takes. One sits back and savors it whole. Since so much of Internet listening is of "live" occasions anyway, we feel that the chief point of tuning in is to replicate that experience in one's home. One can only do that if any and all repertoire that is streamed affords one the same uninterrupted pleasure.

Respectfully,

Geoffrey Riggs
http://www.operacast.com

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