Thursday, October 30, 2008

In Which Pan Cogito Recalls The 24 'Dark Ages' Years The NEA-Supported Metropolitan Opera Did Not Stage A Single New American Opera [1967 - 1991]

"The creation of the NEA Opera Honors constitutes a milestone in the agency's long history of support for opera. Beginning in 1967, only the second year of its grant making activities, the NEA awarded a $150,000 grant to the Metropolitan Opera National Company, a satellite of the Metropolitan Opera. Since then, the NEA has made more than 4,000 grants totaling almost $164 million to opera companies, artists, and organizations. The catalytic effect of this support is reflected in the growth of opera companies, from 46 companies in 1965 to 129 companies in 2005.

Key to the agency's history of opera support was the New American Works program which from 1980 to 1995 awarded more than 600 grants totaling $9.5 million to assist in the creation of new work. Among the operas made possible through this program are Anthony Davis' Amistad, John Adam's Nixon in China, William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge, and Philip Glass' Appomattox." [The librettists Christopher and Thulani Davis, Alice Goodman, Arthur Miller and Arnold Weinstein, and Christopher Hampton are -- following long-standing NEA policy -- unworthy of mention.]


Sharon Rockefeller's conservative, normally American classical music-less Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation's Capital, will broadcast Miller, Bolcom, and Weinstein's American opera, "A View From The Bridge" on Saturday at 1 PM.

Opera Doctor Atomic

Photo credit: All rights reserved. With thanks.


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