15 MAY 1936, Page 19


I To the Editor of THE SeEcTATon.] SIR,—I have read with interest the article by Mr. Dyneley Hussey, in The Spectator of April 17th, on " Broadcasting and Opera," which discusses, I feel, quite pessimistically, the character of future opera broadcasts by the 13.13.0.

It may be of some interest to your readers to know that for the past few years the entire Saturday afternoon per- formances of the Metropolitan Opera Association in New York have lien broadcast over a large chain of stations in the United States and also in Canada. These have been most successful. Although it is impossible to estimate how many listeners take advantage of them there must be tens of thousands, and the fact that commercial stations will clear the air for anywhere up to four hours during a fairly good period of the day is sonic indication of the demand. I am convinced that the *radio audience would set up a very strong cry if these facilities were discontinued. Their effect upon the musical education of the country must be considerable. I have only been fortunate enough to attend a very few actual opera performances, but my enjoyment of last year's season over the wireless was intense. The quality of the reception has now reached a very high standard and is quite equal to the best gramophone records. The performances as heard over the radio are reviewed in a number of newspapers throughout both this country and the U.S., while the cast for etieh performance is always prominently published in advance.

I sincerely trust that the B.B.C. will exchange views with the Metropolitan on this subject. The British listeners would be indeed fortunate if similar broadcasts could be arranged for