Friday, June 18, 2010

The Golden Ticket and the NPR Time Delay

At this point I'm used to the time lag between when news breaks and when mainstream media gets around to reporting it. It's still a little disconcerting when I run across an specific example -- especially from a usually reliable source like National Public Radio.

On July 16, NPR reported on a new opera premiering in St. Louis. The article was a pretty good informative piece about The Golden Ticket, an opera based on Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But the date's important. According to the article,
The opera called The Golden Ticket seemed like just that — a natural way for opera companies to attract new audiences by bringing families into the opera house. But the world premiere under way now at Opera Theatre of St. Louis did not have a sweet ride from conception to opening night.
Felicity Dahl says that if sweets improve with age, then The Golden Ticket is ready to be tasted. 
"It naturally takes a long time, but this took far too long," she says. "I take my hat off to St. Louis for biting the bullet, and I don't think they'll live to regret it."
The story makes it all sound like no one knows yet how the work will be received.

But I already knew.

One of the cast members, Jennifer Rivera, wrote in her blog "Trying to Remain Opera-tional" on July 14,
So last night, at our opening of The Golden Ticket, something wonderful happened.

The real story is the World Premiere, and that it was a success. I can say that it felt from stage as if the audience was with us every step of the way. They laughed in all the right moments, and even in some new moments where we hadn't necessarily anticipated the laughs.
[Ms. Rivera's post tells of something else that happened at the world premiere -- I encourage you to read it].

And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote on the same day:

There aren’t that many new operas designed to make the audience laugh out loud. “Ticket,” which opened Sunday evening, does just that — and with honest, sweet humor — combining ingenious music that neatly parodies assorted operatic cliches and a clever libretto that has fun with Dahl’s delicious morality play. Add to that a nearly ideal cast, and you have something enjoyable for adults and children alike.

So let's review:

The evening of the premier Jennifer Rivera posts that the opera was a hit with the audience. The same night the St. Louis paper says the same thing. So the word's out to those following this story -- the opera's a success.

Two days later NPR reports on this new opera being staged in St. Louis. The basic thrust of their story:  How will the audience receive it? Only time will tell.

Time's already told.

Come on, even if the story was written before the premier, a quick check on the 15th would have pulled up those stories, and the article could have been made current before being released on the 16th.

Running out-of-date stories? Now that's lamestream media.

 - Ralph

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