Harvard College Library

Robert Dennis Featured on Met Opera Broadcast Quiz

Robert Dennis, recordings librarian at the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, recently participated in the ChevronTexaco Opera Quiz.

April 25, 2002 -- Robert J. Dennis, recordings librarian at the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, as well as writer and lecturer on opera, recently made his Metropolitan Opera Broadcast debut as a panelist on the ChevronTexaco Opera Quiz, a popular and long-running intermission feature on the live radio program. A dedicated opera lover and veteran of over 1,300 performances, Dennis was invited to appear on April 13th, the occasion of the Metropolitan Opera broadcast premiere of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's 1927 opera Sly.

"I've been listening to Met broadcasts for 39 years. It was interesting to see behind the scenes and fun to be a part of the program," said Dennis.

For over six decades, the ChevronTexaco Opera Quiz has provided informative and entertaining discussions by noted opera authorities during the afternoons' intermissions. The Opera Quiz takes place at the Met during intermission in front of a studio audience of 500 operagoers. Questions are mailed in by radio listeners and presented to 3 panelists as time allows.

"We were given five questions, both factual questions to quiz our opera knowledge as well as opinion questions. After this experience I will be more charitable to panelists when I listen to the program. There is no time to prepare and you have no idea what questions you will get. It is not as easy as it seems," said Dennis. Dennis -- along with co-panelists Michelle Krisel, assistant to Placido Domingo, artistic director of Washington Opera, and Father Owen Lee, professor emeritus of classics at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto --had to identify various singers heard in the same operatic passage, identify opera characters in specific dramatic situations, and suggest operas that the Met has not performed which they would like to see.

Since December 1931, the Met has broadcast Saturday matinee performances live from the stage of The Metropolitan Opera, the longest continuous network broadcast in radio history. The broadcasts are heard on five continents and in over 34 countries including Canada, many countries in Europe, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, and most recently Japan and China.

This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
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