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Ann Patchett on opera and veggies

June 24, 2008
"Sometimes I worry that culture is like vegetables and that I'd be better off eating that which is locally grown," writes novelists Ann Patchett in today's Wall Street Journal.

The piece isn't a celebration of local arts. Rather, it's a tribute to the technology that now allows the Metropolitan Opera to broadcast performances in her local multiplex (something I've written about here in the past).

"Implicit in my love for Tennessee has always been the understanding that certain needs were going to have to be met out of town. These days I find there are fewer and fewer reasons to fly."

There's no question that technology has made it easier to access the arts from outside our borders. But it's telling that Patchett doesn't mention anything about her town's own Nashville Opera.

 I can't speak to the quality of the company, but no less than Opera News called its production of "Elmer Gantry," "...one of the most enjoyable of premieres heard in many a season, richly deserves wider currency."

Perhaps the best diet for Patchett--and the rest of us--is a mix of quality local goods and the best of the rest.
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