NEW YORK, 18 OCTOBER 2010 Europeans and Americans often see things
differently on the matter of funding for culture and the contemporary
performing arts. The following reader comment was sent to Culturekiosque
in response to Alan Behr's review of this years Opening Night Gala of
Wagner's Das Rheingold at the Metropolitan Opera in New
I was saddened (but not surprised) by the reference to European opera
house funding by Alan Behr, in his recent Met Ring
"The problem for the Met is that, unlike European opera
houses which live off the public dole and are given free rein to
experiment, the Met gets few governmental subsidies and is beholden to
It is disconcerting for a European to see anyone referring to cultural
funding as a peripheral like this. Presumably the author would feel
the same if he read that the U.S. Marine Corps was
"funded by the public dole"?
I did, however, wonder if the British English usage and overtones of
"public dole" differ from the American English ones. In British
English, it has definite reference to charitable support of the local poor
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