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Classical station WCPE will broadcast the Met operas that it flagged as 'inappropriate'

People seated inside the Metropolitan Opera House in New York
Alev Takil
Classical radio station WCPE in Wake Forest, N.C. has reversed its stance on six contemporary operas in the Metropolitan Opera's 2023-24 season that it had flagged for 'inappropriate' content.

After intense and widespread public backlash, Wake Forest classical radio station WCPE has decided to reverse its stance on six contemporary operas it had flagged for 'inappropriate' content.

As NPR reported last week, the listener-supported station notified its membership in late August that it was planning not to broadcast six operas this season from New York's Metropolitan Opera due to concerns over offensive content and language. Three of the operas were written by Black or Mexican composers. Earlier this year, the station also declined to broadcast Terence Blanchard's The Champion, an opera containing LGBTQ themes, due to "vulgar language" and content "unsuitable" for a general audience.

WCPE music director Emily Moss told WUNC Thursday afternoon that the station had considered the feedback they received and made the decision to broadcast the operas because it "wants to build an inclusive community brought together by the shared love for great classical music."

NPR also reported Thursday that the Metropolitan Opera told the news organization that it did not agree with WCPE's initial plans to drop the six operas and in its broadcast agreement with radio stations, stations must carry the complete Met season.

Eli Chen is WUNC’s afternoon digital news producer.
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