Librarian's Web Site About the Metropolitan Opera Taken Down
The tale sounded like Goliath raising his heel to crush a spunky David. The Metropolitan Opera, irked by regular disclosure of its programming, far into the future, on a Web site’s page, asked its operator to cease and desist.
The script might have called for a First Amendment battle, heels dug in, lawyers engaged, acid news releases. Instead, with nary a peep, the Web site’s author — Bradley E. Wilber, a college librarian in upstate New York, film buff and crossword puzzle constructor — graciously agreed to discontinue that page. The Met offered inducements, but he accepted only the promise of opera tickets for his next trip to the city.
“I didn’t want to get into trading a lot of stuff for my compliance,” Mr. Wilber said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “It’s really just a nice gesture.” Mr. Wilber’s opera page on his Web site was called Met Futures and dealt with subject matter that was seemingly obscure to much of the world but to opera fans was like red meat for hungry tigers. Mr. Wilber, 41, managed to sketch out the operas being planned by the Met, their casts and conductors often five or six years into the future. The subject is of passionate interest to opera buffs, who want to know whether their favorite singers are coming back, who is out of favor, what works are being revived from long ago and which operas are receiving new productions.
But on Aug. 8, after 15 years, Mr. Wilber took down his labor of love, called 'A Bit BeWilbered'. The Met’s general counsel, Sharon Grubin, had called, asking him, politely, to stop, Mr. Wilber said.
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