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1920 __ Parsifal by Richard Wagner and other operas broadcasts
Comment : While the first broadcast in Argentina took place on August 27, 1920, Argentina had public telephony services since 1881. By 1883, the Compañia Telefónica del Plata served Buenos Aires with a few hundred subscribers. Enrique Susini to realize that, with the help of his three friends, he could set up a make-shift studio and broadcast an opera to several well-to-do people in Buenos Aires who were the proud owners of radio receivers (and I’m using the word "radio receiver" loosely). Faustino da Rossa and Walter Mocchi, owners of the Italian theater, supported Susini’s idea wholeheartedly. Their target was August 1920 for the world’s first true-broadcast transmission. Somewhat disappointed with the news that Marconi transmitted a concert by the Australian soprano Nellie Melba from New York City on May 19, [Enrique Susini] (with the help of Miguel Mugica, Luis Romero Carranza, and César Guerrico) carried on feverishly with their project. They were going to better Marconi, they were going to start regular broadcasts, not a one-shot deal. The evening of August 27th, everything was ready: the W.W.I 5 watt transmitter, the precarious roof antenna, a microphone for deaf people placed in the gallery to which a wooden horn was added. The venue: “Parsifal”, by Richard Wagner. At 8:30 PM, Susini flicked the switch and announced with that famous baritne voice of his: “Ladies and gentlemen: the Radio Argentina Society offers to you today the opera Parsifal by Richard Wagner, with the participation of tenor Maestri, the Argentinean soprano Sara César, baritone Aldo Rossi Morelli, and basses Chirino and Paggi, all under the direction of Félix von Wingartner, accompanied by the chorus and orchestra of the Constanzi Theater of Rome.” And then von Wingartner started the overture to that historical transmission. While the transmission was rather noisy, none of the listeners made any complaints. On the contrary, even the president, Hipólito Yrigoyen, had this to say the following day: "When young men play with science, it’s because they posses genius within." What made this transmission a true broadcast, thus different from the many one-off experiments that went before it, is the amount of people listening to it. It is said that the transmission was even received by a ship anchored in the bay of Santos, Brazil. Susini and his friends carried on with the broadcasts from the Teatro Coliseo for the following 19 days. More operas were transmitted: Verdi’s Aida, with Bernardo de Muro on August 28; Mascagni's and Illica's Iris, with Gilda Dalla Rizzia and the world-renowned tenor Beniamino Gigli; Verdi’s Rigoletto, with Angeles Otein and Giacomo Lauri Volpi; Massenet’s Manon, with Genevieve Vix and Grabbe; special transmissions with the Lyric Company of the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater, directed by Eduardo Vitale. (Carlos A. Altgelt, Barry Mishkind, “EARLY HISTORY OF RADIO BROADCASTING IN ARGENTINA”)
French comment : 27 août: la société Radio Argentina diffuse l'opéra "Parsifal", de Wagner, du théâtre Coliseo de Buienos-Aires. (Daniel Ulanovski, "La politique de communication en Argentine" in : "INFORCOM", Université Paris I, n° 3, mai 1988, p. 141)
Urls : http://www.oldradio.com/archives/international/argentin.html (last visited )

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