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Definitely Not the Opera, episode 1

The Story


Opera listeners are well served by CBC with a long-running Saturday afternoon slot on the FM radio band. But what about everyone else? For them, there's a new show on the AM band in the fall of 1994: Definitely Not the Opera. Produced out of Winnipeg and hosted by Nora Young, the four-hour program focuses on popular culture with a roster of contributors. Much of the show consists of music and reviews of new books, movies and CD releases. From the first episode of DNTO, as it came to be known, these four segments are about pirate TV, the Encarta CD-ROM encyclopedia, a burgeoning subculture called "zippies" and Young's obsession with magazines.

Medium: Radio
Program: Definitely Not the Opera
Broadcast Date: Sept. 10, 1994
Host: Nora Young
Contributor: Chris Boyce
Duration: 12:39

Did You know?


Definitely Not the Opera replaced a program called Brand X, which was judged a failure after a year because it was targeted at an audience (Generation X) that was significantly younger than the people who were actually tuning in to CBC Radio. (Brand X had replaced the 10-year run of The Radio Show, hosted by Jack Farr). It was on Brand X that DNTO host Nora Young got her start in radio, contributing occasional freelance pieces about technology and pop culture. 

• "Popular culture is the stuff of daily life," host Young told the Globe and Mail's H.J. Kirchoff in February 1995, explaining the show's focus. "It's the work we all do, what we have in common... it is all around us all the time."

• Young left DNTO in 2002. She was replaced on DNTO by actor and former MuchMusic VJ Sook-Yin Lee, who carried on until the show's end in 2016. 


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