Television: Classic Arts Showcase

It's 1954, and the young Patrice Munsel, sounding as ravishing as she looks, is singing an aria from Charpentier's Louise. Suddenly it's 1986, and members of the Bolshoi Ballet are dancing an exuberant pas de deux. H.G. Wells' time machine? No, Classic Arts Showcase: MTV for gourmets. The commercial-free service can be hard to find--it airs at odd hours, mostly on PBS or public access cable channels--but the search yields a feast. Opera, dance, chamber music, theater and more are presented in a beguiling spread of video clips. So surf that dial, comb that TV Guide. Caruso and Domingo, Lillian Gish...

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