Definitely Not the Opera
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|Running time||2 hours|
|Home station||CBC Radio One|
|Starring||Nora Young (1994–2002)
Sook-Yin Lee (2002–present)
|Air dates||since 1994|
Definitely Not the Opera (DNTO) is a magazine-style radio program focusing on aspects of pop culture. The program is broadcast on CBC Radio One on Saturday afternoons, 1:30–3:30 p.m. (Eastern time). An abridged version of each weekly program is available for download as a weekly podcast. An abbreviated edition called Your DNTO also airs on Tuesday afternoons, which includes content submitted by listeners.
The program is also syndicated to some public radio stations in the United States.
In 1993, the CBC launched Brand X as a Saturday afternoon replacement for Jack Farr's The Radio Show. The program lasted only a single year under that title before evolving into Definitely Not the Opera in 1994. The name Definitely Not the Opera was chosen because the program aired opposite Saturday Afternoon at the Opera on CBC Radio 2.
The program has varied in length over the course of its run, between two and four hours long at various times.
When Young hosted, DNTO was a magazine-style show focusing on popular entertainment, containing more or (usually) less serious features on pop-culture phenomena, movie, video and music reviews, as well as serialized programming in several different genres, such as comedy, musical concerts, biographical series on entertainment and pop culture figures and live concerts.
In Lee's hands, with the program's length reduced to two hours, the show's focus evolved toward a light documentary format, dropping most of its pop culture features in favour of interviews, musical selections and first-person audio essays that explore a particular theme pertaining to modern life – for example, an episode might have a thematic focus on etiquette, fear, listening, interpersonal conflict, food or small talk. Celebrity interviews focus on the episode's theme rather than being strictly promotional in nature, and a rotating stable of regular contributors – including comedian Candy Palmater, journalist Kaj Hasselriis and CBC Radio personalities Jane Farrow and Grant Lawrence – contribute their own segments.
The hour-long weekday edition Your DNTO may repeat some content from a weekend show, but is primarily dedicated to airing stories submitted by listeners. The program's website includes a feature for listeners to record and upload their own stories for possible broadcast.
- "Media Stars: Avi Lewis, Nora Young and Ruby Bhatia". U of T Magazine, Summer 2001.