Robert W. Duffy

Robert Duffy, campaign director with St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon, began his career in the news business in 1955 when he took a job delivering the Arkansas Gazette in his hometown, Little Rock. He joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1973 and worked there, with one brief interruption, for 32 years. He served as a reporter, critic, columnist, editorial writer and editor there, working in every department of the newsroom except sports. In addition to the Post-Dispatch, articles by him have appeared in national magazines such as U.S. News and World Report, Smithsonian and Modernism, and he has contributed essays or chapters to several books on architectural and urban-design subjects. Bob is a member of the faculties of University College and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, and is a 1967 graduate of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences.


Lighting The Arch
1:01 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Perry Bascom: Attorney Gave Back To The City He Loved

Perry Bascom
Credit Provided by the family

If you looked across a crowded room at a party and saw Perry Bascom, you might get the impression that he was just another unreconstructed preppy on his way to play tennis. Or should you glimpse him on his way to work, you might conclude he was one more soul heading downtown to commence another day of quiet desperation in business.

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Segregation's Impact
3:20 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Reflection: Washington University's 'Divided City' Project Hopes To Unravel Urban Dysfunction

Jean Allman
Credit Provided by Washington University

“If you didn’t know better you’d think we were prescient.”

Washington University history professor Jean Allman was talking about a new cross-disciplinary project she’s leading at Washington U: “Divided City.” Because it is to be launched presently, you might suppose it was established in response to the killing of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson. In reality, the project has been in the works for some time and even has an antecedent that is seven years old.

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Beyond Ferguson
8:52 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Commentary: A Musical Expression Of Hope In Normandy

Denyce Graves at Normandy High School
Credit Opera Theater of St. Louis

Remember the big flood of 1993, and how it seemed eternal?

Remember how it felt to hear – just when it seemed the worst was over – that 51 propane tanks, each containing 30,000 gallons of gas, were floating in the river, only loosely attached to their moorings south of the city? A spark, we were told, could set off a massive explosion. Approximately 9,000 people were evacuated from their homes and business.

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9:50 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Concert For Peace And Unity Stands With Normandy High

The Normandy High School Chorale performing in February 2014
Credit Tim Lloyd |File Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

We confront trouble in various ways, and the most destructive of them and wasteful of them is violence. Certainly, tragically, the death of Michael Brown Jr. on Aug. 9 in Ferguson was a mean-streets example of the most malevolent sort of violence, a violence that generates an expanding circle of suffering, one affecting exponentially the lives of a huge and diverse population.

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Looking For Success
11:38 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Reflection: St. Louis Needs To Unravel The Lessons Of Pruitt-Igoe

The last streetlight in Pruitt-Igoe.

Going into the inner city and taking a hike through the abandoned Pruitt-Igoe public housing site could be regarded as a lark, but once the hike is finished, a visitor realizes it is considerably more than that. Pruitt-Igoe is forbidden fruit, but going in is all the more delicious because one is not supposed to be there. Plus, from the outside it looks dangerous, and that quality makes adventure even more appealing. Beyond those easily transgressed wires stretched across old, worn down streets, there is a place of rare beauty and of serenity.

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10:40 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Ralph Lowenbaum: He Led A Life Without Headlines But With Artistic Consequence

Ralph Lowenbaum
Credit Provided by the family

Ralph Lowenbaum didn’t get a news obituary either in the morning paper or here at St. Louis Public Radio. News editors, rightly, ask “What did he or she do?” and they’re not easily swayed by exaggerations or social or professional associations. The bar is high, and those who don’t clear it don’t make it.

By traditional measurements, reinforced by general perceptions of Mr. Lowenbaum’s 89½ years, the answer to “what did he do” would be “not much.” Turns out, that was wrong.

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Opera Theatre of St. Louis
12:30 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Reflections: Listen To The Serious, Radiant 'Dialogues Of The Carmelites'

Christine Brewer (center with hands raised) as Madame Lidoine with the nuns of Compiègne in "Dialogues of the Carmelites." This serious work by Francis Poulenc is the fourth of this year's festival season at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Credit Ken Howard | OTSL

Thirty-one years ago, Opera Theatre of St. Louis pulled off a season that resounds in memory as an artistic volcano, a bonanza, an operatic gold mine, a tour de force. It followed the defining 1982 season, one crowned with Jonathan Miller’s “Così fan tutte,” a show conducted by Calvin Simmons, who died the summer following his and Dr. Miller’s triumphant achievement.

Power of Poulenc

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Stein & Toklas
1:32 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Reflection: In '27,' Opera Theatre Again Uses Powerful Art To Challenge

Elizabeth Futral as Alice B. Toklas with Theo Lebow, Tobias Greenhalgh and Daniel Brevik as paintings
Credit Ken Howard | OTSL

When confronted with apparently transcendent genius, the predictable mere-mortal inclination is to concentrate attention and fascination on the person anointed with this luminous intellectual and artistic blessing and to ignore, or to try to explain away, character deficiencies – minor or monstrous. Sometimes the deficiency may be as much a part of the genius’ character as the super-human talent itself, and in some cases leaves the genius Caesar-like with the good interred with his bones.

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Cats In The Wings
8:55 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Reflection: The Show Goes On In Fine Form At Circus Flora

Andriy Bilobrov and one of his Jack Russell terriers
Credit Steve Truesdell

There is a big-man-size hole in the heart of St. Louis’ Circus Flora, a vacancy left by the death of Ivor David Balding last month at 75. Balding was the founder, the sustenance and the animating spirit of the company. But this breach is masked by the magical, ephemeral costumery of the circus, and apparently, with the greatest of ease, the show indeed is going on.

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Opera Theatre of St. Louis
3:14 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Reflection: Mizrahi Makes This 'Magic Flute' A Bit Too Much Fun

David Gonsier as an owl and Levi Hernandez as Papageno in this year's OTSL production of The Magic Flute.
Credit Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Mozart’s Songspiel “The Magic Flute” functions at the summit of human achievement as one of the most affecting and popular works in the history of this medium we call opera – Italian for “work” -- which of course that great aesthetic synthesizer is, and which each individual production is as well. Opera is very hard work.

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