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.

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.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
St. Louis Symphony
9:13 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Reflection: Robertson's Contract Reinforces The Infrastructure Of St. Louis

David Robertson
Credit Dan Dreyfus | St. Louis Symphony

In writing about the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary American cities, the word infrastructure frequently issues forth from the keyboard. Sometimes it is paired with the words “challenges” or “failures.” In a more neutral context, it often is a corollary to nitty-gritty utility systems that keep the metropolis heated, moving, cooled and lighted, or on another scale, buildings that provide shelter for commerce and living.

Read more
9:53 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Reflection: Maryville Exhibit Showcases Mid-Century Modern Pioneers

Credit May Gallery At Maryville University

It’s not as if everyone were oblivious to the architecture of the middle of the 20th century in St. Louis before current interest in it took hold. Prominent mid-century landmarks that are, or were, part of our regional consciousness: the Saarinen Arch, certainly; Samuel Marx’s Clayton Famous-Barr building on Forsyth Boulevard; the Teamster’s complex on Grand Boulevard, with the space-agey former Phillips 66 station enjoying new life as a Starbucks and Chipotle restaurant, and until recently, Edward Durell Stone’s mid-1960s Busch Stadium.

Read more
Classical Music
10:46 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Bassoon Brigade To Honor The Memory Of One Young Player And, Perhaps, Inspire Another

Christine Brewer
Credit Christian Steiner

A St. Louis bassoon brigade is heading from Grand Center to Marissa, Ill., on Tuesday. Well, it was heading there on Feb. 4, but a forecast of snow and freezing rain put the planned trip off until Feb. 18.

Once in Marissa, the brigade will address a musical situation that began playing out in November following a St. Louis Symphony rehearsal of Benjamin Britten’s opera, “Peter Grimes.”

Read more
St. Louis Media
4:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Reflection: Look Back At Media Hall Of Famers Fox, Graczak, Weil And Defty

Credit Wikipedia

When word came that four former Post-Dispatch people were being inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, we asked our own Robert W. Duffy to reflect on those he had worked with.

I finally plowed my way into the newsroom of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1972 not as a registered, pedigreed member “Of the Post-Dispatch Staff” but as what’s called a stringer in the business, otherwise known as a free-lancer or correspondent.

Read more
10:15 am
Mon December 23, 2013

In New Book, Eugene Mackey III Honors His Father And Gives Glimpse Of Architectural Inspiration

Eugene Mackey Jr. - July 3, 1958 - Le Pont Du Gard
Provided by Gene Mackey III

Eugene Mackey III was a college sophomore in 1958, pursuing a degree in English at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn., when all of a sudden his architect father, the late Eugene J. Mackey Jr., asked him if he’d like to make a father-son six-weeks tour of Europe. The college boy said sure. Who wouldn’t?

Read more