(We invite all men in the University to submit communications on subjects of timely interest, but assume no responsibility for sentiments expressed under this head.)
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Some days ago it was suggested in your columns that Harvard ought to establish closer relations with the Boston Opera. From communications which have appeared in the BULLETIN it would seem that the idea has found favor with the graduates. The idea is so excellent that I cannot resist congratulating the CRIMSON on its conception, and hoping that some active steps will be taken to carry it out.
Such a plan would be mutually beneficial to Harvard and the Boston Opera. In this country we have to depend on private support for our artistic and educational institutions. Harvard men have always been foremost in maintaining the high musical standard of Boston. But the relation between Harvard and Boston is so close, and the function of the Opera is so distinctly educational that it would be particularly appropriate for Harvard to take a leading part in supporting the Boston Opera. Aside from the enormous prestige which the University would gain in taking the lead in America along such a line, it would be of infinite advantage to men attending the University to have an opportunity of rounding out their general education by frequently attending the Opera. It would seem almost as important a part of the all around education of a man, as for students at the Medical School to have free access to the Boston hospitals.
The practical form in which the linking together of Harvard and the Boston Opera should materialize is of course a matter of detail that would have to be worked out by a committee of prominent graduates, members of the Faculty, and undergraduates. It would seem as though the result might be worked out along the lines of a Harvard fund, the income of which should go to the support of the Opera, together with a musical association within the University which men might join at a comparatively trifling cost which would give them the privilege of attending the Opera on certain nights on a season ticket--a sort of a musical H. A. A. Some feasible scheme, however, could unquestionably be evolved, if sufficient interest in the idea is aroused.
I would suggest, as a good way of accomplishing this, that a committee be formed at once, its membership to be drawn from the musical clubs, the papers, the Student Council, the officers of the four classes, the French, German, and Italian societies, etc., taking care to enlist the interest of men from as many different undergraduate activities as possible. Let the committee arrange a dinner to be held at an early date in the Union. Invite to the dinner President Lowell, Major Higginson, Mr. Russell, Professor Spalding, the orchestra conductors of the Opera, and as many prominent graduates interested in musical affairs as possible. Advertise the dinner as widely as possible, and try to get as many men to attend it as you can. Have some rattling speeches made, and then have a committee appointed at the dinner to go into the question thoroughly and evolve some working plan.
Harvard has a grand opportunity to do something in the support of the Boston Opera which no other American college has yet attempted, and it would seem a calamity if such an opportunity were neglected. Yours very truly, JOHN REYNOLDS '07.