A scheduled live broadcast of Tobias Picker's new opera from the Metropolitan Opera on December 24 will be replaced with a CD recording of Hansel and Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck's version of Grimm's fairytale.
A year ago, KBPS opted for J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio instead of a Met broadcast of Alban Berg's modernist Wozzeck on Christmas Day, according to the paper.
An American Tragedy is based on Theodore Dreiser's 1925 novel about a man found guilty of murdering his pregnant girlfriend.
Some listeners complained that they should able to make up their own minds about what they wanted to hear. But Sarah Shelley, the station's executive director, told the Oregonian, "We don't make these decisions lightly. But we feel let down by the Met, that they would program an important piece on an important day that doesn't have a direct connection to that day."
According to its contract, KBPS is not allowed to broadcast the opera at another time, but listeners can hear An American Tragedy on www.kwax.com.