Monthly Archives: January 2011

Tuneful Tales

    Les Contes d’Hoffmann aka Tales of Hoffmann are very tuneful.  I had forgotten how many great melodies Jacques Offenbach had given us in this, his attempt at operatic legitimacy.  Next season the Canada Opera Company will be producing … Continue reading

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Neither dirty nor rotten

I saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels last night.  No, not the Steve Martin/Michael Caine film, but the musical, presented at Hart House Theatre. Let me say first off that I love adaptations.  Whenever I hear someone complain that the original was … Continue reading

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Body of work: Aronofsky wrestles with an idea

Sometimes a superficial resemblance between two films by the same director is nothing more than coincidence; sometimes similarities are indications of important preoccupations. Darren Aronofsky has recently been fascinated with bodily matters.  His last two films can be read as … Continue reading

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Mendelssohn, the Nazis and Me (and them)

I was fortunate to stumble upon the documentary Mendelssohn, the Nazis and Me recently on TV Ontario (a public television network) in its first North American broadcast. Originally seen on BBC, the doc is a curious mixture of music, history, … Continue reading

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Assassins and history

Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins is a musical with history.  The play happens in an abstract space where characters from different centuries meet one another, converse, sing and dance together.  At first glance it resembles a review, a series of numbers where … Continue reading

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Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey

This is a book review I wrote for the newsletter of the Toronto Wagner Society. Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey Lotfi Mansouri with Donald Arthur The grin on the cover looks the same as ever.  Can this familiar figure really … Continue reading

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The King’s Speech

We’re always hearing about the impact of media upon our world. As anyone who has seen Singin’ in the Rain can tell you, new media –such as talking pictures in the late 1920s—can cause a complete upheaval not just within … Continue reading

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