Monthly Archives: January 2012

Lepage and The End

As I listen to the Metropolitan Opera premiere the last of the four operas in Wagner’s Ring Cycle –streamed for free to an eager audience worldwide—I have to say, the natives are restless.  While Canadians are just fine with Robert … Continue reading

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Cruel and Tender

I feel very fortunate to have seen the story of the Women of Trachis portrayed twice within a week.  I don’t mean two performances of the same production, but two different works in wildly different media.  The comparisons are unavoidable. … Continue reading

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Bridal lullaby

Without being able to ask the artist, one sometimes wonders about the depths of meaning one encounters.  Are they intentional creations—where the creator sought for and purposefully aimed at those depths—or, are they serendipitous brilliance?  There’s a third possibility, that … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Essays, Personal ruminations & essays | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

“Tosca leaps…”

If this were a debate, Joseph Kerman would be in one corner, dissing Puccini’s Tosca, the opera he famously called a “shabby shocker”. Kerman is not alone in that corner.  Benjamin Britten wasn’t too thrilled with Tosca either.  But I … Continue reading

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Tonight’s premiere of Tafelmusik’s semi-staged version of Handel’s Hercules was dramatic in more ways than one. We came to honour Jeanne Lamon, to celebrate her thirty years leading the baroque orchestra.  While it was a commemoration of past achievements in … Continue reading

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Operatic alchemy

The Canadian Opera Company announced its 2012-2013 season today, January 18th, a combination of works old and new.  I don’t pretend to understand how an opera company chooses their repertoire, although I think I understand some of the issues involved.  … Continue reading

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What’s under the tree?

The recent High Definition Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha offered another look at one of the most popular operas of the past few decades.  I am posting this the night before the Canadian Opera Company announces their 2012-2013 … Continue reading

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Thank you, Rob Ford

I learned about gratitude in Martin Seligman’s book Authentic Happiness.  Dr. Seligman is a key figure in a new kind of psychology, called “Positive Psychology”, positive because it’s oriented not on disorders and dysfunctions, but on happiness.  I am not … Continue reading

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The Descent of Psycho

I don’t know very much about Charles Darwin, but have always been fascinated by the profound reverberations set off in my head by the title The Descent of Man.  I am not a naturalist.  I understood that Darwin meant “descent” … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Essays, Opera | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Questions for Britta Hansen

Britta Hansen is the Leader of the Technocratic Party of Canada.  The role of the “technocrat” has been getting a fair amount of attention lately, particularly in Europe during its debt crisis.  Is a government run by technocrats –the most … Continue reading

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