Monthly Archives: April 2012

Handel and Zhang: great minds thinking alike

I’m writing about two men who made some odd choices, showing a parallel brilliance even though separated by centuries. George Frederic Handel was simply trying to make a living, a composer whose works were sometimes welcomed, sometimes not.  Semele, with … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two from Florence

The double bill of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy with Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, currently being presented by the Canadian Opera Company, is a marriage made in heaven, a pair of complementary opposites who seem to belong together. They’re alike in some … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picasso in Toronto

When we come into contact with a great figure in the world of art we’re bound to be confronted with the great questions. What is art? What is culture & what is its relationship to citizenship & society? How should … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seek Haydn

At one time, the pathway to success for a virtuoso was simple. Sing what everyone else sings Sing it better than anyone …and by doing so, prove that you’re the best The game has changed.  I own several CDs that … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The healing power of Beethoven

I am writing after the fact, a little shocked by something I lived through, and want to testify to the healing power of music.  It shouldn’t be a surprise.  Conductors & musicians live remarkably long lives, likely rejuvenated by the … Continue reading

Posted in Essays | 5 Comments

10 Questions for Arkady Spivak

Arkady Spivak is a classic Canadian success story.  Founder and Artistic Producer of Talk is Free Theatre (TIFT), Spivak earned a BA in Theatre and Business from York University in 2000, immediately joining Barrie’s Gryphon Theatre as a summer student.  … Continue reading

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meeting Titurel

I wrote this as a Facebook “note” in August 2009, a kind of diary entry seen only by friends.  It came to mind today in an online conversation, and so I decided to revisit these thoughts. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am not … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Health and Nutrition, Opera, Personal ruminations & essays, Psychology and perception, Spirituality & Religion | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Muse of Fire

When the Prologue to Henry V confronts us with the limitations of the medium, inviting the audience to employ their “imaginary forces,” because it is our “thoughts that now must deck [their] kings” we are encountering yet another part of … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Opera Atelier’s Armide in Toronto

I have to rethink my week, because somehow I have to get to see Opera Atelier’s production of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Armide again.  Possibly the finest opera of the 17th Century, and certainly one of the greatest operas ever written, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

10 Questions for Norine Burgess

Norine Burgess’s stage presence and elegant singing keep her busy in opera houses and on concert stages around the world.  Recently she was heard in Beethoven’s 9th (Vancouver Symphony), Clairon in Strauss’s Capriccio (Pacific Opera Victoria), as Annio in Mozart’s … Continue reading

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment