Pollyanna’s picks for 2012

This is a look back at 2012 through the rose-coloured glasses of someone who prefers to avoid negativity.

Most impressive singer: Jane Archibald.  I’d already been persuaded by her Zerbinetta in the recent COC Ariadne, then I heard her Haydn CD which won awards in 2011 (and elicited my favourite pun of the year: see the headline) but was floored by her charisma & wit in Semele. I wonder when we’ll see her here again?  In January the COC announces their next season and alas i don’t believe she’s in anything next season, but perhaps the following year..(!)

Most interesting couple: Frida & Diego at AGO, a study of a relationship and yes, lots of art: until Jan 20th.  I wrote a lot about it and don’t feel i was anywhere near exhausting the subjects they raise:

  • feminism, sexuality & gender
  • aboriginals & colonialism
  • disability & medicine
  • workers & socialism
  • ecology
    …and i suspect there are more

Most eagerly awaited (three different events come to mind)

Most impressive performance, periodStewart Goodyear in the Beethoven Marathon.  In an old-style display of virtuosity, Goodyear made it look easy.  I don’t believe people appreciate his brilliance.  Beethoven sounds brand-new, even while being true to the score.  His scherzi are fast & light, witty & dramatic.  His slow movements are profound and probing.  His contrapuntal movements (Op 101 & 106 especially) are startlingly accurate, faster than i’d believed was possible.

Most visceral theatre:  Dark Matters, an inter-disciplinary creation on the boundaries of choreography & puppet theatre: it was very good theatre.

Closest to my heart: Early in the year I interviewed Michael Slattery, then reviewed his highly original CD “Dowland in Dublin”. It’s in my car, where i listen to it regularly and i posted a small sample a few weeks ago in response to the COC ensemble competition as a cautionary note about our mortality.


  • The Toronto opera community has become a remarkably vibrant place, full of small companies producing exciting productions.  I can’t list them all, but 2012 was an occasion for several remarkable presentations, often giving an operatic spin to works that weren’t acually opera.  THAT is what i see as game-changing:

Merry Christmas..!

Composer Louis Dufort (Photo: Diane Charland)

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4 Responses to Pollyanna’s picks for 2012

  1. Been meaning to tell you, that intvu you did with Fallis really clarified for me what is it that they had in mind for the music direction, why that piece, etc. Keep ’em coming in the new year!

  2. Pingback: My Person of the Year | barczablog

  3. Pingback: Pollyanna’s Picks for 2013 | barczablog

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