Monthly Archives: May 2014

East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon

This afternoon I had the pleasure of watching the new Norbert Palej opera from the Canadian Children’s Opera Company: East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon with libretto by K T Bryski. It is a traditional folk tale … Continue reading

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10 questions for Brian Current

Next week Soundstreams present Brian Current’s opera Airline Icarus, touching down in Toronto at Ada Slaight Hall. Current’s music has been performed across North America and abroad by the Esprit Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), the Oakland Symphony, … Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Opera | 1 Comment

A Poet’s Love

Writing in Opera’s Second Death, Slavoj Zizek claims that opera served a purpose at one point, before Freud & the invention of psychotherapy.  Watching “A Poet‘s Love”, tonight’s concert from Talisker Players & baritone Alexander Dobson , I had parallel … Continue reading

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Franz Liszt and Marie d’Agoult letters

I first encountered the romance between Franz Liszt and Comtesse Marie d’Agoult in Impromptu, a film full of famous artists in the script (Chopin, Liszt, Sand) and on the screen (Judy Davis, Hugh Grant, Mandy Patinkin & Bernadette Peters).  Impromptu … Continue reading

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Second time lucky

Presented with more or less identical performances on two different occasions, what is it exactly that can make one so different from the other? Where I whined & complained the first time, I had a wonderful experience seeing the Canadian … Continue reading

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Media Circus 3: critical dinosaurs

In one tiny corner of the media circus, ignored by most of the audience, you’ll find a nerdy subculture, the opera lovers.  Yet many of the same influences inhere that you’d find anywhere else. And so I’ll speak of something … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, Personal ruminations & essays | 5 Comments

Les Adieux

The Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio had their annual noon-hour concert to commemorate the departure of some of their members, titled “Les Adieux”. The three performers? Michael Shannon, piano Cameron McPhail, baritone Sasha Djihanian, soprano For most of the concert … Continue reading

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Louis Riel

When I was young there was a phrase used so often that it became a cliché, something to be joked about. What exactly was the “Canadian identity”, and –other than hockey or maple syrup –what was Canadian culture? As far … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Music and musicology, Opera, Politics, Popular music & culture, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Media Circus 2: CBC

I am trying to be hopeful about the changes to the CBC. It’s been reported that over 600 jobs are being cut, that the network will reduce its sports department in the wake of the highly publicized loss of Hockey … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, Politics, Popular music & culture | 3 Comments


What was it that he said again? Joe Wos could have been talking about the way we make them, or the way we perceive them. I think he said that cartoons both exaggerate and simplify. The funny thing is that … Continue reading

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