Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Coffee Mill and old Yorkville: multiculturalism & a changing city

When I saw the piece earlier this week in the Toronto Star about the impending closure of The Coffee Mill, I knew I had to go one last time. Tonight four of us went for a last nostalgic whiff, even … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Architecture & Design, Food, Health and Nutrition, Popular music & culture, Reviews | 2 Comments

Alex Colville: love and menace

The new show at the Art Gallery of Ontario is called “Alex Colville”. Other shows have had epithets attached. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera was titled “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” Francis Bacon and Henry Moore was titled … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Architecture & Design, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Equinox: Day vs Night

Opera Five have a fundraiser coming up on September 9 starting at 6 pm at Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu 198A Davenport Rd. The theme is Equinox: Day vs. Night. Two teams of singers, team Day and team Night fight for the … Continue reading

Posted in Press Releases and Announcements | 1 Comment

Fading Gigolo

When is a Woody Allen movie not a Woody Allen movie? Maybe when you cast him in someone else’s film. Fading Gigolo (2013) is a dark quirky romantic comedy that has superficial resemblances to a Woody Allen film. It’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Reviews | Leave a comment


Tonight I saw Love in the Age of AutoCorrect, a Loose TEA Music Theatre adaptation of Stravinsky’s Mavra and Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne on the Terrace of Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu. I’m trying to catch up (the world is changing, right?  … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, Popular music & culture, Reviews | 1 Comment

The Most Popular Operas

I teach a course at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies called “The Most Popular Operas”, a great excuse to watch and listen to some of the most wonderful music ever composed. “Popular operas”? While the first video you get … Continue reading

Posted in Music and musicology, Opera | 2 Comments

Forbidden Music

Although my luggage for the trip to the cottage included a pile of books on diverse subjects –popular culture, a novel, psychology, and a few musicology books—the one that seized my imagination was the darkest of the group. How could … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Music and musicology, Opera, Reviews | Tagged , | 2 Comments

My eyes are bigger than my stomach

I have reading to do. Do you ever go to a bookstore and get carried away with what you see? Of course with a bookstore there’s no time-limit. You can buy books that you read this week, or this year, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Cinema, video & DVDs, Music and musicology, Opera, Popular music & culture, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Angriest Man

When I was a child the word was “mad”. I get mad. You get mad. Later I decided I was mis-using “mad” because there was a better word: “anger”. It’s a subtler thing, a more adult thing, or so my … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Psychology and perception, Reviews, Spirituality & Religion | Leave a comment

Ten Questions for Greg Finney

Who is Gregory Finney?  As he puts it in one of his biographies, he’s “a predominantly Comedic Baritone with Tenoristic leanings and background”.  This is an artist who is a bit of a chamelon, able to sing high or low, play … Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Music and musicology, Opera | Leave a comment