Monthly Archives: February 2015

Soundstreams’ Whisper Opera and the meaning of meaning

It’s a cute phrase I heard in a Tom Robbins novel, as someone speaks in passing of “the meaning of meaning”. I love it because it simultaneously references our understanding (and what it means to mean) and yet sounds like … Continue reading

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10 Questions for Leslie Dala

Conductor Leslie Dala aka Les Dala is especially well-known out west, having conducted at the Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Bach Choir, at Banff Centre and UBC Opera Ensemble.  In October 2014 he conducted Vancouver Opera’s world premiere … Continue reading

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Barbara Hannigan “dissolved in swirling sound… a spark of the holy fire”

The title of the movement is “Entrückung”, the text by Stefan George, the score to the String Quartet by Arnold Schoenberg, the concert part of the New Creations Festival curated by George Benjamin, a late-afternoon incarnation of the Canadian Opera … Continue reading

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10 Questions for Barbara Hannigan

Barbara Hannigan is one of Canada’s most remarkable exports, a brilliant singer, conductor and actor of rare conviction.  While I haven’t heard her use the word “actor” to describe herself, how can I omit it, when I struggle to describe … Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Music and musicology, Opera | 4 Comments

Wagnerian truths, whether on the COC stage or your own electronic device

Ah such a long title. I’m already being Wagnerian. He’s everywhere whether you know it or not, Wagner not precisely über alles, but still ubiquitous. We talked about him inevitably last night in class, discussing the dramaturgy of silent film, … Continue reading

Posted in Opera, Reviews | 7 Comments

“Don Giovanni or Don JianGhomeshi…?“

The quote in the headline is the witty riposte of Ian Henderson as part of the conversation about Dmitri Tcherniakov’s Don Giovanni. You may have thought of it as Mozart’s Don Giovanni,…? ha! but when a modern opera director gets … Continue reading

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Pockets picked: the inspiring story of Pocket Opera

The show must go on, and it usually does (from Janos Gereben in California). Pocket Opera ( ), Donald Pippin’s inimitable 38-year-old performing organization, has always lived on pennies, but now – thanks to clueless thieves the day before … Continue reading

Posted in Personal ruminations & essays | 2 Comments