Author Archives: barczablog

Competing icons at the RCM: Gould, Liszt and others

It’s a branding exercise to give a building a name. Roy Thomson has his hall. Both Rogers and Four Seasons have Centres. They already have The Glenn Gould School in the Royal Conservatory of Music. So why not also give … Continue reading

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Gould’s Wall

Tapestry Opera have premiered Brian Current’s new site-specific work Gould’s Wall, an event that adds another layer to the association between the Royal Conservatory of Music and one of their most distinguished alumni Glenn Gould. I like it more than … Continue reading

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Immortal Glenn Gould

I want to write something about Glenn Gould. Who is he, what is his legacy in 2022? I’m thinking about what GG means to me as I anticipate Tapestry Opera’s premiere of Gould’s Wall, a new site-specific opera opening August … Continue reading

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Rebuilding Janise: Andrew Smith’s labour of love

The cover picture is a disturbing metaphor for its subject. In 1992 Andrew and Janise were married. This poem “What Once Was”, is by Andrew Smith, posted in July 2022 on Facebook. what once was; is so long ago.two fools, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Food, Health and Nutrition, My mother, Personal ruminations & essays, Psychology and perception, Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Scary Dead Broke

I saw Will King’s darkly comic Dead Broke today at the Toronto Fringe. I was blown away by King’s first play From the Water in December 2018, amazingly good for a first play. This one is better, unfolding in a … Continue reading

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Thinking of Diefenbaker for Canada Day

A good performance can change how you understand a piece. I stumbled upon a YouTube recording that I keep listening to over and over, a piece I thought I knew. There are two contrasting tenor arias in Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah. … Continue reading

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TSO + Rajaton = ABBA

This week the Toronto Symphony under their pops conductor Steven Reineke presented three concerts of the music of ABBA featuring Rajaton, the Finnish vocal ensemble. While they describe themselves as an a cappella ensemble –singing their vocals accompanied—it was electrifying … Continue reading

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The Mel Brooks Songbook

Happy Birthday Mel Brooks. He turned 96 today. And no joke, there really is a Mel Brooks Songbook. When I picked it up from the shelf in the Indigo bookstore I was a bit disbelieving myself. Mel Brooks, songwriter? The … Continue reading

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TOT: A Waltz Dream

Insights sometimes sneak up on you. I was blind-sided by one today watching the Toronto Operetta Theatre Canadian premiere production of Oscar Straus’ A Waltz Dream at St Lawrence Centre. TOT play an important role offering local artists a place … Continue reading

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Joyful Gimeno + Virtuosic TSO

The title of tonight’s performance by Toronto Symphony was “Gimeno + Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, a celebratory concert. It’s the TSO’s centennial season and a perfect way to bring Gustavo Gimeno’s first in-person season as music director to a conclusion. … Continue reading

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