Category Archives: Books & Literature

Christopher Cameron: Dr Bartolo’s Umbrella

This one is different. I’ve encountered memoirs written by artists I’ve respected from afar often created with the help of a ghost-writer. But Chris Cameron’s Dr Bartolo’s Umbrella and Other Tales from my Surprising Operatic Life, perhaps a bit like Chris … Continue reading

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Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche

I finished my previous book last night (They Can’t Kill Us All). I began the review of that fascinating book—filled with the keen-eyed observations of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery—by a kind of apologetic preamble about my life in fantasyland, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Opera, Politics | 1 Comment

They Can’t Kill Us All

I may seem to lead a divided life, vanishing into realms of violins and sopranos, opera and oratorio, without much apparent connection to the struggles of people in the 21st century: with the possible exception of the singers trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Politics | 2 Comments

Leon Fleisher: My Nine Lives

I escaped into another world, a place populated by famous musicians. You may remember Leon Fleisher as an American pianist. I recall him for performances that were usually my favourite versions of piano concerti, usually paired with Conductor George Szell … Continue reading

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YUGE!

There’s nothing like an election to make you feel helpless, unless it’s an election in a foreign country where you don’t even get to vote. Looking back I’m feeling relief, having  survived Harper & Ford, endured Dubya, and the insults … Continue reading

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Gates yea, Martin nay

I wanted to like it. As a child and teen, Lawren Harris was one of my favourite artists.  Steve Martin was and is one of my favourite comedians, actors, and writers. But when I got to “The Idea of North: … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Books & Literature, Opera, Popular music & culture | 2 Comments

Finding Dory and the symbolists

These days I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by emotions. I’ve had a death in the family (not a tragedy, when someone lives to a ripe old age, but still, it has stirred up a lot of feelings for me … Continue reading

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