Category Archives: Books & Literature

Rusalka: and now for something completely different

Tonight the Canadian Opera Company premiered their take on the recent Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Dvořák’s Rusalka directed by Sir David McVicar. It stands in rather stark contrast to the other current COC production, Puccini’s Turandot¸ whose mise-en-scene … Continue reading

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Not quite forgotten: Liszt’s Valses oubliées

The composer centennials & bicentennials may be artificial stimuli to research, but the effect is real. Knowing that everyone is suddenly focusing upon a particular period seems to inspire all sorts of interesting studies, conferences where people share their research … Continue reading

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The miraculous simplicity of Hearing Beethoven

I’m very grateful for the serendipity that led to Robin Wallace’s book even if the fate governing its creation is cruel indeed. A shy and short-sighted musicologist named Robin married a nurse named Barbara. She was losing her hearing.  I … Continue reading

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I swallowed a moon made of iron: Oxymoronic, Prophetic

Njo Kong Kie has created a one man show from Xu Lizhi’s texts, that he sings and enacts mostly from the piano, I swallowed a moon made of iron, presented at the Berkeley Street Theatre by Canadian Stage. That title comes … Continue reading

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Debussy: A Painter in Sound

Stephen Walsh’s recent book Debussy: A Painter in Sound from Faber & Faber, is a welcome addition to the literature concerning a man whose star continues to rise, a composer respected & loved more in the 21st century than ever before. … Continue reading

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Questions for Thomas Gough: Ebenezer Scrooge

If you go to the theatre in Toronto it’s quite possible you’ve seen Thomas Gough. He has an avuncular presence, perhaps a result of years as a teacher, and so he’s perfect for roles such as Brabantio in Othello or … Continue reading

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Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique & the fork in the recreational road

I’m responding as much to the serendipity of timing as anything else. Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Ontario next month. The Toronto Symphony are about to begin their 2018-19 season with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Is there a connection? I think … Continue reading

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