Category Archives: Books & Literature

Not #MeToo

I’m upset. It’s not that I’m having a bad day. I just keep hearing news that’s upsetting. Two very different women I knew, each an avatar of female strength, have passed away. I met each of them, knew them very … Continue reading

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Brilliantly Problematic Porgy & Bess

Don’t let the headline fool you. When you see that the Metropolitan Opera are producing The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess for the first time in almost thirty years, seemingly selling every ticket to every performance, you might well ask them: … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Opera, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Parenthood, poverty, Hansel & Gretel: a conversation with Joel Ivany

In a few days Joel Ivany, Artistic Director of Against the Grain Theatre, will be premiering his new Hansel and Gretel at the Four Seasons Centre, in a Canadian Opera Company production. Singled out for last year’s Against the Grain … Continue reading

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To New York with Gershwin

Sometimes I have a fear of flying. I usually love the takeoff & normally sit by the window but when there’s turbulence I like to distract myself. On a trip to New York what better subject could one find than … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Music and musicology, Opera, Popular music & culture, Reviews, University life | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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