Category Archives: Books & Literature

Untangled by Lisa Damour

One of the pleasures or perils of reading multiple books at the same time is how suddenly one captures your attention, shutting everything & everyone out in the process. It can be fun to disappear down a rabbit hole with … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Psychology and perception | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Melisande and Sam

The picture is a bit of whimsy, Sam seeming to float with the flower. If you don’t have your glasses on (hello! That was how I took the photo), the alignment of dog + flower is much easier to do, … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, domestic & wild, Art, Architecture & Design, Books & Literature, Dance, theatre & musicals, Opera, Psychology and perception | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Karel Ančerl of the Toronto Symphony

While reading Hermione Lee’s account of Tom Stoppard’s childhood in Czechoslovakia I was reminded of Karel Ančerl, the Toronto Symphony’s conductor and music-director roughly fifty years ago. Before Kenneth Stoppard appears on the scene in Darjeeling India, marries Magda Sträussler, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hermione Lee: Tom Stoppard A Life

I’m humbled reading Hermione Lee’s biography of Tom Stoppard. I was exalted by Alex Ross’s colossal Wagnerism study because I’m a typical grandiose Wagnerian, thinking I know something about the topic. Its 784 pages flew by, the book flattering my … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, Opera, Politics, Popular music & culture, Reviews, University life | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ouzounian’s Gatsby

Tonight I watched a 60 minute adaptation of The Great Gatsby from Talk is Free Theatre, the closing night of “Dinner a la Art”, presented virtually as a reading adapted & directed by Richard Ouzounian. Ouzounian explained that TIFT Artistic … Continue reading

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

Baudelaire Bicentennial

I must be brief. How does one speak of the bicentennial of a poet such as Charles Baudelaire, born two hundred years ago on April 9th in 1821? how to find the right words,…? Some know him for his poetry, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Young Cassidy, Old Stoppard

Celebrating World Theatre Day in a pandemic that prevents one from going into a theatre might seem to be an oxymoron. Or it might be the best time to really understand what one has lost. Absence and abstinence make the … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, University life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meditation with dog

My title might be an unconscious imitation of Tom Robbins’ Still-life with Woodpecker. Might? I suddenly felt the need to make a parenthetic google search. Tom Robbins. Is he still alive? And I see that he was born in 1932, … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, domestic & wild, Books & Literature, Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, Personal ruminations & essays, Spirituality & Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Voices juxtaposed by Opera in Concert

The one act play La Voix Humaine was written by Jean Cocteau in 1928. The one act opera La Voix Humaine based on that play was composed by Francis Poulenc in 1958. Each one is a monodrama, presented by a … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Opera, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jussi 2021

I’m reading Jussi, a biography of Swedish tenor Jussi Björling from his widow Anna-Lisa Björling, and a surprisingly honest look at the life of a famous singer. It’s an appropriate week to think about Jussi. He used to celebrate his … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Opera, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments