Category Archives: Cinema, video & DVDs

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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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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Kyle McDonald talks about Conan and Mightier Productions

Kyle McDonald and Mightier Productions premiere a new opera on May 5th, titled Conan and the Stone of Kelior. I asked Kyle a few questions. BB: When I look at your website, I see a commercial venture: (hopefully you recognize … Continue reading

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Alexander Shelley is coming to town

Before there were convoys and honking horns, it used to be said that living in Ottawa gave you advantages, because of your proximity to the seats of power. Yet maybe there’s still some truth to it when we look at … Continue reading

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Brian Cox: Putting the Rabbit In the Hat

We had been hearing a lot about the tv series Succession from friends. Tom Power on CBC called it the greatest series ever on an episode of Q, the show he always watches as soon as it’s available. Power’s interviews … Continue reading

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The Batman commodity

The other night when I saw Cyrano at my local Scarborough CINEPLEX, I made it a double feature, because they had only one showing that was to begin at 10:45 p.m. I filled the time before Cyrano watching The Batman, … Continue reading

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The Cyrano you’re unlikely to see

Cyrano de Bergerac is the name of Edmond Rostand’s play directed by Chris Abraham, set to open at the Shaw Festival in a couple of weeks. But that same 19th century play is the basis for a new film named … Continue reading

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The Princess Bride at the TSO

The Princess Bride is showing at Roy Thomson Hall, accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra who play the accompaniment live. It’s the perfect film for 2022. How? It features a tyrannical villain who lies shamelessly, just like certain people we … Continue reading

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The Music of Our Time: John Williams at 90

It can be awe-inspiring to look at a composer’s lifetime of work. We know that JS Bach composed over 1,000 pieces in his 65 years, while Mozart, who lived only 35 years, composed perhaps 600 pieces. Yet we only care … Continue reading

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