Category Archives: Music and musicology

Opera Atelier’s Resurrection

When you study theatre history one of the first things you may encounter is the quem quaeritis trope. It’s so short that I can quote it in its entirety, a tiny four line drama re-enacted at Easter in churches. Angels: … Continue reading

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Dogies and tummies

I’m no cowboy. This probably won’t be news to you, but I wanted to state it up front. The first word in the headline may resemble a typo, if you assume I meant “doggies”. No I meant it the way … Continue reading

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What Mom taught me

I’m very lucky that my mother is still alive, an amazing example. My dad passed away when I was very young, so my family is matriarchal, lucky for us. I only have 3 or 4 solid memories of my father. … Continue reading

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American Idolatry

The finale of 2021’s American Idol competition this past weekend is a curious reflection of popular culture, a snapshot of our world. There were three finalists: Grace Kinstler sang covers, sometimes emulating stars such as Whitney Houston with her powerful … Continue reading

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ZUMI Legends

I’ve been listening to the ten Dvorak Legends played by ZUMI Piano Duo. “ZUMI” comes from the two players. Zuzana & Mikolaj, or ZU + MI = ZUMI. Pianist Mikolaj Warszynski caught my attention with a pair of recordings, both … Continue reading

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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

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American Idol and popularity

Do you ever watch American Idol? I’d say it’s the best reality tv that you can find, unless you prefer one of the other performance shows where people sing or dance. There are really two parts to it. At the … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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