Category Archives: Personal ruminations & essays

Encounter with Donald Arthur

I met Donald Arthur through the Toronto Wagner Society, our guest after publication of the memoirs he translated & edited for Hans Hotter, the great Wagner baritone. I jumped at the chance to offer Donald a bed overnight in our … Continue reading

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A conversation with Doug MacNaughton

Doug MacNaughton is known as much for his acting as for his singing, at home in opera, operetta, music theatre and concert work. As powerful as he sounds in ONE DAY MORE Doug also has the ability to use his … Continue reading

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Kreutzer rather than Bridgetower

2020 was to have been the Beethoven year, the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 1770. But of course the plans for operas, plays or concerts collided with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Thank goodness Toronto Summer Music … Continue reading

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As my mom approaches 100

I must explain the reason for my previous post telling my mom’s stories yesterday: because she was born in 1921. In other words, she’s approaching her one-hundredth birthday. She has had five children although one of them died very young. … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, My mother, Opera, Personal ruminations & essays, University life | 6 Comments

The Mission in 2021

It’s been a month of reflection for Canadians following the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried on the grounds of the Kamloops residential school, another discovery near Brandon residential school, and the possibility of more to come. The … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Architecture & Design, Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Politics, Spirituality & Religion, University life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Silent Chorus Trope: Peter Hinton and Amélie Niermeyer

I’m trying to wrap my head around something. It first caught my eye in Peter Hinton’s Louis Riel in the 2017 Canadian Opera Company production. Hinton added a chorus of silent witnesses to the action, lending weight to the proceedings, … 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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Perryn Leech comes to the COC

I am disoriented. The end of April? Time for taxes, to plant & nurture the garden. And to renew my subscription to the Canadian Opera Company before the end of the month. But it’s so weird. Normally their new season … 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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Mr Smith wasn’t Born Yesterday

TV programming sometimes brings us serendipitous discoveries. TCM’s Good Friday offering was Mr Smith Goes to Washington. This morning we watched Born Yesterday. I never noticed how many similarities there are between the two films. An innocent recently come to … Continue reading

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