Category Archives: Personal ruminations


A little something has nagged at me for days after seeing Arabella at the Canadian Opera Company on the weekend, a moment stuck in my head like an ear-worm. It’s not a musical ear-worm, it’s a linguistic one. I have … Continue reading

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Dumb luck at the EJB

I found something marvelous and don’t deserve any credit for the discovery. That’s why I say “dumb luck.” We’ve just had the verismo class in the opera course I teach at School of Continuing Studies here at University of Toronto. … Continue reading

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Beethoven’s five minute sermon

Nothing changes your perspective on a piece of music like repurposing it. The new context may strain the original to its breaking point. A happy tune works well at a party, perhaps not so well at a funeral. This is … Continue reading

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The Ethics of Sweat 

Sweat is the name of the opera produced this summer by The Bicycle Opera Project. The name seems like a natural for a company who pull opera around the country behind their cycles, even if tonight was an unseasonably cool … Continue reading

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Memory Lane

I posted a few pictures to Facebook at the opening of SOLT’s all-Canadian program of two operas at the Robert Gill Theatre, one by John Beckwith who turned 90 earlier this year, one by a later generation in the person … Continue reading

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Intense Bluffing in Scarborough

Tonight was a public hearing, a chance to see what the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority will do with the waterfront in Scarborough over the next few years, and an opportunity for the TRCA to get the feedback of community members, … Continue reading

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The real prize, and never mind appropriation

While I knew what was coming, I was still stunned. When Matt Galloway asked Jesse Wente to address the question of cultural appropriation raised a few days ago by Hal Niedzviecki’s Write Magazine editorial, I knew what was coming. I … Continue reading

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