Category Archives: Politics

Simon Banks’ Opera: The Autobiography of the Western World

For me Christmas came early, when I got my hands on Simon Banks’ new book Opera: The Autobiography of the Western World. I mention that because this is the ideal gift for anyone you know who loves opera or who … Continue reading

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Red Velvet history lesson

I feel the need to frame my testimony, reviewing Lolita Chakrabarti’s play Red Velvet at Crow’s Theatre, in the admission that Ira Aldridge, the first black man to portray Othello onstage in London, is almost completely unknown largely because of … Continue reading

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Pre-Democracy with Lucio Silla

I had an epiphany watching today’s presentation of Lucio Silla from Opera in Concert in the St Lawrence Centre. In my review of the opening night of Hannah Moscovitch’s Post-Democracy (that opened at the Tarragon Theatre last Thursday) I included … Continue reading

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Post-Democracy at Tarragon Theatre

Theatre sometimes takes us into worlds we don’t like, showing us people we’d avoid, situations we might never encounter otherwise. In some respects theatre is like a conceptual hazmat suit, a way to taste poison without dying. We may cower … Continue reading

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Mary Trump’s Reckoning

The title of the book is The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal. It’s to be understood as a reckoning for America, but perhaps also a personal one for the author. After watching the Royal Funeral … Continue reading

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Art Canada Institute presents Kent Monkman

The title of the lecture was “Art Canada Institute presents: The Making of a Masterpiece– Kent Monkman.” Monkman is an enormous star, famous far beyond the immediate milieu of art dealers and galleries. But I have no real idea who … Continue reading

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Ecology of Being –Duo Concertante

In childhood I heard musicians and performers protesting the Vietnam War or advocating as part of the Civil Rights Movement. Ever since I’ve admired activist artists. Music, film, satire, humour, painting, can all be powerful voices advocating change, moving emotions, … Continue reading

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ARC Ensemble –Dmitri Klebanov Chamber Works

Exile doesn’t just occur when you’re distant from your homeland. What about artists ignored or silenced inside their country? I never thought of it that way before reading Simon Wynberg’s excellent essay in the liner notes to ARC Ensemble’s new … Continue reading

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Nixon in China, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera feed of free streaming performances celebrate American composers the week of July 4th Independence Day. I was especially excited to get another look at John Adams’s Nixon in China, that we saw both via a production by … Continue reading

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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