Category Archives: Popular music & culture

TSO + Rajaton = ABBA

This week the Toronto Symphony under their pops conductor Steven Reineke presented three concerts of the music of ABBA featuring Rajaton, the Finnish vocal ensemble. While they describe themselves as an a cappella ensemble –singing their vocals accompanied—it was electrifying … 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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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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CCOC Alice in Wonderland

Today I watched an outdoor performance of Alice in Wonderland presented by the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. Over the past few weeks it’s been a joy to see productions that signal a return by many companies forced to the brink … 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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Italian Mime Preview

I was at the preview of Italian Mime Suicide from Bad New Days, co-directed by Kari Pederson and Adam Paolozza. It’s short but intense, part lecture, part performance, sometimes serious sometimes funny. No question about it, I’m out of practice, … Continue reading

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Chatting with Bruce McGillivray about the German bow, music and rehabilitation

After a short stay in Mt Sinai after collapsing in early September, my mother went to Bridgepoint Hospital for rehab, gradually seeking to re-cover her mobility with the help of physical therapy. The beautiful view through the window lifts patients’ … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Health and Nutrition, Interviews, Music and musicology, My mother, Personal ruminations & essays, Popular music & culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Being There revisited, with a little help from Mahler

I could use any old film I watched on television for the point I’m about to make. Last night Erika and I watched Being There (1979). Hal Ashby’s film is based on a best-selling novel from 1970 by Jerzy Kosiński … Continue reading

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A gift from Mel Brooks

It’s been a brutal week of artistic companies facing eviction, shows postponed or cancelled on both side of the Atlantic, an upward spiral of statistics inspiring the panicky pursuit of boosters, masks and safety. It’s not what you expect in … Continue reading

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Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun

This is more appreciation than review. If you’ve never seen a Wes Anderson film this will read differently than to those familiar with his style. The title, subject and structure of Wes Anderson’s film The French Dispatch of the Liberty, … Continue reading

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