Browsing All Posts filed under »Piano«

Quel trouble inconnu me pénètre

August 21, 2015


Is Gounod’s Faust salvageable in any way and should we bother? Alaina Viau and Markus Kopp with the latest Loose TEA production Dissociative Me make the case that we should, and keep the score while rewriting the libretto, originally by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on Goethe. Gone is the religion from the text […]

Stéphanie Argerich on Martha Argerich: the documentary

June 27, 2015


“Art Monster”. In Jenny Offill’s acclaimed Dept. of Speculation, it is the ideal against which the narrator looks at her own life and finds it wanting, overcome as it is by the demands of motherhood, relationship and domesticity. This is what I wanted to be, the narrator reminds herself: pursue my art at the expense of everything else, […]

Brook, Meet Doundou Tchil: Schubert and Messiaen as a couple

June 4, 2015


I was skeptical about the Schubert-Messiaen mashup going in, but the latest AtG offering Death & Desire turned out to be excellent. The closer you look at how Topher Mokrzewski, Joel Ivany and comp. shaped it, the more stirring and intelligent the work shows itself. Schubert’s 1823 song cycle Die schöne Müllerin and Messiaen’s 1945 Harawi: Chant d’amour et […]

Podium Politics: Conducting While Female

June 1, 2015


I’d love you to read this article that I did for Opera Canada that features six women at various points in their conducting careers. THE FULL ARTICLE IN PDF HERE A sampler: — Canada’s biggest opera house itself used to have its own young conductors’ training program for a brief period in the late nineties and […]


May 24, 2015



What to see at 21C

May 18, 2015


The 21C Music Festival returns this month for its second year. What I’m noticing this time is an inroad of the world music, jazz and rock into the programming. Is this how the performances of the contemporary ‘classical’ will be sold in the future, especially in Canada and the US? Being sneaked in amid the “sensual […]

TSO’s 2015-16 season announcement

February 7, 2015


Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced the 2015-16 season last week. A few highlights: Matthias Pintscher will make his TSO debut as conductor and composer on April 28, 30 2016. He will conduct his own work towards Osiris, and also Mahler’s First and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 with Inon Barnatan at the piano. (Pintscher is also conducting a […]

Bob Gilmore’s book Claude Vivier: A Composer’s Life

January 28, 2015


What is Vivier’s status right now internationally? Is he being performed, known by the concert-going public? I would say the knowledge of his work is growing all the time. Several factors led to that: one, its being taken up by a major publisher in 2005, Boosey & Hawkes. The availability of scores and materials has […]

John’s Your Uncle

December 12, 2014


Against the Grain’s adapted Don Giovanni takes place in a wedding hall that’s seen better days. The party planning company is owned by il Commendatore, and his daughter Anna is on staff. Zerlina and Masetto are the couple to be wedded, Elvira is Zerlina’s friend who gets invited to the wedding. Ottavio, Anna’s fiancé, is a policeman, though in an earlier version of Uncle John he was, more plausibly, a security guard at the venue. John and Leporello are besties. What brings them to this particular hall, other than a shared interest in breaking up other people’s monogamy contracts is anyone’s guess. Once Elvira shows up and John sets his eyes on Zerlina, they are reluctant to leave.

Politics. Music. Bacon.

September 13, 2014


A number of things on my calendar over the next three weeks: Ubu Mayor: A Harmfu Bit of Fun, a play with music written and directed by Adam Seelig, is being performed at the Artscape Wychwood Barn Sep 12-21. It tackles (uhm) our current ruling mayoral bottom-of-the-barrel dynasty via the absurdist theatre of Alfred Jarry. I […]