RSS barczablog

  • Kent Monkman: Miss Chief Eagle Testickle’s big New York Adventure January 14, 2020
    Early in the musical documentary film The Last Waltz we see Ronnie Hawkins coming out onto the stage of the Winterland Ballroom. The music begins to play. Hawkins may be a musical legend but he is nervous, about to sing … Continue reading →
  • To New York with Gershwin January 14, 2020
    Sometimes I have a fear of flying. I usually love the takeoff & normally sit by the window but when there’s turbulence I like to distract myself. On a trip to New York what better subject could one find than … Continue reading →
  • Nukeface or “what are you looking at”? January 14, 2020
    I’m in New York to see Nukeface, at the Bodega Gallery in New York. More accurately I’m in New York because it’s a chance to see Zoe Barcza, my daughter. It’s exciting to get to see her and to see … Continue reading →
  • Met HD Wozzeck January 13, 2020
    They say it’s a co-production, this new Wozzeck that was broadcast in High Definition this past weekend from the Metropolitan Opera: “A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Salzburg Festival; the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto; and Opera Australia.” The co-pro of … Continue reading →
  • Framing the Pollyanna proposition January 9, 2020
    January is named for that two-headed god who is able to look ahead and back. As I ponder the wreckage of 2019 I wonder if Janus was too busy looking down at his phone and not watching where he was … Continue reading →

RSS operaramblings

  • Winterreise 2020 January 18, 2020
    I’m a big fan of taking classic song cycles and giving them a treatment other than the very formal Liederabend approach; fond as I am of that!  So I was intrigued to see what Philippe Sly and Le Chimera Project … Continue reading →
  • No monument stands over Babi Yar January 17, 2020
    2020 started with news of yet another anti-semitic atrocity in the United States.  My musical 2020 started with a new recording of that finest of all musical acts of resistance to anti-semitism, Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 13 in B-Flat minor “Babi … Continue reading →
  • Equilibrium Requiem January 16, 2020
    Last night’s TSO concert was a collaboration with Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Young Artists project with EQ providing the quartet of soloists for Mozart’s Requiem.  But before we got to the Requiem there was a performance of Mozart’s Symphony no. 39 … Continue reading →
  • Golijov at Koerner January 12, 2020
    The opening concert of the 21C festival featured an all Osvaldo Golijov programme presented by Against the Grain Theatre.  It was preceded by a very informative conversation between Joel Ivany and the composer.  My main takeaway from that is that … Continue reading →
  • Beethoven at the TSO January 10, 2020
    A comparatively rare excursion into purely instrumental music for me last night but the prospect of Sir Andrew Davis conducting Beethoven’s seventh symphony was irresistible. The “garage piece” was the overture to King Stephen.  Probably the most notable thing about this … Continue reading →

RSS Definitely the Opera

  • Best of books in 2019 December 31, 2019
    Here are the favourites of 2019. A lot of non-fiction this year, it seems. Suzy Hansen: Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World (on American cluelessness about their own country’s actions abroad) Heidi Waleson: Mad Scenes and Exit Arias (the story of the rise and fall of the New York […]
    Definitely the Opera
  • 2019 in rearview mirror December 30, 2019
    The Pite-Young Revisor was the hightlight of the year. It’s probably harder to be moved by it than by Betroffenheit – which may explain some of the puzzled reviews by Toronto dance critics – but it’s a larger work of art in every sense of the word. The work has multiple co-producers from around the […]
    Definitely the Opera
  • Conversations about Canada: Monica Garrido December 30, 2019
    The year is not over yet! The new Conversations about Canada just dropped. Multi-talented actor, sketch & improv comedian and boy band drag king Monica Garrido talks about: – why she decided to move to Canada (hint: Degrassi High) – her early obsession with Marina Abramovic and Matthew Barney – when not to tell your […]
    Definitely the Opera
  • When a woman thinks of man, her thinking is praised December 21, 2019
    I watched the streaming of Olga Neuwirth’s new opera Orlando (libretto Catherine Filloux and Olga Neuwirth) today and have a few thoughts – mostly on the libretto. Which is based on Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando, though the story here continues past the end of WW2 and into our own era. The early scenes follow the […]
    Definitely the Opera
  • Fugue State December 20, 2019
    The Happenstancers strike again. A shape-shifting ensemble of musicians formed around clarinetist (not to mention visual artist) Brad Cherwin recently concluded their first proper season with a concert on the theme of fugues: from the actual Bach fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier transcribed for woodwinds and strings to the pieces by our contemporaries whose music, […]
    Definitely the Opera
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