One moment, I was in Spain, strolling the Passeig de Gracia, eating tapas and sipping red wine. The next, I was singing for Justin Bieber. Perhaps it was jet lag. Perhaps it was the parade of superheroes that casually strolled by me as I donned my Marie Antoinette wig. Either way, it was the most surreal evening of my life.
I am a firm believer in sharing, working together, and trusting that one can do what they've been asked to do. Over my two years as Program Director of Open Space at The Banff Centre, I have seen a major shift in practice, production and product. What does this mean for the future of opera in Canada?
Years of work, sacrifice and commitment came down to this. A truly one-of-a-kind program, Centre Stage shines a spotlight on Canada's future opera stars competing for cash prizes, as well as a coveted spot in the COC Ensemble Studio, Canada's premier development program for young opera professionals.
In light of recent announcements that the current government plans to sell off the CBC buildings across this land -- the very art of cultural commentary might not be long for this nation. As Harper slowly dismantles every political and cultural institution intrinsic to the Canadian way of life I wonder -- will the future Joni Mitchells, Leonard Cohens and Neil Youngs be left to fend for themselves?
Gilbert and Sullivan's campy, screwball-esque comedy production is a satirical romp set in "exotic Japan". With deliberately laughable character and place names, 'The Mikado' pokes fun at the British political system, setting their criticism of Queen and country in a distant locale to soften the impact of their pointed satire.
The Metropolitan Opera recently announced it would cancel a planned worldwide cinema broadcast of John Adams' haunting opera, The Death of Klinghoffer. Indeed the whole opera has been criticized -- including by Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, the daughters of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer -- as humanizing and even justifying acts of terrorism.
Warning: before you take in the final performance of Vancouver Opera's La Boheme, some Prozac may be required. It helped me drift back to my own bohemian existence, many moons ago, when I lived in a Parisian garret in St Germain des pres. I had almost no possessions, no telephone -- I also busked on weekends in le Marais, singing gypsy songs and Leonard Cohen ballads.
Jeffrey Remedios is the co-founder and president of Arts & Crafts, a record label and production company. He did offer some advice to those looking to start their own label: "Have Broken Social Scene be the first band you sign." For the first three years of the label, they were able to work with Broken Social Scene, their friends and band members' side projects.
Jorn Weisbrodt, the new artistic director for Luminato, which runs from June 8 until June 17, sat down with me for lunch. As a new Torontonian, Jorn had almost as many questions for me as I did for him, but somehow, I left wondering more and more about this great city we live in, and what will happen when Luminato opens its doors this month...