In 1948, composer Cole Porter re-established himself as Broadway’s biggie with the staging of Kiss Me Kate. His previous success had been “Anything Goes” fifteen year earlier. Unlike the Gershwin’s; Rogers & Hart; Adler & Ross; the Lerner/Lowe duo; Kander & Ebb and especially the Rogers &Hammerstein II collaboration; Porter also wrote his own lyrics … some were doozies. His ironic Kate’ number about ‘brushing up on one’s Shakespeare’ still gleans giggles. Rhyming “flatter her” with ‘Cleopaterer’ or “clothes mussing” with ‘much ado about nussing’ may not quite scan – but who cares!
Review by Danny Gaisin
The Brott Festival ended the season with Stravinsky’s Весна священная» (Vesna svyashchennaya) or – “RITE OF SPRING”. Four years ago, the same organization scored a top of the year’s “TOP TEN” list with a creative & innovative rendering of the composer’s “Firebird”. Legend has it that while composing same, Stravinsky’s mind evoked images of an ancient Russian fable about the season; dancing maidens & sacrifice…the rite of spring. This year’s entry differed, it was a composite evening.
Review by Jacqueline Curtis
What’s happened to the Oakville Jazz Festival? This year it was thinner than ever. Other than Daryl Struermer and a couple of others, there was such a bizarre mix of lesser known (being kind, here) artists maybe doing jazz, maybe not. There was a focus on non-professional activities, and on the Saturday night, two, count ‘em, two ballroom dance demonstrations (actually sales pitches) by two location franchises. This was the Saturday during prime evening time. The event was poorly promoted and hugely disappointing.
The Brott Music Festival offered high tea & music featuring string, piano and clarinet. The musicians were Iain MacKay, Kathryn Wiebe, Rachel Abramoff,, Kathleen de Caen, and Erin Rose MacLeod with soloists Shoshana Telner – piano and clarinetist Kornel Wolak. The afternoon began with a piece by composer in residence, Maxime Goulet featuring Wolak on clarinet. Goulet’s music is very listenable and narrative driven with this piece a story about the young boy who is befriended by Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ and what happens to him next.
Reviews by Danny; Terry; & Judith
The N.A.O. made a little format detour by presenting Hamilton’s own Blues maven-ess Rita Chiarelli in an intimate; casual and easy-going manner at the Bay City Music Hall. This writer 1st critiqued her a dozen years ago, writing very positively about her composing, voice and talent. The lady opened with “I can change for you”. Fortunately, she hasn’t. She still belts it out; she still feels every song; she still sells out the house…and she’s still RITA. *
Review by Danny Gaisin; Dedicated to the late Rona Bond (Goodis)
Over a period of 54 years and about 2 million published words; I have never dedicated a column, but this Brott Festival concert was so evocative that it necessitated such. I was that truly fortunate of ‘only-child-category’; I had an almost-sister who was my most important friend. ‘Ronnie’ was one of those individuals that impacted everyone she met; and coincidently; the NAO selected three of her six favorite classical compositions as its program. So, I reminisced and even had to dry some wetted eyes.