High Tea and Enchanting Music Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

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.

Wolak; Telmar & Goulet

Wolak; Telmar & Goulet


A threesome weekend, Chiarelli; Jazz; & Ostanek 1

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. *

RITA wowing her fans...& the NAO musicians

RITA wowing her fans…& the NAO musicians


Parker, Rachmaninoff; & an evocation Reply

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.

PARKER, interpreting Rachmaninoff

PARKER, interpreting Rachmaninoff


Opera’s Best Gems, a part of the Brott Festival Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
On Thursday evening the Brott Music Festival presented some of the best loved overtures, choruses, duets and arias from operas by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and Bizet. Unfortunately; nightmare traffic in Hamilton many patrons including this reviewer, were late arriving and we missed some lovely music, including my personal favourite – Mozart’s Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflote. On this occasion the N. A. O. was augmented by the Arcady Singers, Opera Hamilton Chorus and the Buchanan Park Opera Club plus soloists Aline Kutan, soprano and baritone James Westman. pictured below- James Westman More…

“THE MOUNTAINTOP” – reaches the pinnacle Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
Kevin Hanchard, hits it way out of the ballpark, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in The Mountaintop at the Shaw Festival. The actor gives a 105-minute non stop, performance at fever pitch , acting out King’s last torturous hours at the Lorraine Motel. The play is not easy to watch. Hanchard begs and pleads for more time, his body broken, his mind scattered and his hope dwindling. Somehow he knows, while smoking and phoning God, that this day will be his last.
Photo by David Cooper

Hibbert &  Hanchard, "@ The Mountaintop"

Hibbert & Hanchard, “@ The Mountaintop”


“The PHILANDERER” – option 1 Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
               Shaw’s semi-biographical ‘The Philanderer’ offers insights not only into the man’s life, but also his attitudes & values. Lisa Peterson’s direction offers as many questions as it does – answers. Written with two endings, due to the social standards of the period, Peterson has chosen to present the original and more scandalous final act, thus bucking the customary conventionality. Good for her… it’s much more interesting and definitely better theatre. Peterson sees humour even in the heartbreaking moments.  Photo by David Cooper

O'Connell; Rand & McLean...Philandering

O’Connell; Rand & McLean…Philandering