The ARTS REVIEW, our philosophy Reply

Editorial comment
December, 2017

Plagiarizing an idea from one of our advertisers, we think that a re-cap of how O.A.R. came into being; our history; and our philosophy can (modestly) be reiterated.
In August of 2005, we started our ARTS REVIEW on-line newspaper. From single-digit daily article readership to the occasional 1,200+ responses; we now have over 163,000 readers and 54,000 subscribers. We’ve been able to offer writing opportunities to thirty-seven different people from Ottawa to London. During our halcyon days we were able to critique 250 events a year with a high of about 5,000 hits every month . . . More…


“Messiah”, Bach Elgar’s 2017 version Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Messiah is an event that defines the Christmas season. The Bach Elgar Choir has been singing for 113 years and have offered the oratorio through most of those years including 2017. Guest conductor Howard Dyck, with soloists Agnes Zsigovics, soprano, mezzo Allyson McHardy, Colin Ainsworth, tenor, and bassist Sean Watson, the choir, and a 19-piece orchestra presented the full version of Messiah on Saturday night and a shorter sing-along version on Sunday afternoon at Melrose United Church. The church has good acoustics but the pews are quite uncomfortable for a long concert. though it was written as an Easter Oratorio, it tells of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Bach Elgar interpreting Handel’s MESSIAH


O.A.R.’s “THE TOP TEN” 2017 2

Editorial & Administrative opinions

With the exceptionality of the 2016 surfeit of Top Ten-ers (19), we usually end up with a dozen or so contenders for inclusion. Twenty-seventeen was no exception. Due to reader response, we intend to continue our 2016 protocol of also including ‘Honorable Mentions’.

THEATRE UNLIMITED, This Mississauga community organization started our year with an amazingly well-staged and presented ‘LITTLE MERMAID”. It was a surprisingly adult interpretation of what is obviously a children’ story. Then, they closed out the year with one of the best interpretations of the Rogers & Hammerstein blockbuster “SOUTH PACIFIC” that had us singing the lyrics all the way home. So, a double-play (pun intended)

The troops with their “Sunlight on the sand & moonlight on the sea”


HPO’s “Home for the holidays” extravaganza evening Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The mark of a top-drawer orchestra is its ability to successfully interpret a range of genres and under diverse conductors. The Hamilton Phil’ exhibited both these talents in presenting a cornucopia of familiar melodies of the season, and under the guest baton of Lucas Waldin of the Edmonton Symphony.
Regardless of one’s religious background or affiliation, the ubiquitous Christmas music is familiar to anyone with a radio or a visit to the mall or grocery store. To make an on-stage reprise thoroughly enjoyable surely is the mark of genius. Last night’s concert certainly achieved this level accolade on three different aspects – aural; visual and imaginative.

Heather Bambrick; Lucas Waldin and the H.P.O.


“Charly’s Piano”, music, humanity & patients Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe



Toronto, 1972.  Charly Chiarelli, born in Sicily and raised in Hamilton’s North End, comes to Toronto after university and finds a job as a “psychiatric assistant” at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry – the “Inn on the Clarke,” as he describes it, a mental hospital for the elite, with progressive policies.  With his Hamilton/Sicilian directness and his interest in people and their stories, he soon feels at home on the Eleventh Floor Ward. He is  liked by patients and by staff, including hospital director Dr. Vivian Rakoff.  While playing his harmonica for the patients, he learns that many of them also love music. 

Charly Chiarelli in “CHARLY’S PIANO


TBSO Launches Into the Wonder of Mozart & Martinis Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra hosted their annual cocktail fundraiser Mozart and Martinis at Bight Restaurant last week. The symphony musicians appeared in chamber groups to perform the works of Mozart and his contemporaries in an intimate, elegantly decorated setting at the waterfront. Carefully-crafted cocktails including the Salzburg Spritz and Salieri’s Revenge were accompanied by artisanal appetizers, curated specially for the event by Bight’s Bianca Garofalo.
This evening’s program began with the overture course and
Salzburg Symphonies No. 1 followed by the Flute Quartet in D, K. 285. The uplifting melodies of the third movement Rondeau  were accompanied by aperol and orange flavors,

The Thunder Bay orchestra patrons enjoying the wines, nibbles & food