“Puccini & the H.P.O.”; 2017 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
We’re democratic (in the social -non-political way) so we respect folks right to different opinions than ours. This is especially true of opera. Unlike many other ambiguous items, this particular genus seems to elicit, like piano keys, either a black or white response – no grey area. We understand this because opera is more than just listening to music it’s experiencing the entire presentation; sight, sound and ethos. When we attend an in-concert opera performance our minds recall the whole libretto, the rationale and the scenario behind each presented aria. Non-aficionados may thus not appreciate the piece as part of an entirety.

Benedikt & Jackson interpreting “O Soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme

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“South Pacific ”, a 3-hr R&R opportunity on Bali Ha’i Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
            “We’ve got sunlight on the sand and moonlight on the sea,
We’ve got mangoes & bananas you can pick right off a tree.
We’ve got volleyball & ping pong and a lot of dandy games;

But what don’t we got -we ain’t got Dames!”
Even without a brilliant accompanying composition, such poetry has a musical lilt as well as meter, rhyme, and timbre. Coupled with Richard Rogers’ amazing score, Hammerstein II’s lyrics are a perfect blend.
This dynamic duo paired in 1943 with ‘Oklahoma’ and followed bi-annually with ‘State Fair’; “Carousel” and then in 1949 adapted Michener’s ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ into “SOUTH PACIFIC”.

Some of the inhabitants of an island near”‘BALI HA’I”

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How to keep warm in the North, or life in ‘T-Bay’ Reply

Comment by Sylvie Di Leonardo

Editor’s note: We’ve heard of folks moving from Toronto to the suburbs, but 1400kms seems a bit of overkill. Just lost one of our contributors to Thunder Bay, ON. Here’s Sylvie’s take on her new community’s culture and lifestyle.


Naive, innocent, or inexperienced; abstinent. These are all words that the general population has come to associate with one’s relationship with enjoyment, in one regard or another. This is not the place to discuss the merit of humans’ obsession with quantifying and assigning value to the experience of pleasure. This is the place to, instead, focus on alleviating the absence of the experience.

1396 kms, (or 865 miles) …definitely not an urban/rural commute!

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“A Murder is Announced”; WEST’s take on Agatha ‘C’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Trivia question: – what are the three most-published works of all time? The Bible (naturally); Shakespeare’s plays (of course); 3rd – Agatha Christie’s mysteries (surprise!). In spite of the superfluity of people having seen and thus know the answer to ‘who dunnit’, the lady’s plays still get staged before full houses and now it’s West End Studio Theatre’s take on ‘A Murder is Announced’ and another chance to see dear old Miss Marple inimitably solve a puzzle. Director Paul Groulx‘s interpretation explores the passably amicable dialogue between Marple and Craddock, her local police inspector. It’s two sharp minds at work.

     OOPS, somebody’s been killed and (almost) all the above are suspects

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A ‘twofer’ operatic opportunity from the C.O.C. Reply

Review by Michael Piscitelli
This past week, I have been fortunate enough to go to two operas’ in a row. Both were comedic operas that took very different approaches to comedy, of black comedy and slapstick. For Richard Strauss’ 1933 comedic “Arabella”, director Tim Albery tried his hand at making it into a black comedy. Unfortunately, it fell flat, and made it more of a mellow drama (I’m fully aware of my choice of words) than a black comedy. A show about absurd ideas about love, mistaken identity and poor uses of money it’s sure to have many jokes sung throughout the piece.

                             Erin Wall as “ARABELLA”

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“Ensemble, Made in Canada”, Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
HCA Concert series offered a dream chamber music concert on the afternoon of October 15th, “Ensemble Made in Canada” – Angela Park, piano; cellist Rachel Mercer; Elissa Lee, violin and Sharon Wei, viola, -plus Scott St. John played two mighty piano quintets. The first half of the program showcased the first quintet for this combination ever written, Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in Eb major. Written for his wife Clara it was first tried out privately with Mendelssohn substituting for a heavily pregnant Clara, who loved it and later performed it many times. 
“Made in Canada”, post-concert More…