She’s GEMMA NEW, and “This is her music” Reply

Opinion by Danny (& Terry) Gaisin

Saturdays on CBC radio has an interesting program called “This is my Music” in which Arts celebrities are introduced (bios that are mind-boggling) and then present two hours of their favorite musical works.
The Hamilton Philharmonic’s Gemma New was featured yesterday and her presentation was superb. Reflecting on her personality, her taste is not only eclectic, it’s also surprising. She selected the Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald duet -‘Cheek to Cheek’. Then, Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’; a 180-degree change. Abrupt pace change, “The famous ‘Star Wars’ by John Williams (who along with Leroy Anderson) are a couple of the last century’s greatest composers. More…

“O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2019 ” Reply

Opinion by O.A.R. administrators
Dec. 15th, 2019

Age is finally catching up with us (almost) ancient critical scribes. We attended and wrote about fewer cultural events due to octogenarian fatigue, aches, and general ennui. Still, enough energy to have adequate content from which to select the ten most effecting.

HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC. The whole season was superlative. The HPO’s musicians are all “A-Team” worthy; the conductor’s renown in the orchestral community continues to grow; and the eclectic program has something for everyone. The works chosen please, educate and entertain. The HPO is a credit to its host city and especially its audience. Kudos for a 2nd year in the black! *

Matt Nethersole inviting us to BRIGADOON’s “McConnachy Square

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“Hamilton’s annual Street Art Crawl” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Hamilton Ontario used to be known as strictly a lunch bucket community with two major steel factories, the escarpment and a number of waterfalls. Today we have a competitive CFL team, a modern stadium; a renowned symphony orchestra and a vibrant cultural assemblage. And those 100+ waterfalls!. We also have something called an Art Crawl which is three days of terrific. The artisans, performers; food trucks and restaurants; patio bars and resident’s temperaments attracts visitors for not only the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ but other neighborhoods as far as the U.S . border. Unfortunately, most media reports about the event only mention statistics.

       ART CRAWL Visitors milling along James St. North

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“O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2018 ” Reply

Opinion by O.A.R. administrators
Dec. 22, ‘ 18
Can’t fight progress, so this year there will be a major change… a Toronto Fringe offering is to be included, even though we previously relegated these 1-hour efforts to the ‘Honourable Mention’ category. However, the criteria for overall inclusion remains unchanged- memorable; educational; entertaining and definitely professionally staged!

HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC. This superior orchestra under the direction of Gemma New offered a full series of superlative concerts whose eclectic selections ran the gamut from the seriously classical to fun pops and contemporary compositions. Given the high caliber of the HPO, choosing just one as a standout proved too difficult; so, a 4-way-tie.

A dramatic on-stage interrogation moment in JOURNEY’S END

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DENIS BROTT; making radio essential again Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
This paper rarely writes about radio; except maybe to complain ( commercials on Non-commercial stations; or those calling themselves NEW after a dozen years etc.) But in order to escape the Harry/Meghan Show, we listened to a CBC program entitled ‘My Music’ that featured Montreal’s Denis Brott. A stalwart of the Orford String Quartet and with a deserved O.C. after his name, this renowned cellist proved to have a genuine sense of humour and an ability to tell stories that showed his own warts and failings. Obviously, in spite of his accolades, the man still has a sense of humility without egotism or excessive vanity.

Denis Brott & his cello (looks like the entrance to McGill’s music centre)

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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”

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