O.A.R.’s “THE TOP TEN” (plus plus), 2016 Reply

Editorial & Administrative opinions
There have been previous years where due to tie-votes, our ARTS REVIEW’s TOP TEN list has, in actuality contained 12 or even 14 items. This year has seen such a plethora of worthy efforts of entertainment that the final selection process was daunting. So, for the first time, O.A.R.  will also specify an ‘Honourable Mention’ (sort of Silver or Bronze medal) category.

THEATRE UNLIMITED, This successful Miss ‘a community group undertook staging the musical version of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. The droll puns and one-liners still abound but with the addition of musical numbers, it’s even enhanced. As we wrote in our review “– an awesome giggle from start to finish and we loved it!”

the candidates for work as part of A CHORUS LINE

the candidates for work as part of Stratford’s “A CHORUS LINE”


TSO concert; not your usual holiday Tchaikovsky Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo ReviewerSylvie2                    

While many musicians may find themselves rehearsing The Nutcracker this season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra found themselves performing other works by Tchaikovsky earlier this week at Roy Thompson Hall. While only one of the pieces performed was intended to debut in the theatre, this evening’s program was as drama-filled as the Russian composer’s life.
There exists no formal record of the chronology of the piece, the Overture for Hamlet conjures images of love and loss. One cannot help but recall the sweet melancholy of Ophelia when listening to oboist Keith Atkinson.

The T.S.O. members in a formal photograph


“O.S.M. successfully invades TSO territory” 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

reviewerDGcolor            On October 31st, 1961, a novice concert writer had his first byline article published in Montreal’s ‘Georgian” newspaper. The subject was the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; the conductor was Zubin Mehta; the opening work was a Verdi overture and the rookie scribe was one Daniel Jesse Gaisin. The kid dared to chastise maestro Mehta for reproving the audience for inopportune applause. Fifty-five years and millions of published words later, I am now the one upset by such ill-conceived behavior. Last night, I once again had the opportunity to hear & critique the         Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.Fellner performing LVB's 4th with the OSM & conductor NaganoFellner performing LVB’s 4th with the OSM & conductor Nagano

Cinema Serenade”; Perlman & the TSO 1

Review by Sylvie Di LeonardoReviewerSylvie2               

As I buttoned my coat and struggled to get into my boots, my little brother asked me why I was headed to hear Cinema Serenade with Itzhak Perlman and the TSO this evening at Roy Thompson Hall. “Are they playing along with the movies?” No.  “Is it a shadow cast?” No. “Why would you want to go hear the songs, then?” He had a point. Why spend my day off on the highway at rush hour? “It’s like watching reruns,” he says. I consider this, and again—he had a point. But, I like watching reruns.   Photo by Jag Gundu – T.S.O.

Perlman, Oundjian & the T.S.O.

Perlman, Oundjian & the T.S.O.


HPO’s tribute to the ‘Swing’ era…my times Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Do the names ‘Dorsey; Goodman; Miller; Ellington; Shaw and Basie’ ring some reminiscent bells? If they do, you’re probably mature enough to remember the “Big Band Era” or SWING! As yours truly sits down to write this, my set of drum sticks ‘stolen’ from Gene Krupa, and some ancient pop-music trumpet sheets ‘borrowed’ from Eldridge are sitting on the desk, probably peering phantom-like over my shoulder. Incorporating 2/4 & 4/4 time; oversized orchestras and celebrity conductors; attending a ball or dance where any of these were performing was pure ‘crème de las crème apex society.

Vanhwvel (aka ol' Blueeyes) belting "Night & Day"

Vanhevel (aka ol’ Blue eyes) belting out “Night & Day”


Tafelmusik’s “Eloquent Cello”; a welcome respite Reply

Review by Sylvie Di LeonardoReviewerSylvie2               


During heavy rush-hour city traffic, suffering through radio’s continual commercials, it is so easy to become overwhelmed. Luckily, I found the one place sure to comfort the souls of those who struggle to interpret this mass of voices. Tafelmusik’s Thanksgiving weekend program The Eloquent Cello included challenging pieces executed with the finesse required to ensure that all voices are not simply heard, but are made meaningful by the support they lend and receive.
Like many of Tafelmusik’s faithful patrons, I hustled down the newly-named Bloor Street Cultural Corridor to Trinity St Paul’s Jeanne Lamon Hall seeking a means to restore a sense of wonder through music.

guest soloist Christolphe Coin

Tafelmusik’s guest soloist Christophe Coin