“SIBELIUS” a ‘New’ H.P.O. scrutiny Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Finnish composer Jan Sibelius lived from the mid-19th to mid twentieth century. A passionate anti-Nazi, legend has it that he composed his ‘Finlandia’ after ludicrously firing his pistol at an overhead Luftwaffe fighter plane. His final work, Symphony No. 7, is uncharacteristic in that the work is played as a single movement, although the tempi coincidently varies through seven diverse rhythmic ranges. To underscore the evocative themes, The Hamilton Philharmonic utilized the vehicle of PowerPoint™ projections featuring photographs of the flora & fauna of Bruce Trail.

The HPO; Lau’s composition; & Lake Moraine – projected on-screen


PEACE RIVER COUNTRY Explores passion for land & family Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Peace River Country, by Maria Milisavljevic is a passionate play; kudos to Tarragon Artistic Director Richard  Rose for choosing and directing a Canadian story worth telling and worth seeing. It is based on the actual story of Wiebo Ludvig (1941-2012), a Christian fundamentalist pastor and farmer in rural Alberta (his community, Trickle Creek, was about 450 km. north of Edmonton). In the 1990’s, he became an “eco-warrior,” fighting against oil and gas companies in Alberta and B.C. His major campaign was against the production of “sour gas,” with its high concentration of hydrogen sulfide’
Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Sutherland; Sherman; Green & Coleman in PEACE RIVER


Oakville Chamber Orchestra, a “smorgasbord” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Given that the intermission pastries were from the town’s Danish Bakery; using the ‘’ term for a wide range or variety of something seems a apropos. The O.C.O.’s concert at St. John’s had something for every taste…classical music; new compositions; operatic arias and popular standards. Almost all had an Oakville story or a connection. The opening work was a recently discovered piece by the late Amice Calverley; an Oakvillian with almost ‘Rambo’ résumé. War hero, archeologist; film maker; impresario; re-builder and composer. The work was conducted by Charles Demuynck of Oakville!  The audience also heard a premiere of his own new composition.

Sitarski performing the Mozart Andante Cantabile movement

Sitarski performing the Mozart Andante Cantabile movement


“Sound the Trumpet”; Trump beats Clinton! Reply

Review by Judith Caldwellreviewerjudy

Sound the Trumpet …and Violin! was the latest in the 5 at the First Concert Series at First Unitarian Church. Bethany Bergman, violin and her husband trumpeter Michael Fedyshyn, joined Angela Park, piano and cellist Rachel Mercer, for an extremely varied afternoon of music. The afternoon began with a 14-year-old Natalie O’Donnell, a pupil of Fedyshyn, playing Sonata in G minor by Handel. O’Donnell showed astonishing mastery of her instrument for one so young, she had excellent control and ease of breathing but she also had a very mature respect for the music and played the difficult presto passage very smoothly.

The group "sounding the trumpet" -music NOT politics

The group “sounding the trumpet” :-music NOT politics


“The Book of Mormon” a hoot from start to curtain. Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Admission of guilt; this scribe is a longtime fan of Eric, Kyle, Stan & Kenny (the ‘South Park’ kids), so naturally I’m an admirer of their creators -Trey Parker & Matt Stone. Along with Robert Lopez, this talented duo created the musical BOOK OF MORMON, and just like in that fictional Colorado locale, nothing is sacred and everything is grist for their destructive pens. Fortunately, the same humour that afflicted the denizens of South Park is subjected to an atheistic assault on the followers of Joseph Smith & Brigham Young. For what I know of Mormonism, read this column to its end.

Connor Peirson (Elder Cunningham) coverting the Ugandans

Connor Peirson (Elder Cunningham) converting the Ugandans


“RUMORS”; farce and the three “B” s 1

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
“Farce: Fr. n. Exaggerated comedy based on broadly humorous highly unlikely situations”. Webster’s New World Dictionary. Neil (no relation to Paul) Simon’s only attempt to create in this genre demonstrates his comprehension limits of the first word of the definition. The author of such megahits as ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’; The Odd Couple; “Promises, Promises”; and The Goodbye Girl plus myriad others somehow overdid his attempt with 1988’s RUMORS. Perhaps if he had read Feydeau’s late 19c. “Hotel Peccadillo”; he might have toned down his effort, resulting in something more aptly titled “Speculations” or “Allegations”.

The players involved in "RUMORS"

The players comedically involved in “RUMORS”