Wednesday, 30 January 2013

the pile on my desk....

What is that pile I keep making bigger but never seem to go through???  Notes on scraps of paper, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, concert programmes, business cards and that's just the top half.

So glad I kept the programme from my first experience attending the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos.  Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93 (for those of you in the know:))) was so beautiful.  The acoustics, uuufff! Centennial Hall it ain't.  The second half of the programme was La vida breve (an opera-in-concert) written in 1905.  So, imagine full orchestra on stage with The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (120+members) in an upper balcony behind and then 9 singers and 1 dancer all in a row in front of the orchestra.  Talk about park and honk! Not exciting staging but how it was meant to be performed.

Synopsis, Granada, turn of the 20th century, a marriage promise is made to a beautiful gypsy girl, her intended arrives, a "rapturous duet" occurs and then he leaves.  She, her sister and grandmother discover another  promise has been made and a wedding to a wealthy socialite is to take place the next day, lots of anger and angst and scheming.

The jilted fiance appears at the wedding, misery. The groom sees her, nervous.  She offers to sing and dance for the guests, insert flamenco dancer here, jilted fiance denounces groom and falls dead at his feet.  The end.

Enjoyable even though I was in a very bad seat.  Will know better for next time.  The most memorable singer is in the clip below.  She is an extraordinary mezzosoprano who made all the other performers pale in comparison.  I couldn't find a clip of same opera but I liked this link the best because the set and costumes are kick-ass!!

Enjoy Christina Faus:)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

shaken not stirred

Good of me to tell you of something else that is fabulous and then tell you it closes on January 20!!

 the only shots I could take.....these were out in the lobby

Designing 007:  Fifty Years of Bond Style at the TIFF Bell Lightbox was all you could have hoped for as a Bond fan.  It featured costumes, props, models, gadgets, storyboards and short film clips with some of the designers.

I have never been disappointed by any of the special exhibitions held at the Lightbox so maybe make plans for the next one.

the white suit is the original suit that Ursula wore and the orange suit is the up-dated version for Halle

the white trunks were worn by Sean and the blue were worn by Daniel

close-up of Ursula's suit, wardrobe came up with the idea the night before the scene was to be shot.  The top was actually her bra that they covered with white fabric and crossed their fingers it would work

Monday, 14 January 2013

Frida and Diego

The AGO curated an amazing collection for the Kahlo/Diego show which ends Jan 20.  So, all you last minute people, it's worth fitting it in.  

Really enjoyed seeing Diego's artistic breadth.  He could paint in the style of the Grand Masters as well as abstract and I've  been a fan of his murals forever.  The content of some of Frida's self-portraits tend to unsettle me but seeing the detail of her work up close, man, check out how she paints hair.  Fine tiny perfect brush stokes every time.

Being articulate today is proving quite strenuous, so I'm going to cut this short.  There was also a fabulous ofreta to acknowledge the Day of the Dead and some oversize skeletal Day of the Dead "puppets" of Diego and Kahlo which were a surprise after you left the gift shop.  Might I just say, it was the best gift shop I have ever seen.  Special bonus if you go now, I hear everything is 50% off!!!  

We finished off the show with a hot chocolate and a Kahlo cookie!

PS   check out Barbara Kingsolver's book, The Lacuna, to spend some more time with Diego and Frida.