Honestly, I wasn't even sure what I meant to do with these stories even as I was receiving them by the hour. What was to be gained by telling more stories of horrid behaviour? More cynicism? Even a boycott of opera?
In 15 cities across Canada, roughly 400 musicians are offering free live concerts, "for the purpose of providing healing and connection to those who are affected by suicide, either in surviving a loss or in dealing with their own mental health issues."
On the opposite coast, Boston-based Odyssey Opera is set to offer its latest in opera's under-performed masterpieces. Saint-Saëns' 1883 opera, Henry VIII, centres on the famed love triangle between the Tudor king, his first wife Catherine of Aragon, and his soon-to-be second wife, Anne Boleyn.
Plus! At the piano is Jenna Simeonov (me), founder and editor of Schmopera. Out and about and likely wearing lipstick.
“Although this piece isn't directly about the myth," says stage director Amanda Smith, "I imagine that in Pandora we see what happens when the jar, or box, is opened a second time."
You'll also hear soprano/composer Danika Lorèn's curiously titled The Secret Lives of Vegetables, and in a guarantee for laughs, the song cycle by Toronto favourite Peter Tiefenbach, Chansons de mon placard.
If we look too closely with our 21st-century lens, Montezuma could be seen as problematic. Why champion the Spanish, when their colonialism was so vicious?
2019/20 is a season of revivals, perhaps disappointingly so for some of the COC's longtime audience members who won't get treated to much they haven't seen before.
"There's nothing I like better than planning programmes," says Davis, of his enthusiastic stepping in as the TSO's Interim Artistic Director. But, eager to pass the torch officially to Gimeno, "the next season will be Gustavo's."
Composer Chris Thornborrow, librettist Julie Tepperman, and director/dramaturge Richard Greenblatt, dare to tell an uncomfortably familiar story that, today, is full of the themes that permeate every news story and piece of media we consume.