Pearl Fishing

Well, I’m back from Vancouver, but on one of my last days there I saw a work-in-progress dance performance by local company 605 Collective at the Vancouver International Dance Festival. which I enjoyed, but after a mostly electronic soundtrack, I was surprised that the piece ended to the tune of Enrico Caruso singing this aria from Bizet‘s 1863 Pearl Fishers opera:

Probably the best known piece from this opera, but if you want to see the full picture, it’ll be receiving its first Met Opera production in 100 years in the forthcoming 2015-2016 season:

Vancouver Mountain Majesty

Since I’m in Vancouver for the week, I’ve been thinking about my favorite Vancouverite cartoonist, Angela Melick of Wasted Talent!

Copyright Angela Melick

Copyright Angela Melick

This is kind of like New York last week, nasty winter suddenly giving way to mild spring…  Though we don’t have the same sort of majestic natural setting…  One stereotype I’ve formed about Vancouver thanks to Angela is the importance of extreme outdoor sports…  so will bust out my hiking boots!  Or walking boots at least…

Maybe she’s the only Vancouverite cartoonist I know, actually…  But you can see her depiction of her town by looking through her Vancouver tag!

Putting the Canadian in Canadian Opera Company

So I’m in Vancouver, Canada for a week, and considering the last opera I saw was the Canadian Opera Company‘s performance of Semele at BAM last week it seems fitting to discuss their forthcoming season, which, fittingly, features the world premiere of a Canadian Opera!

In October, COC will give the world premiere of Barbara Monk Feldman‘s short 2010 opera, Pyramus and Thisbe.  It’s based on a tale from antiquity so the COC is presenting it alongside two short, similarly classically themed, pieces by the grandfather of opera, Claudio Monteverdi: a scena for three voices and an aria, which is the only fragment to survive from his second opera, L’Arianna, performed below by Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci:

Here’s hoping I can make a return trip to Canada for this interesting early opera/premiere opera combo!

Live-in Library

Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by books they love?  Actually, I’ve recently been meaning to minimize the books in my life…  Library card for infinite free borrowed books, not picking up free books even though librarians are free book magnets, etc…  But I get Angela Melick‘s obsession…  books are excellent decoration if nothing else!  😉

Sleeping Betty nel Bosco

From The National Film Board of Canada, here’s a fun take on the story of Sleeping Beauty by director Claude Cloutier:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/39056960]

SLEEPING BETTY from National Film Board of Canada on Vimeo

You can find lots of full films from throughout their history up on the NFB site (you can limit it to animation too, if you’re so inclined).

To offer an operatic counterpart, here’s the opening of Ottorino Respighi‘s 1922 opera, La Bella Dormente nel Bosco (available in full on Spotify too).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJGEAhDqaRU&w=350&h=300]

It was actually performed in 2005 by New York’s Gotham Chamber Opera in conjunction with Lincoln Center Festival and puppets by Basil Twist, as seen below.  Both the GCO & LCF have exciting events coming up this summer, so check them out. audio

Gotham Chamber Opera, Respighi's La Bella Dormente

Gotham Chamber Opera production of Respighi’s La Bella Dormente, photo by Stephanie Berger