Culture & Conversation

Posts by Lev Bratishenko

Friendly Opera

After months of anticipation and a week of hysterical weeping from the neighbours, we left to attend the opening of Opera da Camera’s first full production, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, at the Rialto on Friday. This is not a good theatre for opera, its acoustics are as successful as Greek government and significantly less loud, but its size worked to our advantage and the evening’s wrong notes faded into a glow of joy at close range.

Bat Hits Home

I left Opéra de Montréal’s La Chauve Souris with a pleasant numbness caused not by the ketamine or another stroke—a “coup attempt” we call them in our house—but probably by a lack of serious stimulation. Strauss’s operetta is as determined as an ostrich with its head in the sand to avoid anything upsetting, and that’s okay, especially in late January.

An Appetite for Risk

I worry about Wagner. Not for his politics or those of some of his fans, which is a dangerous thread to start pulling for almost any artist, but just because his operas can be so long and so self-involved—especially the Ring cycle. Fans of big melodic lines and structured arias can find later works too demanding. Which is why I love the The Flying Dutchman.

Burns So Good

Two gentle people of the better sort were waiting for us at the opera. They had paid something like a firstborn for the privilege and I was not about to disappoint. I wore the gown normally reserved for Café Cleopatra, and the Standard Opera Companion wore nothing at all; just a litre of burning gasoline that had to be messily replenished every forty minutes. We didn’t expect to be upstaged by the show.

Return to the Ballet

Ding! Ding! Was not a sound that I expected to ever hear, but it happened last week when we reached the bottom of the caviar bucket. Without any opera business on the horizon, daddy was forced to improvise, and so we went to the ballet.

Student Operas, Best Operas?

Butler and I were at stalemate over my pneumatic tube subscription. He thinks it’s a waste of money, but he doesn’t know opera companies. Yesterday I had my glorious revenge when the old tube rattled and spat out an invitation. There, I screamed from the lavatory, not everybody went over to email. I went, of course, and though the ticket lady found my canister suspicious she judged it unwise to argue. Four stars for the ticket lady at Pollack Hall.

Oh Bother

The evening started with an explanation that the order of the pieces was changed so that the orchestra would only have to shuffle seats once. For…

Eat the Rich

It was crowded like any opening night, full to the rafters with an assortment of Montreal’s best and worst dressed elders, all of whom had to…

Criminal By Design

Stage design appears in the criminal code under “manslaughter – unusual,” which is a possible label for the season premiere of Opéra de Montréal’s La Bohème,…