Description 43 - The Opera House

While listening for fighter jets, I talk about another immigrant who did great things for Toronto and then visit one of the greatest things he did. Yes, there's opera, as well as a steel drum band playing U2. But there are no frosted glass escalators.

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Associated links
Canadian International Air Show
Canadian Opera Company
Four Seasons Centre For the Performing Arts
The (other) Opera House
CBC Arts on Richard Bradshaw and what he meant to the COC
The Toronto Star article I read, by John Terauds
Atom Egoyan talks about Bradshaw (Sorry, it's Real Player.)
National Ballet of Canada
Toronto Life on architect Jack Diamond
World Partnership Walk (I kept saying it wrong.)
Aga Khan Foundation
My opera house photos on flickr (take that, camera cops!)

*Update! (Nov. 8, 2007) Tony Makepeace's wicked QuickTime VR panorama of the National Ballet rehearsing West Side Story in the opera house (take that again, camera cops!)

In this vast world of the internet, there must be an mp3 floating around of Anna Russell's legendary and freaking funny "Analysis of Wagner's 'Ring der Nibelungen'". The best I can find is a transcription someone kindly did. But you don't get her classic, Bob Newhart-level pauses that just make the piece. Sigh...

Okay, Blog Day. I'm supposed to share 5 blogs I like. Again, I barely ever read blogs back when they were the thing before podcasts - no real reason - and I don't think I'm very voracious now, but I have a pretty long list of feeds on bloglines, so that must count for something. Everybody reads Boing Boing, right? Okay, I won't count that...

First, I must note there's a huge list/feed of Canadian blogs at publicbroadcasting.ca, the domain (literally and figuratively) of my podcast landlord Justin, so you should really stop there first. It also has its own group blog here, and it's pretty darn good, though I'm often too lazy to post anything to it. That's where the "group" thing comes in handy. :-)

Now, finally, for my list, which is mainly comprised of places where I can actually learn something.

You've pretty much figured by now that I like Andrew Dubber's blog New Music Strategies. Even if the guy hadn't inspired me to buy an iRiver two years ago, I would still recommend his thoughtful, passionate yet not-bossy opinions and findings on music and musicians online. Required reading for any musician trying to make a living today, but not the equivalent of eating your vegetables. (btw, he's looking for somewhere to stay while he's at CMJ in New York in October, so email me if you have any ideas for him that do not involve putting up a mortgage or needing vaccinations.)

Still on the subject of music but getting a bit muckier, No Rock'n'Roll Fun can be catty and whinge on a bit, but that's part of why I like it. It's simple, constantly updated and takes absolutely no crap. It's really more about the media coverage of music and what gets said there than it is of the music itself, and unfortunately we seem to be in a world where the media does take precedence - at least in the mainstream. But that also means it gets savaged here all the more.

My fave Toronto blog is Torontoist, which is of course part of the "ist" clan. It still feels authentic, it has a little bit of everything, and I like the writing and attitude. Wish I could give an honourable mention to Antonia Zerbisias' media blog for the Star, but it seems it is no more, as the muckety-mucks got all nervous and shuffled her off to the Life section. She still has her columns, though.

Instead, I must be content with the TV Newser blog at mediabistro. American and very level-headed, its strength is not in presenting a snarky opinion, but in delivering the stories that make you come up with your own snarky opinion.

Oh, and I have to be a girl and give props to the Rabbit Blog, where wicked Salon TV critic Heather Havrilesky turns into Dear Abby on crack to dispense very real, very funny and very verbose (see how I can relate) advice to the otherwise-smart lovelorn. Since her baby was born, she slacked off on the posts, understandably, but she's been revving her engines throughout August.

My favourite blog of all time (still a dubious honour coming from me) was the one by "Rance," supposedly an A-list movie star sharing bemusing tales of life in Hollywood. Part of the fun was trying to guess who this guy was - the most popular guesses were George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Owen Wilson - but for me, the attraction was just fantastic writing. As so often happens with the best blogs, Rance found it harder and harder to keep up the posts, and while some very able readers did their best to carry on in his stead at his request (because he respected their writing), the magic had gone. To this day, not even the Museum of Hoaxes is sure of who Rance was, be he actual celebrity or mere insider, though theories remain. It may be just as well to let it stand as the cracking piece of interactive fiction that it was.

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