Film: Met live in HD; L’Elisir d’Amore

There seems to be an emerging pattern of me knitting socks in October. I had no intention of knitting more of them, but Halloween is coming up and my costume demands a particular kind of look.

Because I don’t have much time, and we were going to spend a few weekends driving, I picked the simplest pattern (all stockinette stitch), did the fancy parts like starting or turning the heel the night before the trip and spent the time in the car knitting, knitting, knitting.


I just have to do the ribbing and the rest of my costume. Should be done by Saturday, no?

Film – Madagascar 3


It has been a while since I’ve been to a movie, but I have managed to get out quite a bit otherwise. I went to the last three Lisinski evenings including performances by Sol Gabetta and Lana Kos. Lisinski is a great place, not only because it is Modern and beautiful, but because this is where Santa Claus drops off the presents, or at least he did in the 80’s.

Apart from already discussed Jenufa, I got to see another play at the HNK. It was “War and peace” and it was very well done. Finally, I got to see Zaz at the Dom sportova. I am getting so spoiled.

HNK by not the ten year old balerina

When I was taking my opera course in CEGEP we had a choice of seeing two live operas out of three performed in Montreal that semester. I wanted to see all of them, but due to pecuniary concerns, I had to drop Janacek’s “Turn of the screw”. I have been wanting to correct this for a while and the perfect opportunity appeared the last week when I saw Janacek’s “Jenufa” in Zagreb’s HNK (Hrvatsko Narodno Kazaliste).

The prices were ridiculously cheap ($25 for the best seats, how does that happen!!!) so we splurged for the private lodge. It was so exciting to go see an opera at the HNK. You see, I used to be quite in love with this theatre from the time my life’s ambition was to become a ballerina. I’ve only been to a handful of shows and not for many years. The repertoire of the theatre is very classical which,with exception of opera, does not really attract me and there are so many cultural events going on in Zagreb anyway, HNK always gets overlooked. When it comes to opera, I am very impressed. There seems to be a performance on every week compared to eight or ten performances per year in Ottawa. The theatre is small so even seated in the back you can see and hear quite well. The gold painted squiggles, carpets, cherubs, tiny lodges, etc, which would be absurd anywhe else give it so much charm.

As for the performance itself, I truly enjoyed it. I don’t know if I would listen to Janacek at home but the music was perfect for live performance. We also noted that Janacek succeeded in making the opera more realistic in that the score calls for divas that are ugly, heavy and old. Overall, great fun was had even with somewhat macabre opera .

Jian’s army

Jen asked me if I am interested in going to the live taping of Q. Well, of course I would love to! I’ve had fun at the live taping of the Debaters a few years ago and I really enjoyed taping of the geography quiz show I went to to cheer on a friend way back in middle school, so why not? I re-read Jen’s message and realized that the tickets were $30 bucks. I though it was a bit high for taping of a mid day radio show but I had already told Jen I would go and I was a bit excited about it so I decided to stick with it. On the way there Jen was a little bit worried about not getting good seats so she dropped me off at the door and went to find parking. It was a good thing she did this because even though we were almost an hour early, there was a line going all the way around the building. I wondered at the crowds and Jen told me that Blue Rodeo was one of the guests. I shrugged and attributed the popularity of the event to this important Canadian band. It was only after the show started that I realized that people were not there to see Blue Rodeo, they were there to see Jian Ghomeshi. I was there to see Jian as well but it had never occurred to me that he is so beloved and that he has reached the status of a Canadian icon. Go Jian!

I had a blast at the show, I even bought the album of one of the artists (Austra) that played. I am hoping to give it a good listen over the next couple of weeks and write a review (though saying that I will pretty much guarantees that I will not).

Now if I could only go to a live taping of Tempo or Shift…

Music review – Ligeti: Works for Piano by Lucille Chung

A few years ago I saw Lucille Chung in concert and enjoyed it so much I bought her CD. I played it at home a few times but it really did not work out because I can only listen to the music in one room and I am never there for long. It makes it difficult to listen to modern piano music because all I hear is “plink, dead air, plink”.

Anyhow, not having the opportunity to really listen to this CD, I soon forgot about it until I read someone gushing about Ligeti’s Grand Macabre opera on one of the opera blogs I follow. I finally got around to bringing the CD into my car so I can listen to it when I am not moving from room to room and I am finally enjoying it.

Yesterday as I was listening to it I wished I had practiced some of these pieces back when I was taking piano lessons in the late 80’s. At my dance school we were allowed to practice on free pianos but goofing around was frowned upon. If I was practicing Ligeti, the people whose job was to chase the non serious kids off the pianos would never know whether I was playing some complex and critically acclaimed passages or was just goofing around.

Burt seriously, would not piano lessons be much more fun if they included some modern stuff and maybe some jazz? Even though I always enjoyed classical music I can’t ever remember actually liking any pieces I was practicing. The only tunes I remember enjoying playing were Frere Jacques, Fur Elize and some improvisations that attempted to sound like Ligeti, none of which I would be allowed to play on the school piano for fear of being accused of goofing off.

Plink plink plink!


And yes, I have embarked on a new and ambitious knitting project. Wish me luck!

Fall and Spinning

I haven’t been to movies lately, there weren’t too many movies of interest on lately. I did go to the Magic Flute at the NAC a few weeks ago and it was fun. I think I finally get the story and I’d say it is about time because this is the third production I’ve seen. The production was very good, but there was this beeping noise going on throughout the performance which made it very distracting. I think I’ve had enough of Magic Flute for another decade now.

Other than that I’ve been taking spinning classes since it is getting darker and colder out so I haven’t been biking much. I’ve been trying to get some things arraigned around the house but haven’t gotten too much done which is little surprise.