And another season of ‘The Amazing Race’, the Light Side counterpart to ‘Survivor’, has now entered the books. This was advertised as the “Silver Anniversary” of the Race, and while that isn’t true from a strict chronological standpoint, there was definitely a sense that they were pulling out all the stops to make this a […]
North Korea proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. that it says would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack
Julie Nesrallah isn’t worried about the state of classical music.
To the contrary, she feels that it’s in pretty good shape with a burgeoning legion of young and talented musicians.
“I think there are more young people than ever wanting to undertake careers in classical music,” says the singer/radio host/actor. “It’s a ‘Cry-wolf!’ headline that’s been in the popular sphere for decades. People were saying that 100 years ago, 50 years ago and 30 years ago.
“I think if there is a problem, the people who make classical music or are responsible for putting it into the world need to adapt to the world. I think a lot of places are really trying to do that, some are doing it better than others. The people who put it on have to take the snobbery out of it.”
As someone whose life is consumed by it, she believes that classical music fulfills a facet of people’s DNA.
“By classical music I mean the whole spectrum of music from the Renaissance on. I am a massive Van Morrison fan. I flew to Belfast on my birthday. It was a pilgrimage. That’s part of my makeup. Just the way jazz fulfills a another part of my makeup.
“You feel like listening to different things at different times in your life. And classical music is one of those. If I want to hear something big, knee-rattling, if I want to purge, if I want to laugh, if I want to feel bigger than the place where I stand. If you want to transform and transport to level 11, get on one of those horses.”
For Nesrallah, when people say they don’t want to go to a concert because they think they won’t understand the music, that’s a cop-out.
“I don’t like eggplant and liver but every now and then I take a bite just to make sure. You really don’t know whether you like it or not until you try it, and what you did not like at 15, you might like now. It’s like getting used to anything.”
These days Nesrallah is getting used to living in Toronto because “I have to do my radio show (Tempo on CBC Radio 2) from here. Sometimes you just got to move around. I am no stranger to the nomadic life. Each city appeals to a little facet of my personality.
“I’ve never lived in Toronto before so it was about time to try on for size,” although she admits she misses her home town of Ottawa.
Her busy life doesn’t overwhelm her either. “I’m not married and I don’t have kids. I sing and I do CBC and I run and star in Carmen on Tap and that’s about it. There are three different pieces of my musical pie that I tend to during my working day and they each get attention depending on what’s going on. I find it really easy to navigate. If you get used to a certain pace, you are used to a certain pace.”
One of the institutions under some heat for classical music’s situation is her employer.
“I think they (the CBC) are trying to do the best they can do to include every facet of Canadian music. They too are trying to reach out to as many people as possible and they are trying to bring a fair representation of the musical landscape of the country. I think they do a good job of that.”
Part of her life is performance and this weekend she will be part of Christmas concerts at Christ Church Cathedral and with Music and Beyond at Dominion Chalmers. In both she will partner with “the Juno nominee Caroline Léonardelli; she plays the harp like a rock star.”
The two women met about nine years ago and they have been collaborating ever since.
Awhile back Léonardelli found a collection of carols from Provence called Les noels de Lourmarin arranged by Illo Humphrey. These lush Christmas songs now have pride of place in Nesrallah’s musical library and they will be part of the Music and Beyond performance on Dec. 21.
“We will do these carols and another beautiful piece for harp and voice about the Baby Jesus weeping in the manger. I’ll be singing three duets with Shannon Mercer and the choir, Silent Night, Jesu Bambino and the prayer of Hansel and Gretel from Humperdinck opera.”
And then it’s back to Toronto for the radio show and then back to Ottawa for the holidays where the many Nesrallahs will celebrate the season. It’s all part of the joyful life of a musical vagabond.
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) has grown over the years into not just a classic, but the classic, the greatest Christmas song ever
Darlene Love’s 1963 recording of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is quite simply the greatest ever
By now, we’ve all heard about the Sony Hacks. The U.S. government claims the cyber attacks were launched against the company in retaliation for the movie, The Interview, which revolves around a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. This week, Sony announced The Interview will not open on December 25 as planned, and […]
According to Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics), comics are “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” As inclusive as that is (too inclusive according to some), it actually excludes the one panel cartoons that are often side by side with comics in the Sunday funny pages. Family Circle, the Far Side, Heathcliff, and Herman? One image can’t be juxtaposed, can’t be sequential, can’t be a comic. Regardless, I think they’re close enough to comics to be included in the Graphic and Novel Challenge (where host Nicola has promised not be the comics police), and the semantics are moot anyway, as there are a few genuine, undeniable comics here or there. Plus, as Jim Unger was a Canadian immigrant (originally from the U.K.), I’m also including it in the Canadian Book Challenge.
I remember reading and Herman cartoons as a boy and enjoying them, but little else. It’s a bit of a risk trying to revisit an old interest. Sometimes they do, but often they don’t hold up so well. As for Herman, I’m just lukewarm. Overall, I wasn’t particularly impressed. I was mildly amused at most. The jokes typically involve someone without a lack of common sense. A “Driving School” car is in a lake, water has pooled around the driver and the passenger up to their necks, and the student turns to his teacher saying, “Shall I back up?” A prisoner, in conversation to another, says, “Let me know if you need a good defense lawyer.” Smile-inducing, but not particularly my brand of humour any more. A few did manage to incite an actual chuckle.
As for the art, I suppose I can appreciate Unger’s highly recognizable style, but there’s not a lot of range. All the characters have large noses, tiny beady eyes or glasses, and are obese. Likewise the personalities are dry, and scenes usually involve a straight man who stares blankly at a dumb or unintentionally insensitive remark by another character. There are no recurring characters that particularly stand out (was there an actual Herman?) and the backdrops are minimalist, typical of daily strips in which there wasn’t a lot of time for details. It got so I was appreciative for the occasional object— a TV set, a set of golf clubs, a bottle of wine— which proved that Unger did indeed have artistic skill. Still, I could forgive all that had I found it funnier. I could make the same comments about the art of Larson’s The Far Side, but I seem to recall those being much more amusing.
A clip from Amy Schumer’s show Inside Amy Schumer, where she tries playing a female character in a military game, and finds the experience dissimilar to her boyfriend’s experience playing a male character. Trigger Warning: discussion of sexual assault //www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXGJGuH59qw h/t Women in Hollywood
The first look at the trailer for “The Little Prince” is now out and it is as sweet as the classic book. This is the first-ever animated feature film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s iconic masterpiece. At the heart of […]
A week today. One week today and we’ll be undoing our pants and dozing off to watching Love Actually after the kids have fallen into a comatose sleep from all the Christmas excitement. Yes. It’s one more week to finish […]
“I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.”
© 2004-2014 Rebecca Bollwitt – Miss604. It’s the very last weekend before Christmas and the city is alive with events, activities, and plenty of neighbourhoods showing off their very best light displays. The weekend event list is bigger than usual, packed with fun ways to get the most out of the city this holiday season. […]
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Nemo. Bambie. Tarzan. These are just a few of the characters whose parents come to a violent end in top animated children’s films. A study published in the British Medical Journal’s special Christmas issue this week found that two-thirds of […]
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© 2004-2014 Rebecca Bollwitt – Miss604. If I was Miss Sheilds from the beloved holiday film A Christmas Story I would legitimately give Aaron Chapman’s new book Live at the Commodore an “A Plus-Plus-Plus-Plus…!” It arrived by courier last week and I immediately sat down to read it. I didn’t budge as the sun crossed […]
© 2004-2014 Rebecca Bollwitt – Miss604. Celebrate the 21st annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival on December 21st in three Vancouver communities. Presented by the Secret Lantern Society and Artistic Director Naomi Singer, this free family event (with some ticketed attractions) will illuminate the longest night of the year. Photo credit: Rikki / Julius Reque on […]
When a company introduces a new product, they try to hold on to being the one-and-only manufacturer of that product for as long as possible, even introducing more technology to keep other companies out of the game. Someone always finds a way to beat the system.
The post How to Defeat Proprietary Technology In One Easy Step appeared first on .
© 2004-2014 Rebecca Bollwitt – Miss604. The White Spot Christmas Day lunch for charity is back again this year as management and staff at two locations continue a decade-long tradition of donating their time, tips and proceeds to the Richmond Hospital Foundation and Variety – The Children’s Charity. White Spot Christmas Day Lunch for Charity […]
Remember when Jenny asks Forrest Gump to pray with her? “Dear God, make me a bird. So I can fly far. Far, far away from here.” Maybe it was the simplicity of Blaikie’s poem in Beyond the Northern Lights, maybe it was the calls to a raven to “fly me int…
Anderson Cooper’s journey into mindfulness was featured on the latest episode of 60…
Hello! It’s time. Time to consider writing with us. We’re expanding our crew and you may be the kind of person we’re looking for. How would you know? Here are the four steps. Read the About Politics, Re-Spun page. If you understand that, you’ve passed #1! Read George Monbiot’s essay called Career Advice, written more […]
Forget the award nominations, Keira Knightley is pregnant! The Imitation Game star is expecting her first child with husband James Righton. Knightley’s spokesperson confirmed the news with Elle UK Friday morning. And while she didn’t share many details, many speculate the actress […]