I like to think there is a particular point on the narrow spiral catwalk inside the large-chimneyed incinerator of hell reserved for art critics who have somewhere in their twisted souls a fierce and thirsty love for the paintings of Seurat or Manet. At this particular point on the interior wall of hell’s chimney, therefore, is a large painting by one or the other of these two painters. Hell, by definition for the aforementioned critic lies in the fact that he cannot step back far enough from the painting to get it in focus, without falling over the railing of the catwalk into the fiercest fires at the very bottom of the chimney, which are reserved for ex-mayors and people who use “walking ovations” to be the first out of the opera or symphony hall. 

I particularly enjoy thinking about other people’s hells when I am sitting nailed to a computer screen, contemplating in little prismatic flashes all the pleasures of the musical month ahead that will, alas, for the most part be denied to me, because after a day to catch my breath I will be plunged into the next publishing cycle, sitting on my bum behind a computer screen.

But oh how pretty the little flashes are.

For example, there’s noticing that Shauna Rolston (who found her way onto the cover of the magazine this month because of her involvement in Peggy Baker Dance Projects he:she) will demonstrate her passion and versatility at least twice in other contexts this month: Monday March 10 at U of T with the Cecilia Quartet and soprano Stacie Dunlop, and March 7 as part of the TSO’s tenth annual New Creations Festival. Has it really been ten years since Peter Oundjian arrived on the scene?

And there’s noting (with double pleasure) not only that the Toronto New Music Alliance is back at the Toronto Reference Library March 3, 10 and 17 with New Music 101 but also that John Terauds will be hosting the series. (See the very end of our ETCETERA FILE, which starts on page 47, for information on the series.) Terauds’ involvement is a treat. He has the ability to ask the kinds of straightforward questions an expert in the field wouldn’t condescend to.

Speaking of Terauds, I noticed that he shows up in an entirely unexpected capacity this issue, as librettist for a short opera called Etiquette (composer, Toy Piano Collective’s Monica Pearce) which will be one of three presented April 5 at Heliconian Hall by Essential Opera.

I could go on. But the reality is I won’t make it out to more than a fraction of the world of musical fulfillment that’s out there for the taking. But you will, won’t you? So write me when you do. 


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