Monday, July 31, 2006

toward memory

A picture named rose.jpgA picture named peoni.jpgA picture named lily.jpg

- See: Image

:: note :: ... month ends, a season passes & the flowers cycle towards memory ...

Friday, July 28, 2006


"... it is quite obvious that our instincts actually work against our instincts, so that, so to say, our anti-instincts act instead of, or even as, our instincts ..."(Kaddish for a child not Born - Imre Kertesz)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... the paradox is when the anti-instinct becomes an instinct ...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

copyright noise

"strip language of emotion, end up with operate"
(One Line Poems by Zoketsu Norman Fische | The Everydaty Zen Foundation)

- See: Poetry

:: note :: ...huge attraction to brevity whether one-lines, aphorisms, short story, novelette, playlet, txt message ...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


"strip language of emotion, end up with operate"
(One Line Poems by Zoketsu Norman Fische | The Everydaty Zen Foundation)

- See: Poetry

:: note :: ...huge attraction to brevity whether one-lines, aphorisms, short story, novelette, playlet, txt message ...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


The new mythos cannot emerge from the art of today's popular culture, in which the hero saves the day. Art as entertainment only drives us deeper into denial. Art as a cathartic experience is different.

"The Greek tragic plays, based on the sacred stories of the gods, provide examples of such catharsis, or "purification." The art we need is an art that can confront us with the tragic results of our actions and embolden us to accept our culpability, while at the same time offering hope that we might salvage what is left of the Earth and our humanity. Is it possible to create new sacred stories, built on the familiar, that will restore both reverence and hope?"(Discourse & Dissent | Telling Stories: The Restorative Power of Myth Wilson by Kelpie Wilson)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... logos & mythos working hand in hand ...

Monday, July 24, 2006

bare life

"What is bare life? This second question underscores the sheer vulnerability and complete exposure of being. Bare life deals with that part of our existence from which no measure of security will ever protect us. But as in sexuality, absolute exposure is intricately connected with infinite pleasure. There is an apocalyptic and obviously political dimension to bare life (brought out by torture and the concentration camp). There is, however, also a lyrical or even ecstatic dimension to it - a freedom for new and unexpected possibilities (in human relations as well as in our relationship to nature or, more generally, the world in which we live). Here and there, art dissolves the radical separation between painful subjection and joyous liberation. But what does that mean for its audiences?"(Documenta 12 leitmotifs)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... another discussion at empyre ...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

liquid narrative

"The reason for my interest is simple: As a graduate student in the 1990s I studied ancient Greek epic and wrote my dissertation on Homer's Odysseys. It wasn't the idea that a poet could memorize and retell the thousands of lines comprising the story of the wandering Odysseus and his wily wife that got my attention (though I found it a remarkable skill). Rather, it was the idea that the poet sculpted the story in different ways for each telling and each audience. That there were literally thousands of Odysseys circulating the ancient world provoked my curiosity."(Dene Grigar | /

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... summer list reading ... a whole discussion on rhapsodic, ephemeral, multimedia narrative/story telling (liquid narrative) ... the nomadic town ... my house ... when ghosts will die ... and finally to my original roots the living theater ...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

You are

You are someone's son . Reveal unto me your secret oh ancestors and of course know I don't see eye to eye and at the same time cannot deny your existence as my base and source between me and them allies/enemies finding freedom to make my own way...

(apologies to Grotowski: Tu es le fils de quel in Drama Review: TDR, Vol 31 No. 2 Autumn 1987/ link requires authorization)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ...on turning 53...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Don Giovanni SSP Review

Opera company delivers impressive performance

Shannon Boklaschuk, The StarPhoenix Published: Monday, July 17, 2006

Drama, romance, comedy -- Don Giovanni has got it all.

On Saturday night, Mozart's renowned opera was brilliantly brought to life by Saskatoon Opera, with each vocalist delivering a most impressive performance. The show, which clocked in at around three hours, drew heart-felt applause and a standing ovation from the crowd -- and the praise was certainly well-deserved.

The production offered first-rate entertainment, and the opera company should be proud of the high standard it has achieved. It's wonderful Saskatonians can enjoy such high-quality musicianship in their own backyard, and artistic director Barbara Montalbetti deserves kudos for her work.

If you're not familiar with Don Giovanni, Mozart's opera is fast-paced and dramatic. It kicks off with a scene in which Don Giovanni (played by Matthew Leigh) attacks Donna Anna (Ileana Montalbetti), who manages to free herself. However, a fight ensues between Don Giovanni and her father, the Commendatore (played by Garry Gable), which culminates in the Commendatore's death.
Don Giovanni and her father, the Commendatore (played by Garry Gable), which culminates in the Commendatore's death.

Gable, a baritone, delivers a heart-wrenching performance as his character dies, and soprano Ileana Montalbetti does a great job of showcasing her character's anguish. Dressed in a white satin gown with her hair in curls, Montalbetti cries "My dear father," and it sends chills up the spine.

The Commendatore's murder is central to the rest of the opera, and the drama unfolds because of the crime. Donna Anna and her lover, Don Ottavio (played by Michael Harris), quickly set out to nab the villain, while the arrogant, self-absorbed Don Giovanni complicates the lives of other characters. There is an excellent scene in which Donna Anna and Don Ottavio sing about avenging the Commendatore's death, and Harris and Montalbetti sound gorgeous.

Don Giovanni, to be frank, is a horrible cad. He murders and seduces without conscience, and is most proud of his many "conquests." His servant, Leporello (played by Stephen Hegedus), describes him as a "woman-chaser," and that's an understatement. Don Giovanni keeps a black book listing his female "conquests," and the number in Spain alone totals a whopping 1,003.

There's no doubt Don Giovanni is misogynistic, and his horrible, degrading treatment of women can be difficult to watch. He physically attacks Donna Anna and emotionally tortures the feisty Donna Elvira (played by Eve Rachel McLeod), even going as far as slapping her across the face.Don Giovanni is unabashedly sexist; however, justice is served in the end. If there is a message to the opera, it's that bad deeds will not go unpunished -- and Don Giovanni learns that all too well.

Leigh, who has previously sung the Count in the Marriage of Figaro, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte and Herr Reich in the Merry Wives of Windsor, is well cast in the title role. Although the opera is long, he still gives a rousing performance at the end of the production when Don Giovanni meets his fate. Soprano Ileana Montalbetti also shines as one of Don Giovanni's seductees, with her bright, clear, strong voice easily bending at her will. At age 23, it's easy to see Montalbetti has a long, successful career ahead of her, and opera fans will become increasingly familiar with her name as the years go on.

Hegedus, a bass, and McLeod, a soprano, also stand out. Both performers are great actors as well as vocalists, and I hope to see them in future productions.
Saturday's performance of Don Giovanni appeared to be set in the 1940s or '50s, with the characters wearing suits, skirts and dresses reminiscent of a bygone era. The set, although not elaborate, was also attractive, with six stone sculptures or pillars sitting side by side on the darkened stage.

And, of course, one cannot forget the music. The orchestra did a fabulous job of playing Mozart's masterpiece, and the music was perfectly timed to the action on stage.
All in all, watching Don Giovanni was a great way to spend an evening. The opera runs today, Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph High School Theatre.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006

SSP Preview Don Giovanni

Exploring his bad side Famous Mozart opera gives young baritone delightful challenge

Joanne Paulson, The StarPhoenix Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Matthew Leigh and Ileana Montalbetti star in Saskatoon Opera's production of Don Giovanni Photograph by : Richard Marjan, The StarPhoenix

Don Giovanni is a very, very bad boy.
He seduces women, kills men, lies through his teeth and generally behaves like an arrogant boor.He is also a lot of fun to play -- certainly for Matthew Leigh, who has taken on the title role for this year's Saskatoon Opera production.

"I actually find Don Giovanni an easy character to understand," said Leigh (pronounced Lay) in a recent interview."He's simple, in a way. There are people who think he's a very complex character, but I disagree with that.He's very selfish, very spoiled, and I know many people who are like that; there's a side of me that's like that."Like many men, Leigh also admits he understands Giovanni's desire to chase women."It's fun to play. To play the badass is fun for me."

Actually, everyone is having fun rehearsing Mozart's Don Giovanni: almost all the cast members, most of them young and debuting their roles, have either studied or sung together, notes Ileana Montalbetti."We could just jump into the first rehearsal and feel comfortable," said Montalbetti, who plays Donna Anna, one of Giovanni's seductees, and the female lead."I love singing it; it feels so fantastic to do," she said, noting the role is intense from the very beginning."In the first 10 minutes her character has gone through the spectrum of emotion."

She and Leigh have performed together at the University of Toronto, where Montalbetti has completed her first year in the opera program, and Leigh just graduated with a master's degree in voice performance.

Leigh, who sings Giovanni for the first time, says his role is very vocally demanding; he will have to see if it is also physically so. He says he was driven to prepare thoroughly during the rehearsal process, to ensure enough stamina for the entire show."He has a huge scene at the end that has to sound good, or it's such a let down."Leigh has previously sung the Count in the Marriage of Figaro, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte, and Herr Reich in the Merry Wives of Windsor. Montalbetti played the Countess in the same production of Figaro, and is slated to play Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus this fall. She also took first place in the 2005 National Music Festival.

When not in Saskatoon, Leigh is studying German in Munich this summer, and will join the ensemble of the Zurich Opera in the fall."It's a good kickstart to your career," said Leigh.
At 29, Leigh is considered young for a baritone entering his career. At 23, Montalbetti is the youngest student in the U of T opera program, and the youngest in the Don Giovanni cast.
Yet both talked about feeling the "click" -- when a singer knows how to use the voice technically, and is getting the right sound out of it. For Leigh, it happened about a year and a half ago; for Montalbetti, things "began clicking this year," she said. Hers is a bright soprano voice with a big extension at the top end; some have said she could one day sing Wagner, whose works require mature sopranos. Meanwhile, she's working on her repertoire and feeling comfortable as Mozart's Donna Anna."I feel like I have it well in hand," she said.

Other members of the main cast are Stephen Hegedus as Leporello, Eve Rachel McLeod as Donna Elvira, Michael Harris as Don Ottavio, Lisa di Maria as Zerlina, Brian Wehrle as Masetto, and Saskatoon's Garry Gable in the famous Commendatore role. Barbara Montalbetti is artistic director, and Tadeusz Biernacki conducts the orchestra and chorus.
Don Giovanni was chosen this year in celebration of Mozart's 250th birthday.

- - -
Saskatoon Opera
July 15, 17, 19, 21, 7:30 p.m.
Preview Thursday
St. Joseph High School Theatre

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006

Donna Anna

A picture named ilyOpera.jpg

Ileana performs Donna Anna in Don Giovanni & gets some newspaper coverage & excellent review
... for me the performance was spectacular ... an exciting, dynamic, rich voice filling the theater and entering the heart ... a powerful stage presence full of depth, confidence and nuanced feelings ... a performance centered in a strong emotional core that serves the art form with splendour ... a gifted artist to watch & enjoy but much more than that one of those rare talents that will push the art form into unique realms ... bravo ily ...

- See: opera

:: note :: ... may I be a proud father ...

Monday, July 10, 2006

story error

"Only from our stories can we discover that our stories have come to an end, otherwise we would go on living as if there were still something for us to continue (our stories for example); that is, we would go on living in error."(from Liquidation. Imre Kert├ęsz.27.)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... to write your story is live in a perpetual narration ... a constant awarness ...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

magnifico soffertissimo

"An Italian TV commentator declared that watching the tense match had caused great suffering: soffertissimo! At the ancient Circus Maximus, more than 150,000 people who watched the game on giant screens exploded with joy at the victory. "I don't believe it. It's a fairytale, it's just great to win after suffering so much. It's magnifico!" bayed 29-year-old Chiara."(Explosion of Joy in Rome)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... the players also talked about suffering ...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Raja Roa

"Pray, that you might awaken and not burn the world with that third eye - that eye which plays with history," she laughed." (Raja Rao: Sacred Wordsmith)

- See: Memorium

:: note :: ... the Hindu reports (via) the passing of Raja Rao ...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rose Light

A picture named roseLight.jpg

history, memory & forgiveness

light traces the eternal rose while night falls to storms & the morning brings tear dew of flight

open dreams to build heartlift places of solitude despite feverish aches & endless desires

time to time the roselight passion holds reverie & the beauty of one folding into another stands still

- See: Poetry

Monday, July 03, 2006

come home

... breath held awaits the cascade of concentric zones as the continental shelf slopes towards the temple ...

- See: Terms

Sunday, July 02, 2006


... the first thing that has to go is any form of artistic expression that's dear to you. Art is unimportant next to life, and you have no choice. I had no hunger for it anymore, anyway. Creativity has much to do with experience, observation and imagination, and if any one of those key elements is missing, it doesn't work...(fom Chronicles Volume One. Bob Dylan. 121)

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... summer reading ... an exploration of being an iconic popular performing artist ... chapter four the writing & recording of "Oh Mercy" ... read playing the described tracks ... the complexity of simplicity ... every painful decision ...

Saturday, July 01, 2006


A picture named summersky.jpg:: note :: ... i am not patriotic & worry about patriotism ... i honour the space of my inhabited territory and learn with others to love the place ... although part of a community i create great distance with some of the immediate neighbours & open spheres closely with those afar ... where are the borders & boundries ... they all dissolve with breath ... have always been taken with the sense that we breath each other in & out so many millions of times ... since there is no why ... there is the way ... the name is a question ... seek your given name & choose to give thanks to the given place ...

- See: Terms