Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Canadian Opera Company presents “Elektra” at the Four Seasons Centre Performing Arts (January 26, 31, February 6, 10, 12, 16, 22, 2019)

Richard Strauss’ twisted psychodrama, Elektra, returns to the COC stage with commanding star soprano Christine Goerke in the title role. Rooted in classic Greek tragedy, the one-act opera is an expressionist take on the ultimate tale of family dysfunction: Elektra’s lust to avenge her father’s murder at the hands of her mother and her mother’s lover. Fury and obsession spiral into horrific consequence as Elektra careens down a path of total destruction, all set to an unrelenting modern score. Elektra runs for seven performances on January 26, 31, February 6, 10, 12, 16, 22, 2019.

If you are new to opera and want a taste of Strauss at his best and with some brevity (by Opera standards), Elektra is for you. The set design from Derek McLane’s and his stark aesthetic mirrors characters’ raw emotions and impulses. Costume designer Anita Stewart and lighting designer Mimi Jordan Sherin add to the nightmarish world onstage with lurid colours and design elements influenced by the art of Francis Bacon and Edvard Munch.


Elektra is bloody, intense with a heart pulsing drama that spews dashes of excruciating howls for good measure. Thankfully the Canadian Opera Company landed the rock star of opera in the incomparable Christine Goerke who shook the Metropolitan Opera with “the thrilling power of her voice” (New York Times) as their Elektra last season. Goerke’s performance will destroy even the most seasoned opera fan.  She embodies a verve that is demonstrative of her years of experience and is guaranteed to make you want to see more of her in the future.  No matter what the price.  Think trail blazer.  Think icon.

Canadian soprano Erin Wall is Elektra’s sister, Chrysothemis; she returns to the COC after a “sublime” (Chicago Tribune) performance in Idomeneo. Wall is soul crushing in her approach and will make you yearn for more. The athleticism witnessed by the likes of Goerke and Wall is truly a feat. These women are at the top of their professional game.  Don’t be saddled with a FOMO.

British dramatic soprano Susan Bullock brings her “formidable focus and power” (Financial Times) to the role of Elektra’s conniving mother, Klytämnestra, while German bass Wilhelm Schwinghammer makes his COC debut as her brother, Orest. Canadian tenor Michael Schade rounds out the cast, bringing his “crystal-clean intonation” and “even, forward-placed legato” (OperaWire) to Klytämnestra’s lover – and conspirator – Aegisth.

Strauss’ frenetically charged score forms the backbone of the opera, pressing the action forward to its grisly end and COC Music Director Johannes Debus leads the COC Orchestra in rising to the challenge. All performances of Elektra feature the COC Chorus, led by Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst.

Take some time out this winter season to explore all that the Canadian Opera Company has to offer.  They will be sure to keep you warm and toasty.

Elektra is sung in German and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents “Star Wars: A New Hope” (Wednesday January 23 – Saturday January 26, 2019) at Roy Thomson Hall


Be sure to catch Star Wars ‘A New Hope’ at Roy Thomson Hall for the ultimate pop up symphonic experience this upcoming weekend. New experiences are so important and being able to watch George Lucas’ epic ‘A New Hope’ on a big screen with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra playing the musical score underneath the film is not only nostalgic but it is also heart warming on a chilly winter’s night.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra gleams “John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage, and he remains one of North America’s most distinguished and contributive musical voices. He has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films, including all eight Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, etc.” He’s a giant when it comes to musical scores and well worth the ticket price to listen to his gorgeously composed music as performed by the likes of the Toronto Symphony.

Conductor, Sarah Hicks, is “noted in The New York Times as part of “’a new wave of female conductors in their late 20’s through early 40’s,” Sarah Hicks’s versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in “the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors’ according to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra”. She arrived onto the stage with a green light saber and was ready to demonstrate her conducting eloquence to an audience who was ready to roll out the welcome rug.  Hicks took charge of an emotional, energetic and beloved musical score without skipping a beat.

Be sure to catch one or all of the next Star Wars “A New Hope” performances this weekend. Don’t worry about snacks, popcorn and pints – The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will keep you toasty.  May the force be with you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:30pm

Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 7:30pm

Friday, January 25, 2019 at 7:30pm

Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 7:30pm

Ticket Giveaway: Toronto Tea Festival 2019: February 1, 2 & 3 2019 at the Toronto Reference Library

Whether you are a newbie or an aficionado of tea culture, the Toronto Tea Festival will enable you to discover the world of tea from the traditional to the trendy. You will be able to sample hundreds of teas and learn from experts in the industry at one of the complimentary presentations. Taste a variety of teas uniquely and exquisitely prepared by exhibitors; noting how the flavours may differ depending upon place of origin, processing techniques, and preparation styles. Shop for all your favourite tea wares, teas, and related products – this is the perfect opportunity to shop for your Valentine. Participate in the silent auction and enter the raffle. Experience the event to the fullest by engaging with the exhibitors and learning about all things tea.

The festival will take place Friday Feb 1, 2019 from noon- 7pm. The VIP event will take place from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  This is a separately ticketed event.

Be sure to catch the festival weekend dates on Saturday Feb 2 and Sunday Feb 3, 2019 between 10 am – 5 pm. Tell me what you think and send me photos if you do attend!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto Tea Festival 2019 Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook, Twitter, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email ( telling me what you are excited to see at #teafestTO by Wednesday January 30, 2019.

Cheers!  🙂