A new arts blog

Hi folks. This is a new arts blog I’ve started. It’ll be mostly random writing on shows I’m seeing and as well as other stuff.

Recently we saw Pacific Opera Victoria’s Rattenbury by Tobin Stokes and Madwoman of Chaillot, staged by UVic’s theatre department.

I loved the idea of Rattenbury (it’s about Victoria architect Francis Rattenbury, who designed the Empress and the B.C parliament buildings) more than the opera itself. Stokes is a talented fellow – but the music didn’t appeal to me. This may just be my conservative taste – I’m a big Puccini/Verdi fan.  The cast, which included tenor Richard Margison, was solid though.I’m glad POV staged this and apparently they sold out the run.

Madwoman of Chaillot also wasn’t a favourite. The direction by Conrad Alexandrowicz was good and  the set /costumes were terrific. However, this  1940s play by Jean Giraudoux didn’t appeal to me at all – it seemed stiff and dated. It’s a puzzler, and the script was extremely well reviewed at the time. Do you ever go to the theatre and feel you’re completely missing something in a show that’s been acclaimed? That was my experience.

I also caught Kaleidoscope Theatre’s 88 Keys on Saturday night, a fund-raiser for the company featuring performances of show-tunes. The standout was soprano Anna Shill. This young woman knows how to sing – great projection and acting ability too. I hope Pacific Opera uses her in an upcoming show…!

PS – did you see Onegin at the Belfry? That was one of the best shows I’ve seen there – definitely top 10 in the last few decades.

Stay tuned for occasional thoughts on plays and what not.





5 thoughts on “A new arts blog

  1. I’m so pleased that you are doing this blog Adrian –

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Welcome to a ‘working retirement’, Adrian!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great Addition to local scene. Could not agree more with your comments about Onegin and Anna!


  4. Onegin was amazing and an fine example of stellar story telling in an most excellent environment. Hire the best talent for your work and the rest will take care of itself provided you have great collaboration/direction and music to support . What I loved about this production is that it was mature and still fresh. A testament to the development process we rarely get in Canada except for the big players.

    The Phoenix show [at UVic} was too hit and miss for me. Great production values but the actors are too uneven given the aggressive material they are exploring which surprises me considering the mentor’s they have available. That said, it is a training program and deserves support and I have enjoyed work in the past.

    Rattenbury, well, I am not an opera fan, but I am a Tobin fan. I liked his music and the maid was the strongest. I found to hard to believe in the relationship between Alma and Ratz.(A chemistry thing; certainly not a skill issue.) The small space with terrible sight lines is also a challenge. I found the sound overwhelming at times and I had difficulty hearing the words! And it was in English! Give me more strong musical theatre thanks.

    88 Keys. A joy! Simple, gentle and killer singers! Anna is a true star and huge heart. I look forward to working with her on some project in the future.

    My comments are just observations and I trust will not offend.


  5. Heather E Jeliazkov November 20, 2017 — 9:56 pm

    I look forward to reading more of your idle thoughts AC!


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