An Opera Lover’s Experience Visiting the Sydney Opera House

sydney-opera-houseThe readers of this blog know I am a huge performing arts enthusiast willing to travel the world to experience art in its many forms. I am not denying that Toronto has its own charm, its own vibrant arts community, but oh how I wanted to go to Australia, to fulfill a life long dream of visiting the Sydney Opera House. I had been dreaming about the trip for most of my life and I wanted it so badly that I wasn’t going to be choosy about the performance. I will admit that I had my preferences and my fingers were crossed when I went online to see about tickets. I only had that small window of time to travel from Toronto to Sydney, so I was at the mercy of Lady Fate.

Every now and then Fate does smile, and here I was buying tickets for one of my top ten favorite operas in the world. Bizet’s Carmen has always been on my list of performances that I absolutely must see and to see it at the most recognizable building in Australia was the pinnacle of sheer elation. Carmen, of course, is one of Bizet’s most famous works and centers on a beautiful and fickle gypsy girl, Carmen. It never fails to amaze me that when Bizet first premiered this opera to French audiences it was largely panned. At the time, no one cared for an opera where the main character has such moral failings and also dies. Continue Reading →

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Metropolitan Opera on Demand Service

met-operaIf you love to watch operas, but do not have the ability to enjoy them up close and personal then you will want to experience Metropolitan Opera On Demand. Even if you live in the mountains of Chattanooga, Tennessee or in the San Francisco Bay area you can still enjoy the latest operas as if you are at a prestigious New York City opera house. Perhaps you are waiting to catch a flight in the Orlando International Airport in Florida and want some refreshing entertainment. With this service you will be able to view hundreds of your favorite opera shows on your computer or even your iPad. The best part is that you can watch them anytime you want, because they’re on demand! The technology is easy to use and you can watch the operas on just about any device. So now there is no excuse. Continue Reading →

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How To Become An Opera Singer

Luciano-PavarottiI love working with kids at the local high schools as they put on their musicals. Once they know I have a deep background in the performing arts and regularly attend operas, I am often asked what it takes to become an opera singer. Becoming an opera singer is a long journey for anyone who loves to sing. The opera is an interesting place that requires a great deal of training. Just as people in the orchestra need training to become excellent musicians, opera singers must have training and experience. The process involves several steps, and you should follow each one as closely as possible to have the best chance of achieving your goals. Continue Reading →

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There’s A New Play Coming To You Called “The Hunter”

Of course I love to go to the Ballet, the Theater and the Opera, and do so frequently. But I don’t just make a point of going to the huge international productions, like Gizelle, I also like some small local productions as well and go to as many of those as I can.

In fact I think I enjoy the local productions more than the big international productions sometimes.Certainly it’s much cheaper to go to the small local productions, something which is always worth keeping in the back of your mind, because some of the blockbuster productions are now getting seriously expensive.

So I thought I’d write about a small local production that I saw recently. It was one I was a little hesitant to go to as I wasn’t quite sure about the subject, however I ended up enjoying it hugely. I had to put off another appointment to go, as I had a clash of dates, however I am now very glad that I’ve put off the other appointment. It was well worth going.

It was a production called “The Hunter” and it was about a deer hunter who spent most of his time in the woods. The man had gone from being a recreational camper and hunter to the point where it had almost become an obsession with him and he spent almost all of his time in the woods hunting deer.

There was one particularly powerful scene where he sharpened his best hunting knife to butcher a deer, and it was full of all sorts of hidden meaning.

The play was a psychological thriller. It was extremely well done despite the fact that it only had one person acting out the part as the Hunter.

In fact I believe the person who wrote the play also played the part, and he wrote the play specifically for himself to play the part.

The audience got a real insight into the psychology of the Hunter and what made him tick. You got all sorts of insights into his thinking about why he didn’t want to take part in normal society any more and how being out in the woods all by himself hunting deer provided him with the psychological rewards that he needed.

I was extremely impressed firstly that one person could write such a captivating play focusing purely around one single actor. I was also very impressed that a small local company would take a play such as this and allow it to be performed in their own small local theater.

It’s certainly a niche play, and in fact I’d almost describe it, in movie terms, as a horror movie. It certainly had elements of horror and at times the audience reacted quite strongly to some of the scenes, particularly the scene where he butchered the deer with his hunting knife.

Whilst I love the big international productions it’s refreshing to see the small local productions taking niche ideas like this and turning them to wonderful onstage performances that you would never see in a large national theater.

I can highly recommend it to anyone if it comes near you.

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Could YouTube Bring More Canadian Music To the States?

Why its awesome to buy youtube views
Anyone who has been listening to music radio in Canada in their lives have certainly noticed that there are some standards that are used for getting more Canadian content on the radio. There’s a good potential that YouTube could help to get much of this content out into the United States and other countries.

It is fascinating for all to explore. This could really be interesting to spot because there’s a real potential for YouTube to bring more Canadian artists out there. This is a means of making it easier for Canadian work to be visible and to get others to explore the culture that Canada has to offer.

What Are These Rules?

The regulation of Canadian content on radio in this country is important to see. Cancon requirements state that about 35% of all content is Canadian in some way. Two of the four points of music should be Canadian-based in order for it to be interested as Canadian content. These four points involve the music, the artist, the producer and the lyrics. For instance, if the producer and the person who wrote the lyrics are both Canadian then it will qualify as content that meets these Cancon standards.

These rules are critical for use because stations that don’t play enough Canadian content can be suspended or fined. This can be rather bothersome but at the same time it has to be used with care to ensure that the right information is covered. YouTube can be used to get this content out there to more people outside of Canada.

How YouTube Can Help

YouTube could help to get all this Canadian content to really become more prevalent in places outside Canada. Part of this includes hawking this music in the United States to a much larger audience.

YouTube can work by having a station or record label come out and set up its own YouTube channel. This channel can then have lots of music videos and streaming links for use. These links will be easier to access if they are promoted right and have the right series of keywords attached to them. After all, having basic keywords to state what the music is like works better than just listing the name of an artist that someone might not be all that familiar with.

How To Get Them Visible

It’s clear that tags and keywords have to be used to state that the music being highlighted is of a certain form. This is to make the music more accessible and easier to find through a typical search. If it is done the right way then it will not be all that hard for anyone to manage.

Also, a plan to pay for YouTube views may also help but this option to pay for YouTube views will have to be done carefully. Much of this involves figuring out the right number of views to get in order to make the work a little easier to spot in any case.

YouTube could be useful with regards to getting more Canadian music out to the masses. This could really expand anyone’s horizons when it comes to entertainment.

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My Medical Alert System is Required for Man Cave Opera Watching

Living alone is difficult. Every small task seems like a chore. I miss having my wife around. Since her death almost five years ago, I do not have anyone to share the small moments of my life. My sons are very supportive. They call me every day and are always available for help. However, they live 90 miles away and lead very busy lives. Initially, they wanted me to move to an assisted care facility or an apartment in their city. They were worried about my health and safety, especially after I suffered from two mild heart attacks last year.

While I knew the severity of my condition, moving out of the house was unacceptable. I wasn’t keen on moving to a new location at this age and adjusting to a new lifestyle. The biggest hindrance, however, was my passion for opera.

Apart from live shows, I also enjoy watching operas on DVD and use the streaming service from Metropolitan on Demand. I converted my basement into a man cave. I came across many good man cave ideas at this website where there are many manly themes and products to choose from. I found my recliner, cool bean bags, home bar and several baseball themed man cave items. My man cave is really a manly home theatre room with an eclectic mix of baseball and opera décor. It is the only gift I have given myself over the years, and leaving it was almost unimaginable.

My sons understood my love for opera. However, they worried about my safety, especially when I spent time in the basement. Although I have a comfortable set up with bright walls and plush carpet, the telephone company was unable to fix a phone line there. Cell phone connectivity is poor as well. I did not have means to contact anyone, including 911, from my man cave in case of an emergency. This bothered my family members, especially after my second heart attack, and they often discouraged me from going into the basement. It was depressing to say the least. I wanted a product that would help me enjoy opera shows on my home theatre, while providing access to emergency care. A friend told me about medical alert systems and suggested I look at some reviews and find one to suit my needs. It wasn’t long before I decided on Life Alert.

The medical alert system consists of a base station that is hooked to the phone line on the main level of my house. The base station has a help button. The service provider also gave me a detachable help button that I wear around my neck, especially when I am away from the base station in my man cave. I can simply press the button in case on an emergency. The base station will notify the monitoring agent and send help to my doorstep in minutes.

The medical alert system has changed the way I watch operas in my man cave. I do not worry about emergencies any more. It seems like old times when I focused on the show completely. My sons are happy as well. Although they are not close, they know I am safe. The service is reasonably priced and worth every cent I pay for it. Thanks to my medical alert system, I can continue to live in this house for many more years to come, and enjoy my favorite operas.

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Win Tickets to “Evil Dead: The Musical” by Hanging out with Phlebotomists

I love all types of music. Theatres, operas, and even open stage performances. They’re all awesome. Heck, I’ve even driven all the way to Winnipeg from Toronto just to witness a play at a local university.

But combining music with your favorite horror and fantasy movies is the ultimate experience!

Well, I did some browsing, and it turns out that there’s an “Evil Dead: The Musical” show being put on. Perfect! I’m a huge fan of my man Ash, so I was about to purchase a ticket for me and a friend. But I noticed there was a promotion saying that some trained phlebotomists are in the area and they are having a special donation drive. Individuals who are willing to donate blood will receive tickets for the musical.

I donate blood every year, and this year, I haven’t yet. So… why not?

I lined up to donate blood at the comic book store in Henderson. For me, I was already able to help out, and at the same time get free tickets to the musical I so wanted to see.

Why This Promotion is so Cool

I find the initiative rather creative. Who would have thought that blood drawing and a musical can be tied up together? Of course, not all people are interested in getting their blood drawn; they just went to watch the musical. However, the purpose of the organization is made clear – it is important to donate blood once in a while.

For one, the blood donated can save a life.

Also, studies have shown that periodic drawing of blood is actually healthy. This is the reason why I have kept doing this for many years now. Of course, I wouldn’t want just anybody to draw the blood from me, with all the scary stories of unclean needles, blood related diseases and such. But the phlebotomists who visited for the blood drive were all professionals who took phlebotomy classes in Las Vegas.

After the experience, I said to myself: ‘I hope they do this in every show that I want to watch.’ Then again, I only have limited blood in my body as compared to the number of shows that I watch each year. I am no critic. As a matter of fact, I enjoy even the most unprepared presentations. It’s just who I am. I get thrilled every time I hear music.

The special blood drive is the first that I have seen. There were strategies wherein the potential audience can purchase a certain product, and they will be given tickets for raffle. But a blood drive? I think this is a genius idea. It is something positive towards the community. As a matter of fact, the organizers behind this activity found it very successful as there were many who actually lined up to donate blood. The next time this type of event comes up? I would willingly donate blood, regardless whether I will be watching a musical or not.

Oh, and Ash? Apparently, he has the voice of an angel. Who knew, right?

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