The power of dramatic irony in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia

Dramatic irony is one of those storytelling techniques we all learn about in high school, and I haven’t thought about it much since then – except to enjoy it, when it’s used effectively, and even then, I don’t sit there and think, “This is a really great example of dramatic irony.” But I’ve been thinking…

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The enduring appeal of the Carmen archetype

This Saturday, on CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, I’ll be presenting a Canadian Opera Company production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, starring soprano Rinat Shaham. Carmen is an opera that’s impossible not to love. It’s not for nothing it’s one of the most popular operas of all time. And Carmen herself is a big…

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The Cunning Little Vixen

When I was a kid, like many kids, the stories I loved best were the ones with talking animals, from Louis the swan in The Trumpet of the Swan, to the rabbits in Watership Down, to a certain frog named Kermit. There’s something undeniably magical about looking at the human world through the eyes of animals….

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