Archive for the ‘August 2014’ Category

jumping clapping man

Underrated. Forgotten. Neglected. Unknown.

Call them what you will. Re-discovering such divas has always been the pride of Opera Queens the world round, just like hipster punks staking their claim on discovering the coolest, unknown bands. But, back in the day it took the divining powers to wade through the sea of “pirates”! Today, we all know a quick click on youtube takes us places that it would require months of recording research to get to in the past.

So, I’m pleased to share a series of some notable, and some great “would be stars today” divas, suffering from varying degrees of neglect in posterity. No, I’m not talking about Gencer, Cerquetti, Souliotis, or Deutekom…they’re too easy, and hardly forgotten any longer. I’m focusing on dramatic and spinto sopranos (plus a bonus mezzo and baritone), billed by me as Divas With Cojones! Since they are among the rarest operatic fachs

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Trash Treasures of New York City

If you’ve seen, read or heard of “Mommie Dearest,” you know Joan Crawford is infamous for physically and verbally abusing her four adopted children. It’s a bit of a chilling story. So when I went on a Park Avenue garbage removal job and found (what I think are) 1966 signed head shots and a news clipping documenting her daughter’s wedding, in which she was the matron of honor, I was a pretty fascinated.

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Girls Do Film

What Ever Happened To Baby JaneWhat Ever Happened To Baby Jane_

This post is part of the Diamonds & Gold blogathon, hosted by Caftan Woman and Wide Screen World. There are so many wonderful entries, be sure to have a read of them!

They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

An oft-used cliche, especially when it comes to classic film, but one that applies in so many ways to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Robert Aldrich’s much-loved, cult classic. So much of Baby Jane is a product of its time, from the well-developed roles for older actress to the female-dominated cast and the well publicised spat between the two leading ladies, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It’s impossible to imagine a film like this being made today: two ‘older’ actress, one who clearly isn’t looking her best, embroiled in a battle of psychological wills that doesn’t stem from a love triangle or a broken relationship.

What Ever Happened To Baby JaneWhat Ever Happened To Baby Jane

The movie…

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The Homeless Adjunct

Put simply, universities traditionally have pursued a three-prong mission: 1) to provide excellent educational opportunities, 2) to support scholarly research and study, and 3) to encourage both professional and community service.

There has been a lot written recently about how the adjunct situation has negatively impacted our students’ education – and this blog will be addressing that extensive problem in a future post. But it is the second of the three-prong mission I’d like to talk about now, since I’m not seeing as much attention focused on this equally serious problem.

The adjunct labor abuse problem is becoming more widely reported: Seventy-five percent of America’s college faculty earn less than $25, 000 a year. Often hired one semester at a time with no healthcare or retirement benefits, paid per course an average of $2700, faculty are now academia’s migrant workers.

Historically, it has been the responsibility of our institutions of…

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Radvanovsky: Humble Servant

Posted: August 1, 2014 in August 2014


Tonight at Koerner Hall, Sondra Radvanovsky offered a self-portrait in her recital as part of Toronto Summer Music Festival. It’s not just a huge coup for TSM & Artistic Director Douglas McNabney, the highest profile artist to appear there this summer, but also the most impressive concert I’ve heard so far this year, both for its musical values and the warmth generated in the hall.

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky

Radvanovsky showed different sides of herself, winning a roomful of new friends. Music & drama aside, she is a hugely likeable figure without the pretentiousness that sometimes goes with recital singing.  At times she was having so much fun, we could have been watching a comedienne.

Hmm i wonder if she will try a comic role..?

But this self-portrait showed someone happily settling into her Canadian home, to an audience ready to eat up any and every reference to that relationship.  It…

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