By Ian Kyer
Don Giovanni is considered one of the greatest operas of all time. The French composer Charles Gounod referred to is as “that unequalled and immortal masterpiece.” Virtually all of the lavish praise bestowed on this masterpiece is praise for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, its composer, but Don Giovanni is the work of two creative geniuses, not just one. The librettist Lorenzo da Ponte often does not get his fair share of the credit for this work. Da Ponte was quite a character. He was a fallen cleric, a womanizer and a gambler who regularly wore out his welcome in the cities where he worked (a character not unlike Don Giovanni himself). But there can be no doubt that he knew how to write for the opera. His other work for Mozart included The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte.
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The honeybees that live on the roof of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts have a great view, but they’re probably too busy to notice it. Beekeeper Fred Davis reports that about 150 pounds of honey have been collected so far from the Four Seasons Centre hives. One thing he’s noticed is that the honey that has been produced this year is darker and this indicates that it's gathered more from flowering trees and bushes and less from flowers. This same darker honey is being gathered from other downtown Toronto hives as well.
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2014/2015 marks quite a season for Russell Braun! The
Toronto-based, internationally acclaimed baritone
performed a full summer of concerts and recitals across North America and Europe, then made his role
debut as Ford in the COC's production of Falstaff in the fall –
and now he takes on Mozart’s legendary womanizer, Don Giovanni.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001