Category: Features

Plus Ça Change: Charity Muggers And Frisky Teenagers

Here’s part of a piece Miss Mussel had in The Toronto Star last week about what certain Christmas carol lyrics are really talking about. Wassailing: Essentially an excuse for a booze-up, wassailing is a type of Christmas trick-or-treating/extortion. Peasants would…

Opera Goes Down t’ Pit

The Ensemble Studio from Canadian Opera Company has just completed a 9,068 km education tour through Ontario and Quebec sponsored by globing mining giant Xstrata. View Larger Map In addition to playing schools all throughout Ontario and Quebec, the tour…

The Thing About Full Body Scans

is that they are mostly a waste of resources and passengers’ time. Update: Here’s a NY Times OpEd making this point with much more authority. One of Miss Mussel’s other gigs is writing for an aviation security trade mag. The…

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Interview Extras

Earlier this summer Miss Mussel interviewed French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Here are some of the bits that didn’t make it into the original story. You were a treble for many years as a child. Did your parents get you into…

COC Now In The Standing Room Club

Here’s the text of a piece Miss Mussel wrote for the Toronto Star last week about the Canadian Opera Company’s new standing room. Well, the un-macheted text. A nicely crafted dig at unnecessary panic and the truthiness of Wikipedia [author’s…

Jackie Evancho And The Ghosts Of Angels Past

(originally posted on Culture Monster) While you’re waiting to see if Jackie Evancho makes it through to the finals on America’s Got Talent (and Miss Mussel knows you all are), feast your ears on these other pint-sized wonders. Julie Andrews…

The Girl Wonder?

Miss Mussel has a piece in the LA Times today on 10-year old singer Jackie Evancho, who is a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent. The most curious part of the whole story for at this point is the change in…

Les Bibliothécairs S’Amusent

When the students are away, the librarians will play. With, it seems, increasingly excellent production values The crew at Washington University practice their Poker Face(s) From The Harold B. Lee library at Brigham Young University in Utah, ladies and gents,…

Rufus Wainwright Interview Extras

Reader Matthew reminded Miss Mussel that she promised a few week ago to post the extra bits from her LA Times piece on Rufus Wainwright. Clearly the humidity is causing Ms Mussel’s already scattered brain to file more items than…

‘Friend Of Dorothy’ Fiddle

A friend of a friend ended up buying a violin from Reinhard Goebel, founder of the now defunct Musica Antiqua Köln. When the new owner opened the case, he found that someone had indulged in a delightfully ribald spot of…

Want Your Classical(ish) CD/DVD/Book Reviewed?

In our corner of the universe, August is a dead zone. We laze about the garden, rediscover that it is possible read for pleasure and find ourselves unable to live without daily updates on the latest baby zoo animal. Miss…

Un-Unfollow?

Miss Mussel like most things and has, as such, a broad range of tastes. Monster trucks have a certain appeal, for example, as do acrylic paintings, the ballet and chili-flavoured truffles. A long-time resident in the Do-Not-Like column is the…

Glissando Wars: Counterstrike

Alex Ross has a list of his top ten glisses over at Unquiet Thoughts. Most of them are pretty cool although there is one glaring omission. Ladies and gents, spare a thought for Lassus Trombone. This novelty, composed by Henry…

Calculus For Singers

Actually, it’s probably more like actuarial science but never mind. Kim Witman from Wolf Trap Opera is doing guest posts around the intertubes as part of the 2010 season launch announcement. Miss Mussel has been mulling for some time about…

Banging Our Heads Against The Wall

Anne Midgette brings news of the truly appalling state of classical music record sales in America. Searching for additional adjectives has proved to be rather futile. All that is coming to mind is shock. Miss Mussel knew it was bad,…

Stalin & Me

Thanks to a video featuring Michael Tilson Thomas and posted by Patty, Miss Mussel has discovered that she and Stalin have something in common. Thankfully, it is not the mustache. While Miss Mussel favours the Chick Corea/Bobby McFerrin version, really…

Tribond

Remember that board game where you were given a list of three things and then you had to guess what they had in common? Well we’re playing here at the OM and it’s your turn. Put your guesses in the…

Everything You Thought You Knew Is Wrong

No, seriously. Miss Mussel has been collecting news items over the last few weeks that are perfect for facilitating conversations with [read: pushing the buttons of] your Christmas dinner companions. After all, there’s nothing better for strengthening family relations than…

Unsilent Night – Cambridge – 2009

Monday was Unsilent Night in Miss Mussel’s corner of the universe. The crowd that gathered to stroll through the town centre was rather large although only one in ten had any sort of audio device. Mere Mussel’s best efforts were…