Rather prominent in our culture

Last week’s announcement that the Santa Fe Opera has commissioned The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs has ignited a debate about opera commissions. People either whinced at its “immediately clichéd” subject and asinine title, or they welcomed the choice of a first-time opera composer, Bay Area-based Mason Bates, whose compositions often include electronics. Do we need an opera about a dead white billionaire?

My mother says I should “be more subtle”

Richard Wagner could have been a supervillain. Sitting in a cloud of rose oil on flamingo feather rugs, he was an egotistical dandy and a greedhead with a Rottweiler’s instinct for weakness, and he built a lair. So whatever he might have thought about the fuss for the bicentennial of his birth in 2013, we can only be certain of one thing — that it would not have been enough. The rest at CBC Music

Rob Ford, the opera

Rob Ford, The Opera premiered last month in a one-off production to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Student Composer Collective at the University of Toronto. The audience had not come for opera, but for ideas and relief, and the MacMillan Theatre at the faculty of music was unprepared for the need. Ford supporters were not obvious in a line that crowded the lobby, the hallways and the bathrooms, gleefully anticipating the skewering their controversial mayor was about to receive, like a voodoo doll, in absentia. Read the whole piece at cbcmusic.ca