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Hello lovelies, thanks for stopping by today. I've been expanding my horizons and have published an article in Panoram Italia Magazine. It's a profile on Bruno Billio, a sculptor and designer who is the current artist in residence at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. I had a great time interviewing Bruno in his surreal work/living space at the hotel. Spending time with people who so fully live and breathe their art is truly an amazing thing.
Nicole Cabell, the un-diva opera star, returns to Palm Beach for “Romeo et Juliette”
By Lawrence A. Johnson
At a time when opera presenters are doing all they can to appear more populist and approachable, one reads countless examples of singers showing how down to earth they are by doing public appearances and meeting their fans — usually for brief CD signings — in an attempt to show they’re just folks like the rest of us.
Meryl Streep is known for completely enveloping herself in her characters, capturing their nuances, speech patterns and personalities. In her films, she's transformed herself into such disparate people as the chef Julia Child, the writer Susan Orlean and plutonium-plant worker Karen Silkwood, winning countless honors and awards along the way.
In her latest film, the biopic The Iron Lady, Streep once again fully inhabits a real-world figure — this time former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Her performance has already won her a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination, and has earned rave reviews from critics, including Charles McGrath in The New York Times, who wrote that Streep "seems even more Thatcher-like than Mrs. Thatcher."
As with all of her roles, Streep conducted extensive research about Thatcher's life before filming began. She learned that Thatcher carried around notecards with quotations from Lincoln and Shakespeare, and that she took voice lessons to sound more confident in her speech patterns." I remember reading that Lawrence Olivier had something to do with arranging for her to have [voice lessons]," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "He said he wouldn't care to do it himself, but he steered her in the direction of a good vocal coach. And she did go, and it did help her and and was part of the Pygmalion process."
Here at Art Life and Stilettos, we're always trying out new things. Our latest venture is a series called Art Life and Stilettos Live. It's going to be a series of interviews streamed live, direct to you, the loyal viewer. Since this is the first time we're trying it out, there may be a few bugs, so please bare with us. Oh, and you can find out about an exciting contest we're running at the end of this post!
Author Gale Martin
Our first interview will take place live at 11:00am est (there's a countdown reminder above), with the fabulously talented author, Gale Martin. She has written a novel about a topic that is dear to my heart...opera! The book is set in Hankey, Pennsylvania, and is a funny and romantic piece of fiction that takes you behind the scenes at a small town opera company. You're invited to participate in what's supposed to be a world-class production of Mozart's Don Giovanni (hence the book title), as a gang of misfits that include determined flirts, a lusty singing gaucho, ingenious manipulators, a bipolar ketchup heiress, devious lovers, and some very determined ghosts - try to save their opera house from foreclosure. Don't worry, there's a love story too.
Big News!!! Gale has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of her book to one lucky reader. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment below. I'll throw in two more contest entries if you "like" Gale Martin and Art Life and Stilettos on Facebook.
Diana Di Mauro and Mark S. Doss - Photo by Charles Leonio
In the third part of my interview with Mark S. Doss I tried to have some fun with him, asking a series of short answer questions. We talked about his idols, favourite performers, and his aspirations. He told me about the difficulty involved with being an opera singer and how his work has changed over the last twenty-five years.
Thanks again Mark!
Please enjoy the last installment of my three part interview with Mark S. Doss, filmed at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto
Mark S. Doss and Diana Di Mauro - Photo by Charles Leonio
After months of work, I'm finally ready to reveal the latest addition to Art Life and Stilettos. I will be featuring video interviews and features on artists and events alongside my coverage and musings on all things artistic, fashionable and opera related. My first interview features bass baritone Mark S. Doss, the wonderful singer who is performing this month as Thoas in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride at the Canadian Opera Company. It is a three part interview discussing Mark's work, his role preparation and life as an opera singer. Mark is a really interesting individual with many stories to tell and decades of experience in the industry. His sense of style (love the pocket square), matches his his rich and powerful voice perfectly, and it was a real treat having the opportunity to sit down and chat with him. Go hear him in Iphigenie this month while you can.
What I had intended to be a short interview, grew into a three-part introspective feature on Mark and his work. In this first part Mark talked to me about his current role as Thoas in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride at the Canadian Opera Company before talking about other Kings and larger than life characters from other operas. From the devil to John the Baptist, Mark has played a huge variety of larger than life characters. He also told me a bit about his life before he became an opera singer, which had little to do with music.
Please enjoy part one of my three part interview with Mark S. Doss, filmed at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.
The series features The Beatles' digitally remastered recordings and exclusive new interviews with a variety of artists and producers as they reveal the influence of The Beatles on their individual careers. In Part Two you will be treated to stories from Brian Wilson, Tom Petty, Dave Grohl, Slash, Bob Seger, T-Bone Burnett and many others.
Probably one of the most down to earth celebrities in Hollywood, local actress Rachel McAdams talks to Sally Singer in the January issue of Vogue about her private life. Some highlights of her day include practicing Kundalini Yoga at four-thirty in the morning, taking part in a knife-skills class at Good Egg in Kensington Market, and riding her bike around Toronto.
Rachel McAdams, the dazzling Canadian star of Sherlock Holmes, gives Sally Singer a peek into her very private life.
Photographed by Mario Testino. Excerpted from Vogue.com
Even if you haven't heard enough about Twilight, you might be interested in these interviews about the soundtrack to the second film installment New Moon. Featuring music from Thom Yorke, Muse, DeathCabforCutie, and BlackRebel Motorcycle Club, in Director Chris Weitz's words, this is the "break-up album of all time."