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Il Trovatore at the Opéra de Montréal

I’ve reached the point where I will forgive an opera almost anything if the music is beautiful enough and there are one or two spectacular singers. Which is very much the case here, not only with Soprano Hiromi Omura’s Leonora, who has the entire audience in the palm of her hand, but also with the darker figure of Azucena, sung by the thrilling Italian mezzo Laura Brioli.


On the Road to Métis I: Lévis to Kamouraska

It’s lunchtime, and the Café du clocher (88 av. Morel, Kamouraska), has a dozen or more tables in pretty tablecloths set out on the grass overlooking the St. Lawrence (there are tables indoors, as well). A gentleman has a basket of chanterelles he picked that morning in the woods nearby, and he’s selling them for $12 a pound. He has a guitar with him, and he sits down to play and sing as you sit down to an al fresco lunch of salad, smoked Kamouraska lamb and some of the local smoked fish.

Photo: Linda Leith

                  
From Yan Liang: Ai Weiwei's Disappearance

After 60 years of absolute power, the Chinese Communist Party is more fragile than the world thinks – and has trouble dealing with any criticism or challenge, especially from its own people.

 

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