This is a blog mainly focussed on classical vocal music; opera, art song and choral. I try to cover more than just the standard grand opera, symphonic and recital repertoire. If there’s an interesting new music, genre bending or fusion project that intersects with my mainstream interests I’m up for it. I’ve been running the blog since August 2010 when I started it as a writing project with no expectation that anyone much would read it. Much to my surprise it proved quite popular and now gets up to 8000 hits/month. It’s also got me a certain amount of recognition which means I get to see a lot more shows than I could ever afford to go to and even the occasional writing gig beyond the blog. I’ve appeared in several COC and other podcasts and written reviews and features for Opera Canada magazine.
In terms of live performance, my beat is mainly Toronto. You will find me at the COC, the TSO when it makes sense, the University and the Conservatory and at the smaller opera and genre defying companies that make the Toronto scene so intriguing. I also review recordings. There are well over 500 DVD and Blu-ray reviews, ranging from standard rep to contemporary opera, and about 150 CD reviews, heavily focussed on new music and emerging artists, on this site.
Over time, this blog has expanded to cover some other aspects of theatre arts; especially where there is an intersection of the classical arts and Indigenous Performance. I am immensely grateful to my First Nations and Métis friends for the invaluable help and encouragement they have given me along the difficult road of learning, however inadequately, to engage with the complex set of issues this involves.
Opera Ramblings is written in that part of T’karonto which was once part of what we now call Lake Ontario. It’s the traditional territory of the the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishanabek First Nations, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit. It’s covered by the Dish with One Spoon Treaty and Treaty 13 between the Crown and the Mississauga. I feel immensely privileged to live and work on land where people have created art for thousands of years.
Should you feel moved to contact me by email, I’m jgilks AT rogers DOT com.
The title banner image shows Alan Oke in Tim Albery’s production of Britten’s Peter Grimes that took place on (freezing) Aldeburgh beach in 2013. The image is cropped from a vidcap from the Blu-ray recording. The picture of me at the top of the page was taken at Inti Pinku looking back to Macchu Picchu.