What if we carried our social media behaviors into ‘real’ life?

Would you be my friend? …  I’m going to follow you.  … poke poke poke …



Never thought about how truly bizarre or creepy our social networking behaviors would be in ‘real’ life.  Maybe that’s why this medium has been so difficult for traditional media, marketers and some individuals to wrap their heads around.

And what an interesting idea for an opera. Two Boys Opera played last June / July at London’s English National Opera.  As best I can tell, I can’t see it scheduled anywhere else at the moment, but would love to see it if anyone gets a line on where it’s playing next.


Emme xoxo

Out & About Covering the Arts Across North America

You may have noticed that despite this site bearing my name, our list of writers writing here is growing, this is partially as I have so many talented friends, like Brie and Rob Jones, who enjoy writing here; partly due to Ahimsa Media’s goal of fostering young storytellers, like Alyzee, Summer and Kelly; and as we are getting set to launch Roamancing, which will involve a number of storytellers, but has been temporarily delayed by the ups & downs that life throws at you.

With this, we have found our writers have spread out across North America for the summer, which means opportunities for us to cover the Arts beyond Vancouver.  While our core team will still be in and around Vancouver this summer, I (Emme) will be based in Southern Ontario, Hamilton to be specific, and Brie will be in LA.


Stacey Robinsmith and I at the Canadian Premiere of Nixon in China at the Vancouver Opera.


So if you have an arts event (theatre, music, fashion, food & beverage …) that you’d like one of our writers to attend and weave a tale around, fire me a note at emme@emmerogers.com and I will see if someone is eager and available.

As for me, you know I absolutely adore theatre, music, the opera … and would love to check out this scene in Ontario, along with looking forward to checking out the Gimli Film Festival for the first time in Manitoba in a little over a week’s time.

Brie loves theatre and music too, but she also adores dance and fashion, and with Young Master Mason and Little Miss Mason in the wings, I know would enjoy taking in some events that are suited to families with 9 – 12 year olds too.

Vancouver – you are already, of course, familiar with the types of storytelling that our Vancouver Cats, like Rob Jones and Alyzee Lakhani, are capable of for music and theatre.


Hanging with Ron Sexsmith & Rob Jones - two of my music legends.

Looking forwarding to sampling a few new flavours this summer.


Emme   xoxo

No Plans Tonight? Have You Considered a Date with Lillian Alling?

I do realize that none of us really know whats become of Lillian Alling, but I’m being dead serious (for once, I know).  You see it’s the final night of Lillian Alling at the Vancouver Opera and as was pointed out to me during the intermission on Thursday night, it is a very rare treat indeed to be able to enjoy a Canadian Opera and right now you have one more chance to enjoy this one, tonight, at the Vancouver Opera.

Now I am decidedly not going to divulge much of what to expect from the story of Lillian Alling, as that is certainly some of the beauty of this Opera.  Just be told that this is a story of Canadian beginnings and one that rings true to so many of our ancestors that came to this new land looking for a fresh start.  It was actually this at first that I wasn’t quite so sure of. I am so used to being whipped away at the Opera to foreign lands and adventures and with this set I saw the familiar.  Whilst initially not quite sure about this, this grew on me, especially as I was taken from Coast to Coast and throughout history.  I liked the sense of familiarity and knowledge that I belonged to this story. It also occurred to me that Lillian Alling beautifully depicts Canada and our history for the World Stage.

Photo by Tim Matheson

The sense of familiarity is what makes this an excellent Opera for an Opera Virgin, which my date for the evening was.  It allowed him his first taste of the Opera in an environment that he could relate to and where every experience was not completely alien to him. It also meant the majority of the Opera was in a language he could understand – English – which certainly reduces the anxiety of someone new to this form of Art.  So guys – a really good one to take your gals to and impress them on how culturally adventuresome you are.  I know my date did just that by being such an eager participant in the experience (he even wore a tux).

So the highlights for me?  Well as far as the story is concerned, the true tear jerking beauty that is the story that many a Canadian can relate to (not giving away any spoilers here) comes in Act II. And wow, what a rich Act it is.  Act I establishes the scene, but as is often done in Canadian literature, when it comes to trekking across this great country of ours, they do seem to let the journey lag a little.  Yes, we get it, it is a big country and a tremendously long journey. That said, I do see how that is important to the story and illustrating Lillian Alling’s determination.

Photo by Tim Matheson

Story aside, two real stars shone out for me in this Opera – the beautifully haunting music and Judith Forst (as Irene).  Wow!  To still be singing in the Opera in her 70s and to have a voice far superior to her younger counterpart in the role of Lillian on the stage.  Must say it really was a gift to see the beauty of experience over that of youth (which is so often valued on the stage).  An absolutely outstanding performance Judith, thank you for that.  And having learnt that the music of Irene was specifically created for Judith Forst, I must say, I am very intrigued to see who is cast in this role in the future and how they carry the role.

Finally I would be remiss in not mentioning a few of the male performances that I very much enjoyed.  Specifically that of Aaron St. Clair Nicholson as Scotty McDonald, and Thomas Goerz, who made a most believable Jozef.  Brilliant casting here.

So it’s not too late.  Show starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets are half price at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre box office between 12 pm – 4 pm today.

A Treat of Operatic Proportions: Lillian Alling

Looks like I am in for a treat tomorrow!!!

You see I’ve been invited to Fan Night at the Vancouver Opera for the World Premiere of Lillian Alling!  Can hardly wait!  As you know, I always relished going backstage at the Opera last season and seeing the magnificent sets and props, but Thursday night is bound to be equally special with a pre-Opera chat with Principal Répétiteur & Assistant Chorus Director Kinza Tyrrell.  Was privileged enough to attend a similar chat before Madama Butterfly last season and it really opened up the Opera to me in a whole new light.  And the best part is, this chat is not just for me, but all who partake in Fan Night at the Opera!

Photo by Tim Matheson

Now having just done a little research into Lillian Alling, the Opera itself, I’m even more excited.  You see I’m a huge history buff and being somewhat narcissistic, I especially salivate over history that somehow pertains to my existence, and this Opera definitely does that, and in a story of intrigue, mystery, survival and love.  A contemporary Opera that explores the journeys of new Canadians and the early settlers of BC. And Lillian is a Russian immigrant no less, yet another part of my history that buzzes at the edge of my brain (you do know that I either come from Russian aristocracy or a family of spies?).  Just listen to music overlaying this history of the real Lillian Alling and it will have you gripped on the edge of your seat salivating for more, at least thats what it does to me.

Very much looking forward to this and hopefully running into a few of you there too on Thursday night.  If not, you can still catch the final performance of Lillian Alling at the Vancouver Opera on Saturday October 23, 2010. Can’t wait!


Emme xoxo

PS A Lillian Alling Review from my ever so dashing hummingbird604 – Lillian Alliang World Premiere

PPS A few Lillian Alling Reviews from Lillian Alling Opening Night Bloggers:

A Van Sexy Review: Madama Butterfly – A Sad Farewell

For those of you that have been following along on my Opera Blogging, I bid a sad farewell to this season of the Vancouver Opera this past Thursday night.  And a very sad farewell it was, as the Opera in question, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, was a real tear jerker.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a great love for sec dec in the film world.  Well, after having received a much more intimate view of the Opera and what goes on behind the scenes, I must say the Opera puts film to shame.  The amount of planning, creativity and choreography that goes into creating the set at the Vancouver Opera is outstanding. They create wonderful pieces of art and that’s before you add the performers to the stage.

Photographed by Tim Matheson

The Vancouver Opera’s Madama Butterfly was no exception.  Quite the contrary.  It was the most emotionally evocative set of the season (for me, at least).  And this actually quite surprised me, as at first glance, it was somewhat reminiscent of a three ring circus. Married with the players and the music, this set transformed into one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever seen on the stage or the screen.  By the end of the first Scene, I was on the brink of tears, it was so beautiful.  Oh and as a little aside here, I loved that as this is a Japanese Opera, that the Japanese art of shadow puppetry was used to help set the scene, in LIFE SIZE!!!

All the credit cannot go to the set, however, as the musicians and the players created some of the most beautiful auditory experiences that I have ever had in the Opera.  And really such a treat, with Mihoko Kinoshita, arguably the premiere Madama Butterfly of her day, and the mouth watering James Valenti as Pinkerton, who has certainly begun to emerge as one of the Opera greats.

The experience was only added to, by the fact that I was invited to a pre-show talk with Assistant Stage Manager, Theresa Tsang.  This made it so much more interesting to understand why there were men dressed all in black, what the concentric rings were on the stage, and just how much attention the players had to pay to learning to move in a cultural appropriate manner for this Opera.  Have you ever tried to move like a geisha?  It’s damn hard.  Highly recommend you take in similar talks next season, if you get the opportunity.

Photographed by Tim Matheson

Perhaps what I love the most about the Opera though, is that it makes me reflect on my own life, my wants, my hidden desires, and my insecurities. Madama Butterfly was once again no exception to this. It is a tale of … for him: a relationship of convenience …. and for her: an escape from her present reality.  For her, she was swept off her feet into a seductive world, that came at the stake of loss to all she had known and her childhood ties, but with the promise for a better future. For him, she was an exotic trifle to entertain him until he could return to his own world.

As I watched, I was reminded that I’m getting older. I want a family and children.  I’ve had men that saw me as an exotic flavour parade themselves in front of me, presenting lavish gifts. My mind has wondered, am I being too picky?  I am, after all, getting older.  But I don’t want to find myself as the current day trifle or in a marriage of convenience. I want the real deal – a man that loves and respects me for me, not an unreal fantasy.  And that I feel the same way about. I don’t want to settle with good enough or with anyone that creates a rift or a disconnect between me and my family.

Photographed by Tim Matheson

Watching the last act unfold, broke my heart for Madama Butterfly, and reminded me how incredibly fortunate I am to have grown up in the country and with the family that I have. I am any mans equal and am unlikely ever to be presented with the sort of predicament that Madama Butterfly found herself in.

Perhaps one of the greatest victims of the situation, however, was the new Mrs. Pinkerton.  What horror to discover your husband already married and his disregard for his first wife as simply a delectable trifle that came with a work apartment abroad. What guilt to take the only thing of love this first wife had left, even if it was for the best for the child.  What would I do if I was faced with such a predicament?  Could I continue to be with a man that was such a coward or with such little regard for the mother of his child?

Certainly makes one think …


Emme xoxo

PS This season of the Vancouver Opera is not quite over. There are still performances of Madama Butterfly tonight and on Thursday June 8th.