Round Robins and Conversational Crows

Bad iPhone Photo of the view on the way to the restaurant

Bad iPhone Photo of the view on the way to the restaurant

A fine conference here in Banff. We ended this morning, so I am now officially on vacation. I was very proud to exchange ideas and opinions with Canada’s Opera giants in a place that has fostered some of our nation’s greatest artists.

Yesterday afternoon was particulary invigorating. We participated in something called a ‘conversation cafe’ that involved a series of group discussions, and then challenged us to commit our own ideas about the future of opera in Canada to paper. (Sidebar…simply writing the word ‘Canada’ makes me feel proud). At one point, as we were all silently writing away, two of the noisiest crows I’ve ever heard began their own dialogue. I felt like they too were sharing a universal thread, in a language not of distinct words, but shared ideas and intent. It was a really inspiring day that ended with workshop presentations of new opera works.

Tapestry is an extraordinary Toronto company that produces a season of electric new opera at affordable prices. Collectively, they knocked my socks off this weekend – both because of the charm and graciousness of their staff, and with the unbelievable excerpt they presented last night from a new opera that examines the sex trade and human trafficking. I intend to catch their season, and I hope you’ll join me. Let’s make going to the opera a hot thing to do again!

The human voice is the most primal instrument, and I believe it has the greatest power to express the human experience. If you’ve never witnessed opera live before, I would challenge you to do this, preferably with an innovative new company where you will have a more intimate encounter. Breathtaking!

Tonight an early dinner at the Raven’s Loft here at the Centre and then a stroll into town for a movie date with my boss. Tomorrow an early hike up the side of the mountain (which is less intense than it sounds) before heading back to the Calgary airport where I will meet my friends for the next leg of my Alberta adventure.

Today is the birthday of one of my favourite Canadians. I’ll give you three guesses who that is…




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Rachelle
    August 16, 2009 / 8:42 pm

    Leonard Cohen no doubt!!!!!

    • Schnoo
      August 16, 2009 / 11:49 pm

      Nope. Younger than LC!