Page 1

Gay & Lesbian

City Living | february 2014

Pope positive: Will the Catholic Church warm up to gays?

Canadian opera diva Adrianne PieczonkA

TRAVEL

AprĂˆs ski in Colorado Rustic charm on Toronto Islands

the

Style File

+

Fashion for all seasons

New HBO series Looking a gay Sex and the City?

01.INTO.Cover.indd 1

Get out > events for february

24/01/2014 11:40:32 AM


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intorontomag.com PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Alan A Vernon Art director Nicolรกs Tallarico CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Gordon Bowness, Paul Gallant, Michael Pihach, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Heather A, Janet Devins, Andrew Kounitskiy, Jem Lopez, Adam Segal, Meghan Victoria, Doug Wallace, Adam Webster, Jason Yantha, Andrea Zanin proofreaDER Tristan McFarland ON the cover Photography Adam Webster Senior Account Directors Ryan Lester Woodrow Monteiro DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza Controller Miki Ogiri OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES

Call Today 416-792-5711

416-800-4449 ext 100 info@intorontomag.com EDITORIAL INQUIRIES 416-800-4449 ext 201 editorial@intorontomag.com PRODUCTION ads@intorontomag.com

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22/01/2014 3:29:47 PM


Contents

issue 45 february 2014

views | living & design | insight | listings | Arts & entertaiNment | sex

15

27

18

30

15

Is the church warming up to gays? Pope Francis might be turning the ship around, but Catholicism has already taken on too much water.

18

fashion essentials

27

Gay HBO New TV series Looking an even more bent version of Sex and the City—and set in San Francisco, to boot.

Our guide to style for any season

30

Singing the praises of verdi Opera diva Adrianne Pieczonka makes her role debut as Amelia in the COC production of A Masked Ball.

06

getting High in Colorado

10

open house: island charmer

sex is easy to find

love isn’t.

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13 Relationships: taking bisexuality seriously 24 February events calendar 33 Sex geek: A cheat by any other name 34 Caught in the Act Photos

04 05.INTO.MastContents.indd 5

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22/01/2014 3:30:36 PM


6

February 2014

06 07 08 09.INTO.travel.indd 6

22/01/2014 3:32:00 PM


T R AV E L

Rocky Mountain High → Colorado has some of the freshest air you will ever taste—however thin Story Doug Wallace

B

ison or buffalo? Same diff, right? With

a

10-ounce

slab

of

whatever-it-was prime rib staring

help name a new bridge, and ended up

fed brawny boys walking around in hot

with the James Brown Soul Center of the

skiwear, what’s not to like? There’s even

Universe Bridge. That’s wacky stuff.

a run named Rainbow, which I took as a

me in the face, my first night in Colorado

At 7,000 feet above sea level, population

good sign. My challenges on the hills were

served up its first challenge. No problem,

12,000, this town is so named because the

overcome with the help of a delightful ski

as it turned out. Bison burgers, bison

bubbling of the nearby natural hot springs

instructor; take a lesson, it will do you a

meatloaf, pulled pork, elk tenderloin—I

resembled the sound of a steamboat

world of good. (And while I’m doling out

am a master at meat and potatoes. But

coming down the river back when settlers

tips, get out the humidifier that is more

Colorado has so much more on the menu,

first arrived. And while half a million

than likely in your hotel room closet. This

especially when you bring your skis.

people visit the incredible ski resort that

air is as dry as it is fresh.)

Though Aspen has the cachet, Telluride

sits just at the edge of town every year,

To soothe moaning muscles after a

has gay ski week and Vale has the

tourism hasn’t overwhelmed the flavour

day of skiing, we packed towels from

celebrities, you can do better—in the

of this tiny canyon community.

the hotel and took a winding 15-minute

remote little village of Steamboat Springs.

What a mountain! With 65 runs, 23

drive into the woods to rustic Strawberry

This is a town where they took a poll to

lifts and countless unshaven, corn-

Park Hot Springs, where bathers doff their

intorontomag.com

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24/01/2014 12:36:11 PM


L I V I N G & D ES I G N

Copper-Halfpipe

ROSEANNA SCHICK

→ High altitude Fun (Clockwise from left) The Copper Hill halfpipe sees plenty of gravity-defying action; Steamboat Strawberry Park Hot Springs (clothing optional after dark); Copper Hill ski instructors enjoy the comfort of boot warmers; on a ski run at Copper Hill; Steamboat Triangle 3 Ranch lets you put horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies on your bucket list.

too, as well as the Woodward at

this resort plays host to all crowds,

Copper Barn facility, an indoor

international

year-round training ground with

college and otherwise. A quaint and

Olympic-grade trampolines, foam

very manageable centre village is

pits, skate bowl, ramps, jumps, the

full of après ski fun in the form of

clothes in a teepee and “take the

Ranch, just 20 minutes or so outside

works.

skating, zip-lining, big drinks and

waters.” Clothing is optional after

of town, where we saddled up a few

The 2,500 acres of pristine slopes

tiny doughnuts. And after the ski

dark, as there is no electricity, but

of the 40 very easy-going horses and

steepen naturally from west to

hill does you in, an hour (or two) on

luckily, I had a wee light strapped to

headed out on the snowy canyon

east, with the elevation topping

the four-lane tubing hill will bring

my forehead (always pointed down).

trails. Talk about photo op.

out at 12,000 feet (with a 2,600 foot

out your inner child, and make beer

vertical drop). Despite the calibre of

time all the more rewarding.

Texans, Australians, Japanese; mine was a truly international experience, and the trick is to try not to be shy

local—family,

skiing that goes on there, you still

There’s only one hiccup to being up

A few days later, a jaunt south

find green runs at the top of the

in the clouds so high: It’s all fun and

back to the interstate left me at the

mountain, allowing for groups of

games until somebody gets altitude

Steamboat has actually produced

foot of Copper Mountain, home to a

varying skill to actually spend the

sickness. Common after 8,000 feet

more Olympians per capita than

fabulous 140+ runs and 23 lifts, plus

day together; the experienced don’t

above sea level, this ailment leaves

anywhere else in the U.S., almost

the only full-length, early-season

have to say goodbye to the beginners

you feeling like you have the flu or

70 and counting. One of them is

training venue in the world, the U.S.

at the bottom of the hill. Expect

a hangover, or both. Apparently, it

community legend Ray Heid, a

Olympic Ski Team Speed Center.

breath-taking views and perfectly

takes one day to acclimatize to 1,000

participant at the 1960 Olympics. He

Sundry hangers-on from various

groomed runs.

feet. Someone abandoned their ski

sprited us away to snowy Triangle 3

other countries hit the slopes here,

even if you are.

8

Moving Mountains

and

With one million guests a year,

pants in the lobby of our Copper

February 2014

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LIVING & DESIGN

the details Steamboat Essentials

• The Steamboat Grand (steamboatgrand. com) is the biggest game mountain-side, the ski lifts are within walking distance. There are plenty of smaller spots, near and far, as well as condos to rent if you’re travelling with a group. Rabbit Ears Motel (rabbitearsmotel.com) is named after the mountain pass, not the TV. The Old Town Hot Springs is right across the street.

lodge, with a note citing “age and altitude” as the reason for packing in the skiing. No chutzpah, I say. (They didn’t fit.) Two litres of water before noon is almost mandatory, and we threw in the odd Gatorade to help us feel sporty. Speaking of drinks, you will also notice that one vodka can actually feel more like two vodkas. Bonus! You’re a cheaper date than you thought! And no, it’s not because of the beloved American free-pour. Altitude again, messing with your head. Best to skip

• The Ore House (orehouse.com) has been serving steaks in a 110-year-old barn since 1971. Small plates shine at Laundry Kitchen & Cocktails (thelaundryrestaurant.com), perfect for the after-ski crowd or dinner out. These people really get into their menu and it pays off. Deeply delicious cocktails, including spicy margaritas. Have the duck prosciutto. We saw not one but two wedding couples eloping on the same day at Truffle Pig (trufflepigrestaurant. com), which has a stick-to-your-ribs burger with truffle fries. Hit the intimate Café Diva (cafediva.com) for the best meal in town. Try the peanut butter and bacon sandwich appetizer and then head straight for the elk tenderloin. • Après ski, the Right-O-Way run concludes with a long, almost flat ski-out to the village, known to the ski instructors as “Fifth Avenue.” It passes by several small watering holes, but you should stop at slope-side gem T Bar at Steamboat. Wherever you end up, keep an eye out for craft beers Mahogany Ridge, Breckenridge Avalanche and Fat Tire Amber.

the now-legal pot all together. But back to my stomach and the buffalo. Who would have thought? All North American

buffalo

are

actually

bison,

buffalo being rather a misnomer on this continent. It’s actually Africa and Asia where the buffalo roam. Somebody better give that song a rewrite.

• Gear up in town with western duds from F.M. Light & Sons (fmlight.com), “outfittin’ the west for five generations.” Across the street, stick your head in Cowboys and Indians (cowboysandindiansonline.com) for gifts, jewellery, antiques and crafts.

• Celebrity alert! Will Ferrell and Danny DeVito have homes here, as do South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone. • Check out steamboat.com for more.

Compulsory Copper

• Copper Mountain Ski Resort has a sort of communal reception for accommodation, where they then mete you out to the various lodges surrounding the centre village, each with underground parking. Chalet-type furnishings (log lamps, Murphy beds) are comfortable and cool. Each lodge is equipped with a large outdoor hot tub, but sadly no time machine.

• Head immediately to Alpinista Bistro (alpinista-bistro.com) for fondue or raclette or both, plus beers. The aforementioned bison meatloaf is neck and neck with the steak macaroni and cheese for top honours at the more upscale C.B. Grille (cbgrille.com). And while you can’t throw a stone and not hit a drink of something in this place, the college kids favour Mulligans Irish Pub (mulligans.name) because it stays open the latest, while the older set goes east to JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern, which will most likely have live music. • It’s worth a visit to the indoor Woodward at Copper, located in an old barn, if only to watch the cool kids do their thing on mountain bikes and skateboards, or see aerialists practice their jumps. An intro session will see you on the trampoline for a couple of hours with a coach. As always, keep an eye out for Olympians, who come for the world-class facilities, but stay for the vibe. • Visit coppercolorado.com.

intorontomag.com

06 07 08 09.INTO.travel.indd 9

9

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O PE N h O U S E

THE SIMPLE LIFE → Actor/playwright Aaron Rothermund chose cozy charm over convenience Story Michael Pihach Photography Andrew Kounitskiy

10

February 2014

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LIVING & DESIGN

A

aron Rothermund had lived everywhere: Kensington, Queen West, High Park,

Etobicoke, Greektown, St. Clair… Barrie.

So

when

the

31-year-

old actor and playwright found a nautical-inspired bachelor on the Toronto Islands for rent, he pounced on the rare opportunity. After almost two years of living off the mainland, it’s safe to say Rothermund has dealt with the quirks of island life with the greatest of ease. Just as long as that darn ferry shows up. Of all places to live in Toronto, you chose the Toronto Islands. Why? I’ve lived in Toronto for 10 years and I’ve always loved the island. I would always come here in the summer,

sometimes

by

myself

because my friends would always miss the ferry. It’s almost impossible to score a home here and you found a rental. How?

How do you make a living? It’s very glamorous. I bartend at

I used PadMapper. It’s an apartment

the Arts and Letters Club, a private

finding app that searches everywhere

members club for doctors and

from Craigslist to Kijiji and maps out

architects who enjoy paintings.

all the places that fit your criteria. I

I also work on the island at the

always feel bad saying that because

Rectory Café. (Living here helped

I feel like people want this romantic

me get the job). I also write plays

story like I inherited this place or

and poetry.

something. But it’s a rental. A very hard-to-find rental.

What kind of plays? I run a company called Afterglow

Your search landed you your own

Theatre. Charming Monsters was

bachelor pad on Algonquin Island

a show I wrote last summer. It’s

just off of Ward’s. Was living here

about a town full of women that are

your number one priority?

charmed by a stranger and when

minutes from my place). In that

the last ferry home from the

I wanted a balcony and something

he seduces the wrong woman they

case you have to go to Hanlan’s (45

mainland?

architecturally beautiful that had

all turn on him in bacchanalian

minutes from my place). Sometimes

Find a couch to crash on. I’m that

laundry. When this place came up I

proportion. Ambiguous was my first

I walk to Ward’s and see no one

guy who always leaves birthdays

thought it was up north in Algonquin

play. It’s about a writer struggling

there and no ferry coming. Then I’ll

early.

Park. At the time my grandmother

with his character's sexuality. Both

see a boat going to Hanlan’s. That’s

had just passed and I was like, “Yeah!

premiered at the Toronto Fringe

when I say: “OK. I’m late for work.”

I’m gonna move to Algonquin Park!”

Festival.

But I could never live there. There’s

What’s it like relying on a ferry

like, bears. In the end I really wanted

schedule to get to and from the

the island. It’s only 15 minutes from

mainland?

But your friends must be a tad jealous that you live here.

Do you ever get lonely living here all by yourself? There are times where I love my home, but meeting people is difficult.

I have friends who’ve never come

It’s isolated, which is good for when

here. They can’t wrap their heads

I’m writing. [But] as a gay person it

The last ferry to the island is at

around it. It’s like people who don’t

can be difficult. Sometimes I think I

11:15-11:30pm. If you miss it, you’re

go north of Bloor. Also, you can have

may have come here prematurely—

stuck. In the summer there’s a ferry

friends over but they can’t leave

that I should have come here when

My landlady’s first choice was a

taxi but it all depends on the driver’s

whenever they want. They either

I’m 50 years old. I think about

guy in Brampton who worked in

mood. Sometimes he doesn’t want

have to stay over or catch the last

moving back to the mainland, but it

Scarborough, but thought it would be

to work. Some days if it’s too windy

ferry.

would be a culture shock. There’s no

difficult for him to get to his job.

the ferry won’t dock at Ward’s (five

downtown. What a catch. Was the competition stiff?

What do you do if you miss

cars or stores here. intorontomag.com

10 11 12.Open HouseINTO.indd 11

11

22/01/2014 3:40:09 PM


L I V I N G & D ES I G N

If there’s no stores, then what do you do if you run out of food?

are lots of house parties, too.

You always make sure you have

The island is a huge draw for

food. But you’re in trouble if you

artists. What’s that community

don’t want it. If you are craving

like?

something, you have to go to the

Lots

of

painters

and

→ home sweet home Though he loves his isolation, Rothermund admits that meeting people is difficult, unless of course it's an island resident who makes sweaters from her cat's hair.

Do you play into it?

mainland or suck it up and drink

photographers;

do

I keep to myself. You’re in such

lots of water. Or make soup and

tapestry and beadwork. One lady

close quarters with people so it’s

potatoes.

combs the hair on her cat and

easy to accidentally see someone

weaves it into fabric and makes

changing

sweaters out of it.

Everyone lives so close.

What’s the gay scene like on the island? There’s a large gay community of mostly older gentlemen. Ladies, too. It’s a different lifestyle altogether. They’re not going out every night.

people

who

She makes sweaters out of cat hair? Maybe I shouldn’t have told you that.

in

What’s misconception

their

window.

the

biggest

people

have

about living on the island? It’s that you can live on the island.

They go for walks. It’s very adult,

There are about 300 homes on

When I say I live here people think

but it’s also encouraging to see

the Toronto Islands. You must

I’m in an artist residency or that

relationships function that way.

cross a lot of small town gossip.

I’m lying or something. Many don’t

What do people do for fun

As soon as I date someone,

even know there are homes here.

of mind. I’m heading to Barcelona in

everybody knows and everybody

Another thing is that you can swim

March and it’s a one-way ticket.

Friday nights at the Rectory Café

has an opinion about it. There’s

here. If you swim away from the city

we have homemade pizza and live

also an online community board

the water is quite clean.

music. It’s really fun. Sometimes

with lots of gossip about that one

we do movie nights on Algonquin

resident whose dog is barking at

Island. A lot of guys will play hockey

what time, and so on.

around here?

12

on the water when it freezes. There

Do you see yourself still living here in five years? I have a really transitional frame

So what you’re saying is that we may never see you again. This article could be my opus! I’ll be back. I do like it here, but I need a change.

February 2014

10 11 12.Open HouseINTO.indd 12

22/01/2014 3:41:03 PM


insight

relationship advice

— with Adam Segal → I’m a bi guy in my thirties who has been with my partner for almost five years. Sure it can sometimes be hard to not get to be with women, but I am mostly very content just being with my man. What does bother me, though, is that I feel like the bi part of me is in the shadows and not really recognized by my friends and boyfriend. When I’ve passively acknowledged my bisexuality in the past, my partner makes little jokes or playfully flirts with his “real man.” Similarly, our mostly middle-aged gay friends make occasional jabs at my sexuality. I don’t think they mean any harm, but I’d rather they all understand that this is a very real part of me. This can all make me feel lonely and small. How does a bi guy exist in a same-gender relationship without effacing his bi-ness? Dennis

Despite the irrefutable pervasive-

asking your man what is behind

ness and commonality of bisexual-

his unease. For example, does he

ity, we seem to be living in a time

fear not being enough for you and

where so many, straight and gay

that you will ultimately reject him?

alike, seem to refuse to acknowledge

You'll likely need to reassure him

and accept that we are not all so sin-

of your affections and commitment

gularly

Unfortunately,

to him. There’s no need to be super

even though gay communities must

serious all the time about this topic,

continually fight for equal treat-

but remind your partner that play-

ment and rights, they can still be

ful humour only works when both

somewhat unwelcoming (or flat out

of you are laughing.

oriented.

biphobic) social spheres.

Often, when we are suffering, it

Often, bisexual men are either

is a sign that we are feeling “sepa-

dismissed as ambivalent gays or

rate” from the world in some way.

“almost

Ironically, it is your bisexuality that

fetishized and coveted as straight” guys.

connects you to millions of people

Because of this prejudice, it is vital

all over the planet. So let your bi-

that you have people around you

ness take centre stage a little: see

who are strong and supportive allies.

films or read books with strong bi

I’m sorry to hear that your other half

characters; join or start a meet-up

has been somewhat lacking in his

style social group, or invite other bi

show of support and understand-

friends you know to join your gay

ing. It does seem, however, that

friends in an effort to integrate this

you haven’t been especially confi-

essential part of you. Make a com-

dent in owning your sexuality. You

mitment to create a world for your-

may need to sit your partner down

self where your sexuality is vali-

and be as clear with him as you

dated and reflected—that will make

have been with me in your letter.

it easier to ignore the folks who

The greater your self-acceptance

don’t have a clue.

sex is easy to find

love isn’t.

The dilemma: You are a successful professional living a fulfilled life. You are active, dynamic, intelligent, and financially stable. Your friends and family say that you are a catch. Then why is it that sincere love is so hard to find? The soluTion: A boutique networking agency specializing in personalized matchmaking will save time and energy. Their service is designed for busy, successful professionals who cherish the idea of a loving, faithful relationship once they find the right partner. The clienTs: Preferred Partners clients value the prospect of meeting like-minded individuals who are also tired of the internet and bar scene. Typically, they are successful professionals living full and active lives who work hard and love to play, too. Preferred ParTners canada’s exclusive Gay maTchmakinG aGency

and ability to claim your true sexual identity, the more likely your partner and friends will quit their zingers and have to face their own ignorance. You may want to consider

13.Rel.INTO.indd 13

Adam Segal is a therapist and works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at relationship@intorontomag.com.

Call us today for a free Consultation

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22/01/2014 3:41:48 PM


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re l i g i o n

altar-ed states → Should gay people trust Pope Francis to hug it out? Story Paul Gallant

intorontomag.com

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22/01/2014 3:42:48 PM


insight

P

oor

Joseph

Aloisius

is

doesn’t matter anyway. The days of

gay clothing-optional guesthouse

Ratzinger. Holed up in the

essentially self-indulgent… As in

popes having the last word ended

in Key West where I was having

Mater Ecclesiae monastery

every moral disorder, homosexual

in the last century. Pope Francis

a lot of wonderful sex with other

behind Peter’s Basilica, his papal

activity

own

might be turning the ship around,

visitors—which I would not confess

signet ring smashed, his ermine

fulfillment and happiness by acting

but Catholicism has already taken

because I don’t think it’s a sin—he

capes gathering dust in the closet,

contrary to the creative wisdom of

on too much water.

would not be inclined to walk away

his handsome secretary serving

God.” John Paul II was a popular

him only part-time. No amount of

pope in some circles, no doubt, but

clicking the heels of his custom-

this letter drew a very clear line,

made ruby red slippers will ever

with gay and lesbian people on the

make

unholy side of it.

sexual

inclination

prevents

which

one's

from that confession. I don’t think

B

he would express horror.” ack in the mid-1970s, when

Adams implies a lot. But it’s true

Tony Adams was a priest in

that in Francis’s first landmark work

Rome, he met two future popes:

as Pope, the Evangelii Gaudium,

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who, when

And then—Francis. Last summer,

Ratzinger and Bergoglio. Now a

published

he was inaugurated last March,

jetting home from a visit to Brazil,

gay writer and editor, Adams has

which carries much more weight

named himself Pope Francis after

where Catholic youth carried a

suggested publicly that Ratzinger

than his off-the-cuff comments

the sweetest, dreamiest, wood-

cross

gay

is a closeted homosexual. “But I

on the jet, Francis reminds priests

nymphiest saint there is. As God’s

beach bunnies on Ipanema Beach to

never got the impression that he

“that the confessional must not be

representative

Earth,

honour the occasion, the new pope

was having sex,” laughs Adams.

a torture chamber.” Actually, the

popes aren’t democratically elected

answered a reporter’s question with

“Most cardinals and bishops are

Evangelii Gaudium is full of not-

but, like the royals, they’ve been

this much-quoted line: “If a person

not getting laid. That’s part of the

so-subtle jabs at the pious and the

forced into a position where they

is gay and seeks God and has good

reason

homophobic.

judgmental: “There are Christians

need charm. Pope Benedict XVI had

will, who am I to judge?”

They’ve given up sex and they

whose lives seem like Lent without

With that one remark, all bets

can’t understand why we can’t do

Easter.” “Rather than experts in

hugs

were off. Had the massive ship

it.” Though Adams has a photo of

dire predictions, dour judges bent

the afflicted, eats with the poor

of the Roman Catholic church—

himself in a group with the future

on rooting out every threat and

and carries his own suitcases—is

which has, officially, seen gay

Pope Francis, he doesn’t have any

deviation, we should appear as

both prom queen and class nerd,

people and women as something

specific

Bergoglio,

joyful messengers.” “I prefer a

overlord and underdog, while poor

not quite holy, has perpetrated and

considered at the time to be quite

Church which is bruised, hurting

Pope Benedict XVI, in control of the

covered up sexual abuse and has

conservative.

who

and dirty because it has been out

Catholic Church for a mere eight

contributed to the global spread

no longer practices, believes that

on the streets.” “One of the more

years, was the pompous jerk you

of HIV/AIDS—made a complete

Francis’s “kinder, gentler Pope”

serious temptations, which stifles

didn’t want to get stuck with in the

180? Were all those years since

image is not the product of spin

boldness and zeal, is a defeatism

corner at a party, someone who

Vatican II, a dramatic 1960s effort

doctors, it’s authentic.

which turns us into querulous

looks like a bad tipper and a bad

to modernize the church, just a bad

“Already his themes are very clear

kisser.

dream? Is it just a matter of time

and they should be of consequence

Ratzinger

as

on

popular

planet

as

absolutely none. Pope

Francis—he

who

past

Speedo-wearing

they’re

so

memories But

of

Adams,

and

last

November

disillusioned

and

pessimists,

‘sourpusses.’”

It was poor, unlovable Ratzinger,

before Pope Francis writes his own

for LGBT Catholics,” says Adams.

Sincere or strategic, it’s a sweeping

working under Pope John Paul II,

Letter to the Bishops welcoming

“To start, he’s big on forgiveness, the

rebranding. At times, Pope Francis

who wrote the 1986 Letter to the

LGBT people to the church?

Prodigal Son Bible stories. You don’t

seems to be delivering a “Down with

Bishops of the Catholic Church on

No. Probably not. The papacy is

stop forgiving. Now, he does believe

the one per cent!” speech drafted by

the Pastoral Care of Homosexual

like the Supreme Court. Whatever

that people are capable of sin. But

the Occupy Movement. His “No to an

Persons that declared that gay and

your beliefs, it’s awkward to reverse

if I were to go to confession with

economy of exclusion,” which sent

lesbian people have a “disordered

your immediate predecessors. But it

him and confess I was staying at a

US conservatives into apoplectic

Bad boy popes of note Pope Boniface VIII (ruled 1294-1303) Suspected of being the first atheist pope (and of liking men, though he sired children from at least two nieces), Benedetto Caetani believed he had absolute authority on heaven and Earth. Dante, who had been exiled by the pope, depicted Boniface VIII in Hell in his Divine Comedy.

15 16 17.Pope.INTO.indd 16

Pope Paul II (ruled 1464-1471) Jokingly called Maria Pietissima or “Our Lady of Pity,” Pietro Barbo was known for his love of fine clothes and for crying when he didn’t get his way. When he was cardinal, he promised all his fellow cardinals he’d buy them each a villa if he was chosen pope. He reneged.

Pope Leo X (ruled 1513-1521) Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici was so ill from sexually transmitted disease when he was appointed pope, he had to be carried to the conclave on a stretcher. A patron of Michelangelo and Raphael, he threw parties where naked boys would emerge from cakes. BTW, he also triggered the Protestant Reformation.

22/01/2014 3:43:13 PM


insight

fits, is most definitely a shout-out

describes himself as ecumenical, is

Adams

could

who consider themselves religious

to social-justice advocates on the

also optimistic about Francis. But

take the baby steps of permitting

dropped to 68 per cent from 77 per

left—a smart move that cuts across

he doesn’t expect any rapid change.

the official existence of the group

cent in the seven years between

generational and gender lines.

Forgiveness

Dignity and allowing special LGBT

2005 and 2012. In Canada the

ministries.

drop was much larger—from 58

and

loving

your

suggests

Francis

“Some of the things he says

enemies are welcome messages,

inspire me,” says Marie Bouclin,

but gay and lesbian people would

Of course, some of this already

per cent to 46 per cent. While the

an

Roman

rather not need forgiveness for

happens “off the books” in many

number of Canadians who consider

Catholic Women Priests Canada

their orientation. “Official teaching

dioceses. Non-Catholics often have

themselves Roman Catholic has

(romancatholicwomenpriests.org/

condemns any form of romantic

difficulty getting their head around

stayed pretty much steady since

index.php) who, as a result, has

activity

same-sex

the yawning gap between what the

2001 (12.73 million according to

been excommunicated from the

couples. All LGBT persons, under

Vatican says and what Catholics

the 2011 census; about 12.8 million

actually do. Hypocrisy—or ethical

in 2001), church attendance has

sophistication,

prefer—

declined dramatically. If religion

is intrinsic to Catholicism. As a

was sex, many Catholics would be

devout young Catholic, I somehow

considered celibate. While more

picked up the belief from catechism

than 40 per cent of the world’s

and my youth group that sex before

1.2 billion Catholics live in Latin

marriage was not a sin if you

America, that’s the region where

loved somebody. Obviously, I had

attitudes toward LGBT people seem

failed to read 1975’s Declaration

to be changing most rapidly. Same-

on Certain Questions Concerning

sex marriage has been legalized

Sexual Ethics, written to put an end

in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and

to the idea that Vatican II had eased

parts of Mexico, a country Pope

prohibitions

John Paul II famously called “always

ordained bishop

of

between

"Is Francis polishing brass on the Titanic? I’m not sure the next generation sees a need for religion in the same way." —former priest Tony Adams

on

if

you

premarital

sex,

masturbation and homosexuality.

faithful.”

It’s easy to get confused. Go ask your

increasingly irrelevant.

Church

teachings

are

straight Catholic friends if any of

“Is Francis polishing brass on the

them eschew artificial birth control,

Titanic?” wonders Adams. “I’m not

a sin of comparable offence to

sure the next generation sees a

homosexuality. Francis’s seemingly

need for religion in the same way.”

Roman Catholic church. Although

all circumstances, everywhere for

genuine desire to be humble and

Then again, those who see the

Francis has reiterated that John Paul

all time, must be celibate,” says

open stands in opposition to a

church as an intrinsic and perennial

II shut the door on the possibility of

Testin. “It robs LGBT persons of the

multi-layered institution which also

foe of LGBT people might justifiably

women priests, Bouclin, who is a

opportunity to be fully human.”

likes to be pompous and closed.

despair at Pope Francis. Though

straight grandmother, welcomes a

Francis

out

Even if Francis succeeds in making

doomed to fail in the long run, his

simpler, more inclusive, less clerical

reconsidering abortion. The best-

the Roman Catholic church more

gentler, friendlier Roman Catholic

pope who seems to side with the

case scenario for women might be

compassionate, will it be enough

church might extend its life by a

persecuted.

female cardinals, a position which

to reverse the church’s fortunes?

few years or decades. Pope Benedict

Frank Testin, president of the

can be held by non-priests. Same-

A major WIN-Gallup International

XVI’s

LGBT Catholic group Dignity Canada

sex marriage and openly gay priests

survey

oblivion is over.

Dignité (dignitycanada.org/), who

remain delusional dreams. Still,

percentage of the global population

Julius III (ruled 1550 to 1555) After adopting a 15-year-old street urchin as his adoptive son/nephew, Giovanni Maria del Monte appointed the young man as a cardinal and put him in charge of diplomacy and politics. It was said they shared a bedroom. Shades of Michael Jackson.

15 16 17.Pope.INTO.indd 17

has

also

ruled

suggested

Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) Angelo Roncalli launched Vatican II, the most dramatic 20th-century reforms to the Catholic church, and in doing so started rumours that he was gay. His self-deprecating sense of humour was a component of his popularity: “Anybody can be Pope; the proof of this is that I have become one.”

that

the

pugnacious

fast-track

to

Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) Rumours that Giovanni Battista was gay were so pervasive, he once asked a friend in government to intervene with Italy’s tabloid press. He was reported to go out at night in plainclothes disguises so he could socialize with “suspect characters.”

22/01/2014 3:43:34 PM


FA S H I O N

A man for all

seasons Essential elements of style help create your looks for the year Photographer: Adam Webster Models: Ben Clark & Wayne Andrade (Sutherland Models) Styled by: Janet Devins & Heather A. Grooming: Jem Lopez & Meghan Victoria

18 19 20 21 22 23.Fashion.indd 18

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22/01/2014 3:46:35 PM


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22/01/2014 3:48:17 PM


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22/01/2014 3:49:07 PM


Bronwen Sharp

04

stage › The Ugly One

Blaine Davis

Get out february Events The audience is catapulted with mesmerizing speed into a terrifying and narcissistic world obsessed with beauty, image and plastic surgery. The original creative team and cast reassemble for this satire about image, identity and getting ahead in today's superficial, consumerist culture. The Ugly One is by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg and stars Jesse Aaron Dwyre, David Jansen, Hardee T. Lineham and Naomi Wright. Tarragon Theatre. 30 Bridgman Ave. To Feb 16. tarragontheatre.com.

01

stage › Vogue Ball

Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2014 launches with hometown heroes and heroines from the House of Nuance, marking a new year of live art on the runway. Hosted by Mother Trouble Nuance, with DJ John Caffery, this will be a party where your only worries will be your own inhibitions. Dress as your most authentic self, whether that includes taffeta or lederhosen. Also featuring Father Titus, and the kids Lady Ice, Chili, Vintage, Kash, Pooh Bear, Tigger and Paris Nuance, the house preaches a message of inclusivity, education, love and mutual respect. Harbourfront Centre. 235 Queen's Quay W. houseofnuance.com.

07

legend › mavis staples

Soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples possesses one of the most recognizable voices in contemporary music. Rock and roll hall of famer, lead singer of the first family of gospel music, The Staples Singers, Staples was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time. She is responsible for blazing a rhythm & blues trail while never relinquishing her gospel roots, and influencing artists from Bob Dylan to Prince, who dubbed her “the epitome of soul.” The Royal Conservatory at Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. rcmusic.ca.

02

opera › A Masked Ball

Composed directly after his hugely successful Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Il Trovatore, Verdi’s A Masked Ball (Un Ballo in Maschera) depicts a deeply human tale of forbidden passion between two very grown-up lovers. This production sets Verdi’s abiding love triangle in the American south of the 1960s, with its undertones of Kennedy-era tensions and power plays, starring Canadian diva Adrianne Pieczonka and tenor Dimitri Pittas. To Feb 22. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. coc.ca. (See interview with Adrianne Pieczonka on page 30.)

24 25.INTO.calendar .indd 24

12

black history › Kuumba The waterfront's longest-running Black History Month celebration with three days of music, comedy, dance, film, family activities and more that showcase the vitality of Toronto's African and Caribbean communities. To Feb 9. Harbourfront Centre. 235 Queen's Quay W. harbourfrontcentre.com/kuumba.

festival › 35th Rhubarb

For two weeks, more than 100 artists enter a hotbed of experimentation and boundary-pushing in contemporary theatre, dance, music and performance art with adventureloving audiences. This year, Rhubarb examines its past, imagines its future, and celebrates the incredible community of queer artists and spaces that have developed around it. And all the more timely in light of a recent decision by the Department of Canadian Heritage to withdraw funding for the festival. To Feb 23. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. buddiesinbadtimes.com/ rhubarb.

22/01/2014 3:50:12 PM


12

Dance › UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW

Without dialogue, clothing or traditional gender signifiers, six performers shake up gender norms and confront matters of sameness, differentiation and the seven stages of womanhood in this unconventional and highly adventurous dance-narrative. To Feb 15. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage.

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20

art › The artist project

NILS OLAV BOE, Constructed Sites

Canada’s largest art fair dedicated to the art stars of tomorrow features original juried works from more than 250 contemporary artists, including Samara Shuter’s larger than life appreciation for the traditional elements of men’s fashion and Iaian Greenson’s perversity and dysfunction explored through paint. Better Living Centre. 195 Princes’ Boulevard, Exhibition Place. To Feb 23. theartistproject. com..

TORONTO’S MOST EXCITING AUCTION OF CONTEMPORARY ART PHOTOGRAPHY

27

LIVE AND SILENT AUCTION GALA Thursday, March 6, 2014 The SNAP! Factory @ Andrew Richard Designs 571 Adelaide Street East at Parliament Street | Toronto

Film › Human Rights Film Festival

The documentary and fiction features in this year’s programme tell extraordinary stories of struggle, survival and hope. Films include The Square (pictured above), chronicling the activism, unrest and revolution centered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square; and Valentine Road, which paints a shocking portrait of the homophobia, sexism, racism and classism that inform the lives of America's youth. To Mar 6. Tiff Bell Lightbox. 350 KIng St W. tiff.net.

presented by

PUBLIC PREVIEW February 28 to March 2, 2014 Arta Gallery 14 Distillery Lane | Distillery District | Toronto For Gala Tickets and to view the 2014 Collection please visit: www.snap-toronto.com

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

24 25.INTO.calendar .indd 25

22/01/2014 4:09:31 PM


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26.AdPage.indd 50 0003729_M3658_1B.indd 1

23/01/2014 9:19:50 12/9/13 6:23AM PM


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

TV

the streets of san francisco → Looking finally fills the gap for some good gay television Story Jason Yantha

H

ave you ever stalked an

picked up by one of the biggest

ex-boyfriend on Facebook,

networks out there, but writing

only to find out that he's

a gay TV show can come with

gotten hotter and richer since the

a lot of pressure. There aren’t

break-up? Ever use Grindr solely

a lot of gay characters on TV,

to boost your self-esteem? Has an

so we expect to see ourselves

open relationship ever crossed your

represented in the best, most

mind? Maybe you have a crush on

realistic light, and rightfully so.

your new gay boss, and all of sudden

IN spoke with creator Michael

feel like working weekends. Surely

Lannan just before the series

you've said something awkward

premiere about the pressure,

during foreplay, right?

his gay characters and what

Well if you can answer yes to at least one of the above, which most

Toronto had to do with the conception of the show.

of us can, you might be able to relate

IN: Congratulations, Michael.

to the characters of a new series

One day you’re a writer with

called Looking. There's long been

an idea for a TV show, and

an opening for a good gay TV show.

the next you're calling Carrie

And a few years ago writer Michael

Bradshaw and Tony Soprano

Lannan set out to fill that void with

your co-workers.

what he calls a "modern take on the UK version of Queer as Folk."

MICHAEL LANNAN: Gosh, it sounds so epic when you say

The series, which premiered on

it that way. It’s still surreal

always edgy, never shy HBO last

seeing all of the billboards and

month, follows three handsome,

buses here in L.A. with the

thirtysomething gay men living life

cast's faces on them. I can’t

in San Francisco. Each of them are

wrap my head around it.

quite different in regards to career

So how does one go about

and relationship status, but one

getting their very own series

thing that they have in common is

picked up by HBO of all

finding comfort in having honest

networks? That's such a feat.

conversations

with

each

other

Looking was based on a

about sex, life and love. And the

feature film script that I started

best part is we get to listen in.

writing when I was actually [on

HBO had read my script and really

Virginia who’s this fierce, imposing

Their discussions are real and

location] in Toronto, working on the

liked it, so he introduced me to

figure, with a two-story tall HBO

similar to ones you’ve had with

movie Hollywoodland. I wanted to

[some network executives there].

logo behind her. I was terrified. HBO

your friends. It’s a “choose which

write a story about a group of gay

I imagine HBO headquarters to

was always a huge inspiration for

character you’re most like” kind of

friends who felt very familiar to

be this huge, factory-like edifice,

me. When I first saw The Sopranos,

show. The second best part is that it

me. So I started collecting stories

full of television masterminds. It

I

airs on HBO Canada. Let's just say,

and making notes about things that

must be very intimidating.

entertaining, poetic and cinematic

the hookup scenes don't end with a

had happened to me or my friends.

You’re kind of right, yes. When

closing door and commercial break.

When I started putting them all

you walk into their office in Santa

It's a huge milestone that a

together, these three characters

Monica, it’s a massive white space.

So what is Looking all about?

program of this nature can be

emerged. Then a friend of mine at

There’s

It’s

a

receptionist

named

thought

it

was

incredibly

and that was when I decided I wanted to work in television. really

about

three

gay

intorontomag.com

27 28.TV.INTO.indd 27

27

22/01/2014 3:51:41 PM


A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T

conversations

in

the

show

between your three main guys. Some scenes are done so well, they don't even feel scripted. Do you ever let the actors improv their scenes? It’s more like we let the actors embellish the script. It's written in a very conversational tone to begin with, but then we let them add their own bits and pieces. That was always important to us: being loose and trusting the actors to get conversational with their lines. They’re lovely people and I think you can feel that in the show. Was it important for you to use actors who are gay in real life? (Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett are openly gay, while Frankie J Alvarez has a wife in New York City). We wanted to have the most authentic version of the show possible, so we just wanted actors who really understood the roles. A lot of gay actors [auditioned] and brought a great authenticity, based on their own personal experiences. And then honestly a lot of non-gay actors were really excited [about the show] and had their own takes on the characters as well. A lot of times we just didn't know [if they → filling the void There's long been

it about entertainment first and

up

representation

were straight or gay]. We didn’t ask.

an opening for good gay TV so writer

foremost?

of gay people on TV, so you feel

When it comes down to it, [the job

We had our vision and stuck to

very proprietary over them when

goes to] whoever can do the part the

it. We wanted to make a show that

we do see them. I also think that

best.

felt the most real to us based on our

people are defensive about how

The show is set in San Francisco,

experiences. We tried not to think

gay people are portrayed on TV in

which offers a beautiful backdrop.

about any outside pressure. All we

regards to the way straight people

The city is famous for being gay-

could do was make these characters

will see them, which is completely

friendly, but is homophobia a

feel real to us and hope that other

understandable.

theme you’re going to explore this

Michael Lannan (opposite page) set out to write a series about three, handsome, thirtysomething, gay men living life in San Francisco; the cast (from left) Frankie J Alvarez, Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett.

characters just trying to get by in

people could relate to them as well.

the city, make connections and

That being said, gay viewers can

live their lives in a more authentic

be sensitive about how they're

way. We're dropping in on these

portrayed on TV.

Can

any

straight

people

watch

Looking, too?

season? I

don’t

think

it

plays

too

Yes, certainly. Straight friends

prominently in the first season.

of mine who’ve watched the show

We didn’t want to pretend that it

and

said that they've learned things

doesn’t exist because it absolutely

so it's not about people coming

understandably. I’m the same way.

that they didn’t know about gay sex

does in this day, so there are little

out of the closet or struggling to

I’m always scrutinizing any kind of

and gay relationships. They found

elements of it, but our goal was to

reconcile with their sexuality in

gay TV show or movie that I see. I

that quite intriguing and exciting.

show these friendships and to be

the most basic way. I don’t think

start thinking, “Does this represent

I think a lot of non-gay people will

in their world, rather than [that of

you can encapsulate the entire “gay

me? What does this say about gay

be tuning in to see what this world

any homophobic] people outside of

experience” in one TV show. So we

people?” I think it’s only natural to

is like. There are also aspects of

their circle.

didn't try to.

do that.

the show that are really relatable

guys in the midst of their lives,

Did you ever feel pressure to accurately depict gay life or was 28

without

Oh

yeah,

definitely,

Why do you think that is? I think it’s because a lot of us grew

whether you’re straight or gay. There

are

a

lot

of

great

Looking airs Sundays at 10:30pm ET on HBO Canada.

February 2014

27 28.TV.INTO.indd 28

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22/01/2014 3:52:22 PM


A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T

o PE R A

A balm for the soul → Canadian superstar Adrianne Pieczonka debuts in Verdi’s thrilling A Masked Ball Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Andreas Klingberg

A

drianne

had

Opera Company. “Verdi is peerless

Wood), the trusted friend and

I hope I don’t end up choking up too

a spectacular 2013. The

Pieczonka

in my opinion,” says the Burlington-

advisor

much.”

Canadian

star

born soprano. “I have just sung three

Riccardo (Dimitri Pittas, in his role

Working in the same city as

wowed critics and audiences in a

different Strauss opera productions

debut). Amelia and the governor

her family is a much-cherished

string of high-profile performances:

back to back and, though I adore the

have fallen in love but they never

opportunity. “This past fall I was

as Senta in a new production of The

operas of Richard Strauss, I can’t tell

consummate their affair; neither

away for over three months,” says

Flying Dutchman for the Bayreuth

you how thrilled I am to sing some

wants to betray Renato. Throw in

Pieczonka, “and this was really

Festival (her first appearance at

Verdi again. It’s like a balm for the

a young child, a fortune-telling

hard. Our daughter is used to me

Bayreuth in five years in a season

voice and for the soul.”

witch and a plot to assassinate the

being away for several weeks at a

governor and you’ve got a potboiler

time. However, it doesn’t mean it’s

opera

marking the 200th anniversary of

the

royal

governor

Wagner’s birth), as Chrysothemis in

before—Desdemona

Otello,

of a tragedy—for mature audiences.

not hard to bear. I have a rule that I

a new production of Elektra directed

Amelia in Simon Boccanegra and

“Amelia is unique in that she is

am not away at Christmas time and

by the legendary Patrice Chereau

Elisabetta in Don Carlo—Pieczonka

married and a mother of a small

I also like to take a proper summer

for the Aix-en-Provence Festival (a

considers this Amelia the most

child,”

holiday for several weeks.

role she repeated in another pro-

dramatic so far. “It suits me well

Verdi heroines are very young in

“For me and Laura, we try to keep

duction for Covent Garden), and

vocally and temperamentally,” she

comparison.” Pieczonka shares a

communication open and flowing.

as the Kaiserin in Die Frau ohne

says. “I can’t wait.

in

says

Pieczonka.

“Many

home in the Annex with her wife,

We Skype several times a day—

Schatten for the 50th anniversary of

At the heart of A Masked Ball’s

Laura Tucker, also an opera singer,

thank goodness for technology—

the reopening of the Bavaria State

fast-moving tale of passion, jealousy

a mezzo, and their eight-year-old

often, just a few minutes at a time.

Opera.

and betrayal is an incredibly tight

daughter. “I get a heartbreaking aria

I send small packages and cards

2014

love triangle. All three principals

in act three where I sing that, before

home so they know I am thinking

suggests this year will be equally

love each other, which makes the

I die, I want to be able to hug my son

of them.

stellar. She makes her role debut

betrayals so much more harrowing.

one last time so that he knows how

“Laura and I have been together

as Amelia in A Masked Ball by

As Amelia, Pieczonka plays the

much his mother loves him. I know

for nearly 10 years and I am proud of

Giuseppe Verdi with the Canadian

wife of Renato (sung by Roland

I’ll be able to draw on emotion here.

the way we have been able to cope.

Pieczonka’s

30

While she has sung Verdi roles

to

kick-off

to

February 2014

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

is still going strong, after being in the business for 25 years. I keep working at my technique, at keeping my voice healthy, flexible and strong. I’ve just turned 50 so I am not singing the way I was in my early 30s.” In 2014 she won’t have time to worry about the ticking clock as she reprises her Strauss and Wagner roles from last year, including Patrice Chereau’s Elektra at La Scala in May. Chereau is a cultural icon in France, equally adept in film

Michael Cooper

Wilfried Hösl-Bavarian State Opera

Many marriages cannot withstand

that cemented Verdi’s position as

the separation and pressures of this

the preeminent Italian composer. A

crazy lifestyle.”

Masked Ball anticipates the mature

A

Masked

genius of Verdi’s later masterpieces Ball

premiered

→ diva diversity (From left) Pieczonka in the COC's 2012 production of Tosca and as Die Kaiserin in the Bavaria State Opera's Die Frau Ohne Shatten.

in

like Otello and Falstaff. As such, the

capabilities,” says Pieczonka. “He or

1859 at a time when much

role of Amelia demands a mature

she may be able to pull it off a few

of Italy was under foreign rule.

artist at the height of her powers.

times, but the effort and exertion

Originally set in the court of 18th-

She needs power to soar over top

to sing outside their comfort zone

century Sweden, censors balked at

complicated ensembles and big

could well take a toll vocally. [Like

the depiction of a royal assassina-

choruses and she needs control to

athletes] they can suffer from

tion. Eventually a compromise was

imbue the shortest of phrases with

overextension or overexertion and

reached: Verdi demoted the king to

a full range of expressive colours.

may never recover.

a governor and moved the action

There

show-stopping

“I know of several singers of my

to colonial America. Many find the

arias for Amelia. But there are also

generation and of other generations

setting anachronistic (though Verdi

countless

the

who have made the wrong choices

was happy with it and never tried to

action turns on a word or phrase

in terms of repertoire,” she says. “I’d

switch back). The COC co-produc-

that erupts seemingly unannounced

rather not name names, however.

tion, directed by Jossi Wieler and

in

dialogue

I have the utmost understanding

Sergio Morabito, attempts to make

dancing atop Verdi’s sophisticated,

and compassion for anyone in this

weakness a strength by tweak-

volatile score. Power and control

business. It’s not easy to navigate

ing the setting, moving it to the

at all times: when delivered with

through a long career of, say, 30

American south of the 1960s where

emotional sensitivity, it offers a

years or more.”

southerners resented the power

thrill-ride for audiences.

the

are

two

moments

where

back-and-forth

For an artist like Pieczonka, it’s a

and influence of the federal govern-

“I hope I can rise to the demands

delicate balancing act to line up the

ment and where political assassina-

of this part,” says Pieczonka. “It’s

roles she wants. Try them too early

tion would become all too familiar.

always a bit daunting trying out a

and she risks damaging her voice,

The production premiered in 2008

role for the first time.”

but leave them too late, and she

at the Berlin Staatsoper to mixed

Like the epic soprano roles that

may never get the chance. Time,

populate the operas of Wagner,

too, takes its toll on the voice. It’s a

A Masked Ball is considered late-

the big dramatic Verdian roles are

cruel twist of fate—but cruel twists

early Verdi, meaning it comes at

treacherous for the untested. “It can

of fate are the lifeblood of opera

the tail end of a hugely prolific

be dangerous if a singer attempts

storylines.

period—20 operas in 17 years—

a role which is beyond his or her

reviews.

(Queen Margot), theatre and opera (his 1976 Ring Cycle at Bayreuth is a watershed). The gay director died last fall, a few months after the Elektra premiere. “I feel hugely privileged to have been able to work with him before his death,” says Pieczonka. “It was a career highlight for sure. We will revive this Elektra production in Milan, at the Met in New York, in Berlin and Barcelona. We will dedicate

our

performances

to

Patrice.” A MASKED BALL. $45-$332. Sun, Feb 2-22 Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. 416- 363-8231. coc.ca.

Veni Vidi Verdi Fave Verdi CD of your own? “I am proud of my Falstaff recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label with Claudio Abbado conducting. It’s from 2001 with Bryn Terfel singing Falstaff.” Favourite A Masked Ball recording? “With the great Bryn Terfel as Riccardo and Aprile Millo as Amelia from The Met, with James Levine conducting.” 1991. Deutsche Grammophone. Best Verdi singers? “For me, Pavarotti is my favourite Verdi tenor. My favourite Verdi soprano is probably Renata Scotto or Maria Callas. Legends, all three of them.”

“I do feel lucky that my career intorontomag.com

30 31.opera.INTO.indd 31

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33.INTO.Sex.indd 33

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at sexgeek.wordpress.com. Email her at andrea_zanin_writes@yahoo.ca

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