MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE METROPOLITAN OPERA, CANADIAN, MONTREALER, & HE’S GAY – NY TIMES

“A GAY CONDUCTOR: THAT MEANS SOMETHING” is an attention-grabbing headline in Sunday’s New York Times’ Arts & Leisure section.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now the music director of the Metropolitan Opera.

 

<PHOTO by JEENAH MOON for the New York Times – Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the right, with his partner Pierre Tourville>

ZACHARY WOOLFE writes: “Despite gay pioneers like Michael Tilson Thomas (at the San Francisco Symphony) and Marin Alsop (in Baltimore), conducting remains an overwhelmingly straight (and male, and white) profession.

“Even NEW YORK, the city that gave rise to the modern gay rights movement . . . has been dominated by two conductors: Leonard Bernstein and James Levine, who both kept their sexual relationships with men hidden.”

<PHOTO by JEENAH MOON for the New York Times – Mr. Nézet-Séguin on the left, with his partner Pierre Tourville>

The writeup about Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his long-time partner, violist Pierre Tourville, is an uplifting milestone for both the Opera and the LGBTQ community.

You’ll find Zachary Woolfe’s in-depth story at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/arts/music/yannick-nezet-seguin-met-opera-gay.html

 

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ZAYELL JOHNSTON’S “CRAZY NOTION” – TO WALK 9,000 KILOMETRES (5,600 MILES) ACROSS CANADA

To walk coast-to-coast across CANADA, even in perfect weather, is a gargantuan task. ZAYELL JOHNSTON, 27, decided to do precisely that, beginning his project at Mile ‘O’ in VICTORIA, British Columbia, and ending up nine months later on the Atlantic coast in CAPE SPEAR, Newfoundland. Along the way – blistering heat, torrential rain, blizzards and hail; daily walking average – 50 kilometres.

“I don’t know how I got the crazy notion of walking across the country, but I didn’t want to drive across it,” Johnston said. “At the beginning of the journey, you could say I was running away to kind of reflect on where I was in life.”

Johnston set up a Go Fund Me campaign and raised only $620. At the end of the trip he used the fund to send cheques of roughly $50 each to the Canadian Mental Health Association in all ten provinces.

His next goal – paying off a student loan, becoming a forest firefighter and building up his abs. ZAYELL is a native of YORKTON, Saskatchewan.

<CBC News, @BonnieAllenCBC; photos by Zayell Johnston/Facebook>

A FORM OF IMMORTALITY? – A BLIND, WORM-LIKE AMPHIBIAN HAS BEEN NAMED AFTER DONALD TRUMP

DERMOPHIS DONALD TRUMPI is officially an underground amphibian, named after the US president and his persistent climate change denial. The name was chosen by the boss of EnvironBuild, a sustainable building materials company, who paid $25,000 at an auction for the right. <PHOTO – in the EnviroBuild image above, the amphibian is wearing Trump’s hair>

Naming rights were auctioned to raise money for the Rainforest Trust. The scientists who found the 10cm worm-like creature have agreed to use the name when published in scientific literature.

<PHOTO ABOVE – The 10cm-long Dermophis donaldtrumpi. by Abel Batista/Rainforest Trust UK>

The shiny animal is particularly susceptible to the impacts of global warming and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct because of its namesake’s climate policies, the Rainforest Trust told The Guardian.

IN MEMORIAM/2018 – SOME OF THOSE WE LOST THIS PAST YEAR WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE

ANN IRELAND, Canadian novelist
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, celebrity chef and television personality
ARETHA FRANKLIN, the Queen of Soul
BARBARA BUSH, US First Lady, wife of H. W. Bush
BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI, Italian film director/producer
BILLY GRAHAM, preacher, counselor and confidant to several US presidents
BURT REYNOLDS, actor
CHARLES AZNAVOUR, singer, very popular in Quebec
CHARLES NEVILLE, musician
CLINT WALKER, actor
DAN MALONEY, Toronto Maple Leafs coach & player
DOROTHY MALONE, actor
DOUGLAS RAIN, actor and Stratford Festival founding member
GALT MacDERMOT, Canadian-born composer
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, former US president
GEORGE JONESCU, ‘Big Band Sunday Night’ host on Zoomer Radio
GORDON CHONG, former Toronto councillor
JOHN GAVIN, actor
JOHN McCAIN, American hero and maverick
KATE SPADE, fashion designer
LINDSAY KEMP, choreographer
MARGO KIDDER, Canadian actor and activist
MIKE McDONALD, Canadian stand-up comic & actor
MILOS FORMAN, film director
MURRAY WESTGATE, Canadian television spokesman for ESSO in the 50;s & 60’s
NANCY RICHLER, Canadian novelist
NANCY WILSON, jazz singer
NANETTE FABRAY, singer, dancer, television personality
NEIL SIMON, playwright and screenwriter
NINALEE ALLEN CRAIG, Toronto resident, the woman in Ruth Orkin’s “American Girl in Italy”
PAUL TAYLOR, choreographer
PENNY MARSHALL, actress, television and feature film director
PHILIP ROTH, novelist
ROBERT INDIANA, pop artist
ROGER BANNISTER, British record-breaking runner
ROY CLARK, country music star
SMOKE DAWG, Toronto rapper
STAN LEE, creator of Spider-man
STEPHEN HAWKING, physicist and cosmologist
STEPHEN HILLENBURG, creator of Spongebob SquarePants
SUSAN ANSPACH, actor
TAB HUNTER, Hollywood movie star
TOM WOLFE, author and journalist
VERNE TROYER, short in stature, played Mini-Me and several others
VIC DAMONE, singer
WILL ALSOP, British architect who desined Toronto’s Sharp Centre at OCADU
WILL VINTON, inventor of Claymation stop-motion animation using putty or clay
WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, South African politician & activist

. . . and so many more. Part of a list compiled by TORONTO’s NOW Weekly and CBS.

ZOOMER RADIO HAS LOST A TOP PERSONALITY WITH THE DEATH OF GEORGE JONESCU

Sunday nights won’t be the same now that Zoomer Radio’s GEORGE JONESCU has passed on. ‘Big Band Sunday Night’ on 50,000-watt AM740 & 96.7FM, reached well into the northeastern United States and large parts of Ontario. George was in the driver’s seat every Sunday night playing music from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

For at least the last 5-7 years I seldom missed Sunday nights with George.  May the show continue.  It’s a winner.When it came to the big bands, Mr. Jonescu had an encyclopedic memory.  He minimized chatter, and focused on the music itself, much of which came from his personal collection. Despite blizzards and other inclement weather on the notorious 60-mile stretch between Barrie and Toronto, he always made it for show time.

GEORGE JONESCU’s 65 years in the radio business took him to Montreal, Sault Ste. Marie, Barrie, and TORONTO. He once said, “Being a broadcaster affords a platform which must always be used with responsibility and sensibility, if not, it is an indulgence.”  Farewell GEORGE.  We won’t forget you.

2018 HAS BEEN A WICKED YEAR WHEN IT COMES TO GUN VIOLENCE IN OUR CITY

<Editorial cartoon by THEO MOUDAKIS, Toronto Star>

TORONTO has recorded its highest homicide numbers since 1991. Eighty-nine (89!) lives have been lost since January, and there are still six weeks to go before year’s-end. Most of these deaths were caused by gun violence, and most of those who died were young.
Since this was first posted, that number has increased to ninety-one (91).

THE NEW YORK TIMES’ “SUNDAY STYLES” CATCHES UP WITH TORONTO’S NOTORIOUS MATHAROO SISTERS

“After years of romances with a series of fabulously wealthy Nigerian boyfriends, the flamboyant Canadian sisters Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo needed somewhere to store the pricey spoils of their dating careers. So they converted a bedroom in their TORONTO home into a large walk-in closet that resembles a luxury boutique.

“An entire wall is lined with more than 70 pairs of designer high-heeled shoes. Glass wardrobes display dozens of handbags and purses from brands like Hermès, Celine, Gucci and Saint Laurent. Equally pricey clothing drapes tightly from hangers and fills trunks stacked up to the ceiling.“Did they even pay for any of this stuff? “Not really, no,” said Jyoti, 34. Her sister responded similarly. “The only time I go shopping is when someone gives me their credit card, said Kiran, 32. – from ‘Billionaire Roulette’ by DAN LEVIN, New York Times, November 10/2018

Read the entire story at – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/style/the-canadian-kardashians.html

<PHOTOS – 1) TARA WALTON for the NY Times; the Matharoos at the Consort Bar in TORONTO’s King Edward Hotel ; 2) Jyoti and her walk-in closet, KEMISOLA ADEYEMI