In Defence of Fine Arts Classics

In Defence of Fine Arts Classics

The classics get such a bad rap these days. Most fine arts organizations currently seem quite eager to program new works, as well as newly discovered old works, and there SO MANY good and important reasons for this (the most important of which is the slow dismantling of the patriarchy and colonialism). Amen to all the artistic directors out there who are making room for historically underrepresented artists. I will literally NEVER argue with that.

What I will argue FOR is continuing to celebrate the classics right alongside these fantastic, previously uncelebrated, new works. And if you’re not a musician or actor or artist yourself, perhaps you’re like, “well, of course!” But, that’s not how everyone feels...

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A Royal Shame

A Royal Shame

A lot of things are pushing fine arts to the margins these days, and honestly, a lot of those things are garbage.

Not that long ago, classical music, opera, and dance held prominence in popular culture. If you’re not an avid consumer of those art forms, and particularly if you’re under 30, you might be picturing, say, the beginning of the 20th century. No no. If you’re a millennial, I’m talking about your grandparents’ generation, who saw performances of classical music on late night talk shows, listened to opera on the record player, and read about famous ballet dancers in the news.

Over the few short decades since then, the fine arts have been elbowed out to the sidelines in a number of ways. Consider television for example, where you can find a performance by a symphony once in a while, but only on PBS. Or many newspapers, where “Arts” has transformed into the “Entertainment” section, and fine arts are frequently relegated to latter pages while movie reviews and celebrity gossip infiltrate prime real estate. Sure, there’s some good stuff on TV and in the paper in those pages once filled by the arts; but as I think we can all agree, where a void has been made on our screens, in our ears, and in our pages, there’s also a whole bunch of crap that’s come to take up space.

Sadly, such has also been the case this week in my city, Victoria, where our major downtown theatre, home to our city’s professional symphony orchestra, opera, and dance organizations, effectively booted all three…

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