Maestro Valery Gergiev and the Stradivarius Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vancouver, October 20, 11 Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, Canada

Strauss Metamorphosen – transported me to a wonderful place

Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1- OVER THE TOP! Brilliant and knocked my socks off!

Tchaikovsky Serenade in C Major  – big smiles on my face and warmed my soul.

VALERY GERGIEV you are brilliant and so is Stradivarius Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre – I was so fascinated by the change in seating for each selection – such a sound…thank you for one of the most memorable orchestral music experiences in my life!


“Music is the only language understood by everyone in our wonderful diverse world.” Bramwell Tovey, Music Director, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra


Premier Christy Clark, here are some messages you might pay attention to and change your point of view regarding Education Funding in British Columbia. Listen to your own Liberal team, in their recommendation to, restore funding for education in British Columbia; and, keep your promise of “FAMILIES FIRST”.






Premier Christy Clark: Do you still “hope they, (being cuts to Education Funding), are being kept away from hurting Kids”?

I hope you get the message, loud and clear, that restoring Education Funding in British Columbia must not be a long-term goal of our government. It must be an immediate and ongoing goal of the government we elected.

From a parent: Here’s proof positive WHY funding Music Education in our schools is important: “My daughter is studying micro-biology at university now. Her preparation was piano theory and a GAP year in a singer-songwriter program. The interplay is obvious in her work so far.” Kevin Teichroeb

Premier Christy Clark please pay attention to the KIDS, and show the leadership we voted for, in you, by restoring Education Funding in British Columbia, NOW; because later, in your current long-term goals agenda, it won’t matter.



Premier Christy Clark:

From a young clarinetist in elementary band: “please don’t take away the band. It would break my heart.” VSB39





ATTEND the Vancouver School Board Budget Meeting, open to the public, Tuesday April 15, 2014 at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School – 7pm. #NOMusicEducationCuts #InvestInVanKids

Here is WHY:

Madame Premier,

You have a child attending a school located in the Vancouver School District #39 area.

I extend to you, as a parent of a school-aged child, a sincere invitation to  the public discussion on the 2014/15 VSB Budget at 7:00pm, April 15th at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.

From students in school music programs, and, in their own words, here is WHY: (Please watch the video)


Please, do, #InvestInVanKids, and in your child’s education.


Susan C. Weiss



JOIN the Twitter campaign #InvestInVanKids
FOLLOW  #RallyNOMusicEducationCuts
WRITE a letter to Premier Christy Clark
ATTEND the VSB Public Budget Meeting at 7 p.m., April 15



I am also passionately upset, grievously so, that the Vancouver School Board, yet again, (they tried to do the same in 2010), is proposing to ELIMINATE, yes, ELIMINATE, the Elementary School band and string music program in, School District #39, that they govern, to SAVE $630K+.

I, Susan Weiss, unequivocally support, encourage and plead with everyone who cares about education, (whether you have children in school or not), to make yourself heard, seen and shout it out: “VSB, DO NOT ELIMINATE MUSIC PROGRAMS IN OUR VANCOUVER SCHOOLS!


I share this letter from Access to Music Foundation President and CEO Elka Yarlowe:

10 APR 14

“The Vancouver School Board’s recent budget proposal including either a fee raise or total elimination of the Band and Strings Program, has compelled Access to Music Foundation President and CEO Elka Yarlowe to put out a call to action.

She’s written an open letter to the city’s school board engaging Vancouverites to speak up to government and through social media about the importance of early music education in youth development, and take part in the public discussion coming up at 7:00pm, April 15th at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.

The recommendation in the 2014/2015 preliminary budget is “to eliminate the band and strings program for a savings of $630,651.

Alternatively, the Board could increase the annual fee for the band and strings program to $25 per month for a total of $250.00 per year. This however would only generate an additional $350,000.”

Access to Music hopes you can help encourage the Vancouver School Board to keep funding in place to ensure VanCity’s kids have access to elementary school music programs.

Your voice can make the difference, please join us today to help us make a better tomorrow for our kids.

You can contribute in the following ways:

JOIN our Twitter campaign using #InvestInVanKids to show your support of music education;

WRITE a letter to Premier Christy Clark asking for improvements to school funding – an example is at


ATTEND the public budget meeting on Tuesday, April 15th at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School at 7pm.

It’s not just about music. It is about providing a creative and innovative way to make the overall learning experience for every child a meaningful and lasting one.”

Please click this link to read the full open letter from Elka Yarlowe to the VSB.






San Diego Opera latest drama:

Why can’t the boss man Ian Campbell write his own memo to the company Production Stage Manager? Looks like the Board President is the new boss woman; at least in the memo department.


As the story reads the cast of characters gets even more #operadramatic, Legal Counsel to the Board of Directors was best man at Ian Campbell’s wedding!

Two new Board members added, (reported to be friends of Campbell’s), and the mandatory $25K donation was waived. (One could not find a more contemporary opera libretto in the making.)

Meanwhile on the Save Opera San Diego front there is a new petition “Ian Campbell, resign with dignity” put forward

He might, hurriedly, ponder this action indicated in the petition, before all dignity disappears…..;

From me to Carol Lazier: Four words: BRAVA! and, thank you!

Here is Lazier’s statement:

“Other companies of our size like Dallas Opera have been able to re-make themselves into successful companies without drastic steps like closure or bankruptcy. My gift is being given as a challenge to the Board of Directors in order to give us some time and resources to consider and explore realistic options from experts in the field who we can find through Opera America.

“I gave the money to encourage us to rescind the dissolution vote as soon as possible. Having four full-scale productions is clearly unsustainable in our community. What would a re-tooled and financially stable season and company look like? A company with new fundraising methods, new repertoire, new cost saving measures and an inspired future? One supported by a community already now broader, more innovative, and more emotionally committed than I have ever seen?

“This money is not being given to restart raising financial support from the community for the company as it exists today. Raising public support can only come after we have a workable business plan. Opera is the greatest of the performing arts. It’s a culmination of all the other arts – music, drama, voice, dance, theater. The stories are timeless. The arts nourish our souls and connect us as human beings. With the arts being cut in schools, arts education programs such as the ones San Diego Opera supports are critical to help fill the gap. This gift is to be used to explore other options, anything other than ceasing operations after 49 successful years.

“ If we close, 400 jobs will be lost and all our assets, including our profitable scenic studio will be sold off. Our city’s reputation will be tarnished. How can ‘America’s finest city’ not have an opera company? Perhaps this is the blessing of a near death experience – the capacity to nurture this new life we have been given.”


Blog post by

First off the opera spectrum, I think Mori’s comment: “Opera has the best chance out of all the performing arts to engage those new audiences, because it’s at the extreme end of the live performance spectrum.” is misleading.

“Extreme end” of What? Why? How?

Really? What about all the #FringeFestivals that also present the performing arts? Mori, you need to expand your spectrum view of the all live performing arts, #getagrip!

IMO, ALL the performing arts have the chance to engage new audiences; and they do, on a grand scale.

Here are a few who are actively engaging new audiences in big numbers and adding new revenue streams too!:

Margaret, I know TO thinks it is the classical music hub of Canada, and, (IMO it most likely is).

BUT, for Canadian #IndieOpera companies you might explore: #CowtownOpera, Calgary; #CityOperaVancouver and #VancouverOpera – Opera Train and World Premiere of #StickBoy (Just a few other suggestions, because you asked.)

We in the #IndieLivePerformingArts in the west of Canada get just a bit bent out of shape when we are, more often than not, left out of the #Indie scene being written about by bloggers in TO, Canada.

Margaret, thanks for the post and bringing to light #IdieOpera in Toronto, Canada

To the President of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera:

Was the original gift invested and at what ROI?

How is it possible that the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera, for so many years, passed deficit budgets? Was that prudent for the sustainability of the institution?

If, yes, why?

The Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera are the guardians of the society.

IMO, as guardians of the society, the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera might/should sell the Society for $1 to all the hard working employees who will lose their jobs, (when the San Diego Opera plans to cease operation on April 13, 2014.)

Let these people move forward with dignity; they will do a better job(s) than the individual who planned the consecutive budgeted deficit seasons that were approved by the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera.

This suggested action to be followed by the 30+ members of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera who voted to dissolve the company, all resign, without dignity, but, drinking watered down beer!

The content of this link more than irks me; it makes me angry.

Michael Morreale on Twitter @18mm and or his team, either can’t draw pie charts correctly; OR, and more to my point, don’t ask the right questions of the people who are in the know.

Case in point, Maestro Bramwell Tovey, Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

I quote Maestro Bramwell Tovey’s most recent tweets:

2014/15 VSO 28 solo opportunities (excl choral&pops), 16men, 10women and 2tbd.

@BramwellTovey: .@VSOrchestra is waiting for @18mrm @CBCMusic apology for fake statistics & lack of diligence in plagiarized article.

Personally, I, as a female cultural entrepreneur, visionary, and a creative in the performing arts, find the comments about “shocking female gender gap” by Michael Morreale @18mm in his article, demeaning and, pathetic.

I ask the leadership, in critical journalism at CBC Music: Where is your journalistic oversight? Where is your fact checking?

And, when is Michael Morreale @18mm going to publicly apologize to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, its Music Director, Bramwell Tovey, its audience and donors?

I’m asking and waiting….

Susan C. Weiss

Judith Forst, Mezzo-Soprano is a Canadian Treasure.

Judith Forst

Congratulations, Judi, on winning the Morawetz Award for Award for Excellence in Music.

Well done and I am so proud of you!!!!

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