Unlike other “arts” podcasts, critics Paula Citron, Holly Harris, and Michael Vincent aren’t here to criticize artists or tell you why a concert or production is good or bad.
Critical Mass is here to do the exact opposite.
Celebrate artists, even if they fail. And give you the tools to help make sense of some of the trends happening in the arts right now.
All three of the hosts are experienced journalists with their ears to the ground. So what you’ll get is a smart show with people who actually know what they’re talking about.
An artist or industry leader interviewed about a specific topic.
Case studies on big ideas happening right now in arts and culture.
Paula, Holly, and Michael looking at the news and talking about where the silver linings are.
Holly Harris recovers a series of personal letters shared between her father and Stephen Sondheim over two decades ago. Paula, Holly and Micheal go through the letters, and try and make sense of what's written on these pages. We find out where they came from, what’s in them, and why they are so important.
Paula, Holly, and Michael have a heated discussion about what happens when artists have their careers ruined after accusations of wrongdoing. Citing examples by artists Liam Scarlett, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Placido Domingo, and even Wagner, they soon discover how fraught the path to redemption is. It all ends with them feeling grateful for a return to in-person concerts, lamenting printed concert programs, and doing what Canadians do best – complaining about the weather.
In this episode, Paula, Holly, and Michael meet the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s conductor Gustavo Gimeno. We chat about his background, his life’s journey moving from a percussionist to a conductor, the road to the TSO, the rise of the international conductor.
In this episode, Paula, Holly, and Michael dive into a few scenarios for the launch of a second pandemic arts season. They start off talking about programming, hybrid shows, and the trend towards smaller productions. Paula pulls out some stats on what the big arts presenters are doing this year. They then transition into how audiences have been changed by Covid-19, and cite some interesting facts about coughing at concerts.
In today's episode, Paula, Holly, and Michael are joined by critic and theatre artist Richard Ouzounian. They talk about Richard's background, the state of theatre — past, present and future, diversity in the arts, and the sometimes problematic relationship between critics and publicists.
In this episode Paula, Holly and Michael talk about the re-opening of the arts and the folly of planning. They also talk about how the pandemic has changed arts journalism and how it continues to respond to the changing times. The idea of vaccine passports is problematic, but also offers a way forward.
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