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I've been sick....

I didn't even get the chance to blog about the Harvey Shop Tour on Saturday. I'll upload the pictures and do that soon.

Since I was sick, Mom and I read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
Today, I got to watch Oliver! directed by Carol Reed. It was different from the book but I enjoyed it.

I noticed that Horrible Histories borrowed the tune from "Food Glorious Food" for the song, "Work Terrible Work".

Here are clips of the two songs:
"Food Glorious Food" from Oliver!

"Work Terrible Work" from Horrible Histories

This song about Charles Dickens on Horrible Histories reminded my Mom of "This Charming Man" by The Smiths.

Charles Dickens song from Horrible Histories

"This Charming Man" by The Smiths


I also noticed that Horrible Histories borrowed the tune from "Empire State of Mind" by JAY Z and Alicia Keys for "It's A New World".

"Empire State of Mind" by JAY Z and Alicia Keys

"It's A New World" from Horrible Histories

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the USA!


The City of Toronto Museums

I've been to all of the museums run by the City of Toronto and blogged about them!

Colborne Lodge

Fort York

Gibson House

Mackenzie House

Montgomery's Inn

Scarborough Museum

Spadina Museum

Todmorden Mills

Oxbow Trail and Todmorden Mills

Today Dad and I went to Todmorden Mills and we also walked along the Oxbow Trail.

This is a view of the outside of the mill.
It's an art gallery and theatre now.

We walked along the Oxbow Trail first.
We got to see these views of the Don River.

It must be nice out here in the spring and summer when the flowers are blooming.

I liked the way this hollowed out tree trunk looked.

When they first settled the site it must have been convenient to have the river right here. They probably chose to settle here because of the river.

I don't know what this plant is. If you know could you please let me know in the comments section.

Here's a picture of a wooden bridge across a creek.

 This plaque tells a little bit about the history of the site.

 Here's another view of the mill.

We joined the tour when they were in this house.

It had a small, modest dining room.

This is the master bedroom.

They would cook over the open fire in the kitchen.

This is a view of the Helliwell House.
They had a brewery and distillery.

 Here's a view looking into the parlour.

This is a picture of Thomas Helliwell who owned the house and the brewery.
He sold beer to Fort York. He got it there by shallow bottom boat or by cart. It would take 8 hours to get it from Todmorden Mills to Fort York by cart!

They would keep the sugar loaf brought up from the West Indies in the window. Only the wealthy could afford sugar so they'd put it in the window to show off to their neighbours.

The black chairs were designed for women to sit down in their hoop skirts without letting their ankles show.

 I got to look in the stereo-scope. I think the picture I got to look at was taken in Japan.

They had rope beds in the bedroom.

They had this coal stove in the kitchen. It must have been much easier than cooking on an open fire.

They are in the process of refurbishing the historic houses of Todmorden Mills and it will probably be very different when I go back again.


TSO & Rob Kapilow's "What Makes It Great?: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"

On Friday we went to see Rob Kapilow's "What Makes It Great?: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. We've been to some of his concerts before. I blogged about Mozart's Jupiter Symphony last year.

Rob Kapilow always makes it so interesting. He makes it so that anybody can understand why we like what we like! He focusses on small bits at a time and he shows us what makes it special. Sometimes he even changes it up so that the music sounds not as great and then changes it back to the original so we can hear the difference.

There was only one performance of "What Makes It Great? Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" with the TSO but you can download it with a different orchestra on itunes.

After the concert, people got to ask the orchestra questions.

One girl asked them how long it takes to learn a piece. Rob Kapilow gave an example about Picasso. He said that there's a joke about someone asking Picasso to do a sketch on a napkin when he was 80 years old. It took him a few seconds and Picasso asked him for $50,000. The person said 'But it only took a few seconds'. But Picasso said it took 80 years.
He explained that it's really all of the years of practice and experience that helps the orchestra to play the way they do.

When a grown up asked about how they all get the timing right for a piece one of the double basses answered that they come together and "their hearts all beat as one". They all listen to each other so they can respond to each other and play together.

I really like those question and answer sessions!

I got to take a picture with Rob Kapilow again.

Rob Kapilow will be back again with the TSO on Feb 21, 2014 for Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Jun 6, 2014 for Appalachian Spring.


Halloween at Mackenzie House

On Halloween Mom and I went to Mackenzie House. It turns out that we went there on Halloween last year too! 

We ran into Bruce Beaton, the actor from the Necropolis Tour. He showed us around the house.
I remembered quite a bit about William Lyon Mackenzie's life from what I learnt in the last school year but you learn something new every time you come to a place like Mackenzie House.

Mom took this picture of Mackenzie's bedroom. He died from 'softening of the brain' which might have meant that he had a stroke. He died in this very room. 

We took this picture in the basement. It's very bright compared to most other basements. The Mackenzies would have used the basement as a day room.

This is a picture of Mackenzie. It would have been very expensive to pose for paintings but he was the first Mayor of Toronto.

Mackenzie's family wasn't wealthy but there are records that they rented a piano.

 This is a painting of Todmorden Mills. We plan to visit there soon!

There was a display area where they showed the boxes that the prisoners from the 1837 Rebellion made. Mackenzie was the 'Ringleader' but he escaped arrest by fleeing to America. The prisoners made these boxes for their loved ones. They were afraid that they would be executed. Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews were both hung for their participation.

The box on the bottom right of the second picture is a snuff box from John G. Parker and John Montgomery. Parker was sentenced to transportation to 'Van Dieman's Land' now known as Tasmania. He was freed in 1839. Montgomery's death sentence was commuted to transportation but he escaped to the United States. He was able to come back to Toronto after he was pardoned in 1843.

At the end of the tour I got to go in the historic print shop and I printed this souvenir.

It was my first time at the house while there was a school group. They were from St. Michael's Choir School and they were very well behaved. The children and their teacher were very nice!


TSO's Carmina Burana

Last night Mom, Dad and I went to see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra perform Carmina Burana. It was excellent!

Peter Oundjian conducted and I was lucky enough to meet him on Wednesday when I got to see one of the rehearsals for this performance.

Neil Deland, horn
Valentina Farcas, soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
James Westman, baritone
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
Toronto Children's Chorus

The first two pieces were Thomas Ad├Ęs' Dances from Powder Her Face and Benjamin Britten's Seranade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.

I was amazed by Nicholas Phan's singing. He memorized everything and he had very good pronunciation and very good control over his breathing!

I'm so happy that the TSO's Principal Horn, Neil Deland was the one who did the horn solo for the Britten piece. I love it when the TSO musicians get to do the solos because I think they are some of the most talented musicians in the world! Neil Deland is definitely one of them!

After the intermission, we got to hear Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. I've never heard the full piece before but I'm so happy that I got to go. I was surprised about what it means! I think everybody has heard "O Fortuna" and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir was the best I'd ever seen them!
I liked the song where Nicholas Phan was singing about being roasted on the spit and I also liked the men's drinking song.

The Toronto Children's Choir voices were so light and pure. It was cool to see them especially with them performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

I loved this performance!