Saturday, May 12, 2012

Opera, Architecture & Fine Dining





This local restaurant was chosen for lunch

It is Spring time in Toronto. The lilacs, tulips and iris are in bloom, gardens are overflowing with flowers and al fresco dining is in demand

Mussels and chips
Interior Designer Annette  and her sister visited. Annette and I have been friends for more than three decades.    It is always a joy for me to research and find a new place to take Annette, as she no longer lives in Toronto.  Lunch at the wonderful local restaurant did not disappoint. We overstayed and leave. Our delightful waitress continued to serve us sparkling water and coffee.

Two sisters, Joan and Annette visit the city


Dining room at restaurant

Minimal would describe the decor



Then to the opera to "The Tales of Hoffman".  We have seen many productions of The Tales of Hoffman and this was one of the most spectacular. (This short video is of the actual performance we saw)

 The architecturally pleasing Four Seasons Centre for the performing arts was designed by Architect
Jack Diamond, who attended the University of Pennsylvania where he studied with Louis Khan.

Ascending these stairs is always an exciting moment.

Do you enjoy Opera?  How was your week

62 comments:

  1. Hi Helen,
    The architecture is stunning. How nice that your friend and her sister visited. Sounds like you three had an absolutely delightful day. Love the restaurant's minimalist decor. Have a good day tomorrow!
    Sanda

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    1. Hello Sanda

      A very happy Mother's Day to you too.
      Annette is one of those friends that is always surprising, always interested in life and has a joyful spirit. She is Acadian (from Prince Edward Island)As young women, we solved many of the world's problems over a bottle of wine until the morning broke)
      My best
      Helen xx

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  2. What a wonderful time! Fabulous photos!

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    1. Hello Elizabeth

      It was indeed a memorable day and I have fond and beautiful memories.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  3. Hello Helen:
    We felt that we were with you all for the entire time as the whole day was exactly the kind of thing we should have so much enjoyed. First the wonderful looking, minimalist restaurant which clearly made you so welcome, and allowed you to linger, and then on to that superbly designed Four Seasons Centre for the opera. Magical.

    In an ideal world we should eat out daily and attend the opera each evening so this all sounds to have been perfect.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance

      The more we communicate, the more I feel we are connected in our love for the arts. You said it beautifully, in an ideal world you would dine out and attend the opera. That is perfection for us.
      The waitress was professional and friendly, the right amount of service and then left us alone.

      Wishing you a glorious day

      Helen xx

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  4. Its not the restaurant or the place we dine that makes for a good evening!. What makes it so wonderful is the company. How wonderful to be able to spend time with a dear friend. That in itself is food for the soul. I can imagine you both having your meal and talking over old times.
    Helen, the little simple restaurant looks just fine,cute and shabby chic. I bet the food is delicious.
    Dinner and the opera. What a perfect way to end the day.

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    1. Hello Valerie, You are so right. The company is first and foremost and Annette and I would be happy with a crust of bread and a cup of coffee. (believe me in our single days, that was often the menu). She was one of my bridesmaids.
      The opera was spectacular, almost 3 hrs and it flew by.
      My best

      Helen xx

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  5. I have to agree with Les Hattats--that sounds to be a perfect day to me! It all looks absolutely wonderful.

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    1. Hello Heather

      I love the new description of "Les Hattats" it rhymes beautifully. I know if we listen to them we can glean some good advice.
      To a glorious week
      Helen xx

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  6. Mussels and chips... that sounds so lovely Belgian to me :))
    I do like opera and all kind of classical music anyway. Sometimes I do assist at New York opera-events which are broadcasted live in our Kinepolis-cinema!
    All the best to you, have a good Sunday,
    Marjolijn

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    1. Hello Marjolijn
      Muelles and frittes is different. Belgian food sounds delicious.
      How great that you get to see the New York "live at the opera" at the cinema. I listen to it on radio and would love to find a cinema like yours. My first opera at the Met was "La Boheme" and how sensational it was. When they raise the chandelier at the Met, it is magical. I enjoy classical music too.

      Have a glorious week.
      Helenxx

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  7. Wow! What a wonderful way to spend a day, perfect!
    Essie x

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    1. Hello Essie

      It was a perfect day and the weather co-operated, sunshine and that spring like warmth.
      Hope your week is very special

      Helen xx

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  8. Dear Helen,

    You are wearing black! What happened? I know and I agree: black is THE colour to wear for a nice evening out! Very elegant!

    I see that you know how to look after your friends... they are very, very lucky, indeed! Can I come?

    Now... the Opera... Helen, when I lived in Italy, young people like me snobbed the opera, as it was considered to be "borghese." I once went to see "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" "The Barber of Seville" at Teatro Petruzzelli, in Bari and... should I advertise this? My legs went very restless and I felt trapped in my seat for a very long time and suffered. It was a bit painful... and (I feel really ashamed, now) but... I... fell... asleep!

    I actually love Opera, but I really, really can't sit for a very long time. What can I do? Having said this, I was brought up on Opera. My father knew them all and sang them to me, though he didn't have a Pavarotti type voice. But he knew them all, because... his family had a box, in the most beautiful theatre, in Bari (Teatro Petruzzelli) which was situated on the right of the Royal Box! Yes, they had their own little place right next to where the King of Italy and his family sat, if they happened to be in Bari! Can you imagine that? My father went to the Opera with his family from the age of 2!

    Of course, as you grow up, you learn to appreciate your heritage, who you are, where you come from and "things" that really matter. And I have grown up, of course...

    I am very proud of being a member of my family, I am proud, very proud to be Italian and I now love Opera, as it belongs to the culture and beautiful language of my Mother Land! In fact.. it makes me very, very emotional! And I'm almost sure that, if I went to see The Barber of Seville now, I would sing along and hopefully wouldn't fall asleep. But then, if I did, who knows, maybe Pavarotti might come back from the dead and sing in my ear: "Nessun dorma, nessun dorma.. tu pure o' pricipessa nella tua tua fredda satanza, che guardi le stelle che tremano d'amore e di speranza! Ma il mio mistero e` chiuso in me.. il nome mio nessun sapra` no... no..." BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BELLISSIMO!

    CIAO!

    ANNA

    xxx

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  9. Hello Anna

    You can indeed come along Anna and it would be a joy to have you with us. I am laughing as I read your introduction to opera and your lack of patience.
    How delightful to have a father who sang opera to you. (My father had a beautiful voice too and was a champion Irish dancer). Now speaking of Pavarotti, I might have to wrestle you here and vie for his singing in my ear. He is, in my opinion the best of the best and I miss him. Thank God for recordings of his voice.
    Now you have me humming Nessum dorma..
    Bravo, Ciao Bella

    Helen xx

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  10. Welcome back to Toronto....that restaurant looks charming. Toronto is the nicest in the Spring...

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    1. Thank you Chania for your welcome message.

      Spring is beautiful and one of my favourite seasons and yes, Toronto seems to blossom then.
      Hope your week is special
      Helen x

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  11. Toronto - Canada?
    Oh I am mixed. What more to add to the other comments!
    A wonderful day, great company, lovely dining and to top it all - opera.
    Yes, opera, theater, ballet, I enjoy them. Like to get in the mood, dressed up. Out from the country gear - once in while.
    Thank you for the bits of extra!

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    1. Hello Mette
      Yes, Toronto Canada it is.
      I know how you feel. It is great to dress up and have a night of culture. I always feel privileged to look around and appreciate being part of the audience at an opera, where the seating is minimal. When one considers the entire cast of the opera and also the entire orchestra,all on stage for our benefit, it brings tears of joy.
      Thanks for stopping by
      Helen xx

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  12. Hello Helen...Sounds like you had a wonderful evening out with your long time friends. The meal looks delicious and I love opera! I always drive with it on and have it playing in my studio all the time, nothing brings me to tears faster. I learned Italian just so I could understand what they were saying. Thank you for stopping by my blog it's always a pleasure to hear from you!

    Enjoy your evening!
    XX
    Debra~

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    1. Hello Debra
      It was a most memorable day. I can totally relate to how you feel about opera. I have been known to shed a tear more than once. That is a very good reason to have studied Italian. I continue to grasp an understanding of this beautiful language and always study furiously when a trip to Italy is imminent.
      It is my pleasure to visit your bautiful blog
      Helen xx

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  13. What a lovely and extraordinary day you had! Being able to linger at lunch with friends is wonderful and the minimal decor is stunning. And then on to the opera at such an exquisite venue. Lovely! I hope your entire weekend has been wonderful. Thank you so much for stopping by and I am your newest follower.

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    1. Hello and may I extend a big warm welcome to you. Thank you for becoming my newest follower.

      We had a wonderful day and then the opera still has me singing.

      Hope you have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  14. A delightful experience with your dear friends Helen.

    Thank you so much for visiting me!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. Hello Karena

      Thank you for visiting and a warm welcome.

      It was a delightful day.

      Wishing you a wonderful week
      Helen xx

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  15. Beautifully captured, Helen. I love the decor of that restaurant which is not only minimalist but seems to me a bit avant garde. It reminds me of a restaurant I visited which had a MushRoom, in which guests ate on cushions around a table close to the floor.

    It seems you chose a very appropriate venue for your friends -- and I have to admit, I have never heard live opera.

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    1. Hello Suze
      The decor at Wish is as you describe. I love the sound of the restaurant you refer to and the MushRoom. I am sure it added to the pleasure of the evening.

      If you choose to attend an opera, make sure it is a spectacular venue as it will add to the pleasure
      Hope your week is spectacular
      Helen xx

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  16. Oh my! What a grand time you had!!! Good for you!! Have a wonderful week! Cathy

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    1. Hello Cathy

      Thanks for your good wishes. It was a wonderful day and evening.

      Hope your week is very special

      Helenxx

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  17. Love it! Took my baby Betty grandbaby to see the Nutcracker and am in love with all the pompe!

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    1. I think it is wonderful to introduce your grandbaby Betty to the arts. She will grow up with an appreciation.

      Have a great week

      Helen xx

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  18. Oh I haven't been to the opera or a concert in w-a-a-y too long. Thank you for including the little video, the soundtrack is beautiful.
    sharon
    x

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    1. Hello Sharon

      I can understand how your time gets used up with all that you do and the horses take up much time. We love opera and concerts as it seems to make one forget real life for those few hours and then we see our world from another perspective.
      May your week be filled with joy
      Helen xx

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  19. Thank you so very much! It all looks stunning and interesting and cheerful! The Tales of Hoffman is an opera I adore! Christa

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    1. Hello Christa

      The music in the Tales of Hoffman is familiar and beautiful.
      I love Olympia and to see her in different productions is always so humerous.

      Helen xx

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  20. Wow...what a beautiful day that must have been!!!!

    Kristin xx

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    1. Hello Kristin

      Thanks for your comment and yes it was a memorable and beautiful day. Sometimes when we post about it, it adds to the memory

      Helen xx

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  21. I LOVE THE OPERA and all of these divine images of a time well-enjoyed!!! HELEN MY DEAR! MERCI for coming to visit me. Yes dearest, you are most welcomed to watch and visit all the Paris link bloggers on that day and enjoy. It is basically a post that they will put up for the week and visit each other with the main theme of Paris. I am the one making all the links!!!!

    ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL DAY! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita

      I somehow knew as a harpist you would love Opera too.

      Your upcoming blog on Paris will be of interest to me.

      Hope your week is spectacular

      Helen xx

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  22. Sounds like you had a fabulous day out Helen!
    xx

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    1. Hello and yes, it was a day to remember.
      My friend Annette just loves life, discovering and learning and it is always rewarding to plan a day with her.
      Helen xx

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  23. I cannot imagine a day better spent than with a couple of dear friends, eating great food and topped of by the Opera. What an amazing day and thanks for sharing it.
    J xxx

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    1. Hello Janette

      Thanks for stopping in. It was a most memorable day indeed.
      Hope you have a great weekend

      Helen xx

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  24. Spectacular opera house!! Yes, I adore opera, except for the high sopranos. My mother was a contralto and I liked her range.

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    1. Hello Becky

      That must have been wonderful having a mother as an opera singer. Did she wake you up each morning singing?
      Helen xx

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  25. I adore the Opera, and I have to say that this sounds like the most perfect day - old friends, fine food, the Opera - throw in a couple of hours browsing in antique stores and I'd be in heaven!
    Paula x

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    1. Hello Paula

      I knew there was something missing, we needed you along with us to add to the joy. I love antique stores and it would have added more joy to our day

      Helen xx

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  26. What an outstanding way to spend a day! The restaurant looks wonderful! The Four Seasons Center is amazing!

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    1. Hello Jacqueline,

      Yes the Four Seasons Opera House has an aura about it. Ascending the stairs is always so exciting.
      Hope your weekend is very special

      Helen xx

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  27. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I have to say, I've never seen a real opera. Many musicals, but never opera! I'm not sure how much I would get out of some of them because I know they're in languages I don't speak.

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    1. Hello Paige

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for becoming a follower.
      There is sub-titles in English above the stage in opera and one can follow along. It is good to read up on the opera and listen to the music prior to going, then you will get a great sense of the art of opera.
      Give it a try.

      Helenxx

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  28. I am totally envious of your wonderful day. Food, good company and opera: bliss!

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  29. Hello Friko

    It was a glorious day and all the ingredients worked.
    Have a great weekend

    Helenx

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  30. It sounds like a perfect evening Helen. I've yet to really come to opera but the French film ' Diva' from the 1980's did cast a spell. Have you ever seen it? Jane xx

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  31. i can say that the venue is beautiful...
    but i would rather see Michael Feinstein there.
    i don't love operas.
    it's the language thing.
    when i have attended operas they had sub-titles above the stage
    and i didn't to read.
    i wanted to watch and listen.

    thanks for sharing with us
    ;)

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  32. oh Helen what an amazing day! I've never been to the opera but this sure puts it on my short list of things to do! have a wonderful weekend! Stacy

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  33. What memories you are making with these extraordinary days! I love the Opera and classical music. You lift me up with these photos and your descriptions. Enjoy your weekend!

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  34. Helen,

    How appreciated you make us all feel when you share events with us. I love all the arts and we don't seem to have enough time to share everything with everyone we truly "need" to spend time with. You've shared something that will not come together in space and time again. This is Special indeed!

    Bette

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  35. love the photos and your blog! Would you like to visit my blog? If you want, we can follow each-other and I'm already following :) :) cheers!
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  36. Great Place and Awesome FOOD! As a Filipino, I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and decors of this place! We came here for our wedding anniversary & enjoyed this fine dining place in town. Lovely food with excellent service always attentive without being intrusive. Legit!

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  37. I am delighted to hear that you had a good dining experience at Wish. It is a favourite of ours and I love that they change the decor every month or so. The food is delicious too.

    Wishing you a happy anniversary and great year

    Helenxx

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