Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: Music

music, friends, art...

It has been quiet here on the blog while life has been exciting some days, sometimes leaving me too tired for words (partly due to a cold as well). So just a list as to what has been going... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/01/2012 | 8 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Being an Artist, Home, Music, Neat stuff


Figaro on the beach

Yesterday afternoon, a Labour Day holiday here in Canada, we had the pleasure of seeing and hearing a delightful and well-done performance of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro on the mainstage of Bard on the Beach. The energetic young... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/09/2011 | 15 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Music




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Marja-Leena | 06/12/2010 | 10 comments
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music, Nature, Photoworks


thoughts on the day

Some days my body feels old from pain and insomnia though in my mind I'm still young and beautiful. Some days melancholia may touch me like softly fluttering wings as I remember many loved ones no longer here. On... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/02/2010 | 18 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Music



Just over a month ago, I wrote about how western media is taking notice of the phenomenon of complaints choirs. Just now I found another report, in Canada's Globe & Mail, BC edition about the number of choirs in... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/01/2010 | 4 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture, Music


sing your complaints

The Helsinki Complaints Choir at the stairs of the Lutheran Cathedral in Helsinki. Photo taken from the complaints choirs website The first time I heard of complaints choirs was over three years ago and later blogged about how amusing... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/12/2009 | 9 comments
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music, Neat stuff, Other artists


home fires burning

Thanks to Erika for posting my video onto her Flickr account! The past few days we've been without home heating, that is, a central heating system we take for granted in most homes in the developed world. Ours is... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 11/11/2009 | 14 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Current Events, Environment, Home, Music


ice music

        On the first full moon of the year, the mountain town of Geilo, Norway hosts the world's only ice music festival and most amazingly, the instruments are made mostly of ice. As short-lived as sandcastles, the ice-sculpted wind,... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 19/01/2009 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Music


feast of Stephen

Good King Wenceslas looked out On the feast of Stephen When the snow lay round about Deep and crisp and even The words to the carol "Good King Wenceslas" were written by John Mason Neale and published in 1853,... [Continue Reading...]

Eugene Onegin

Painting by Michael Abraham We love opera, as some readers may know from the few times I've written about it here. Most exciting for us is to enjoy the colourful and lively visuals of theatre along with the inspiring... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/11/2008 | 11 comments
themes: Culture, Music


Arts funding cuts

Last Sunday afternoon, my husband and I went to a concert at the Chan Centre out at UBC. One of the UBC Centenary Gala series this year, it featured BC born, UBC alumnus and acclaimed tenor, Ben Heppner, and the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 02/10/2008 | 9 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture, Current Events, Music


June beginnings

....busy preparing some of my work to put into an exhibit shared with an artist friend, making decisions on which of my already framed works to choose, updating....

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Marja-Leena | 04/06/2008 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Home, Music


Anne Adams' art

    Over the past three days, I've read two fascinating stories about Vancouver artist Anne Adams who died in 2007. First I read Boléro: Beautiful symptom of a terrible disease in the NewScientist. Today, I'm looking at the Vancouver... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 09/04/2008 | 10 comments
themes: Music, Other artists


Sunday afternoon in Burnaby

Yesterday we headed out to Burnaby (a city next to Vancouver) and the Scandinavian Centre where we enjoyed a recital of songs sung in Finnish, Swedish and Italian by a beautiful, rising talent, Finnish-American singer Maria Männistö. Here's the announcement... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/03/2008 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Canada and BC, Culture, Music, Other artists


Looking back: Jule favourites

Deep in the archives of three years ago is this favourite Christmas season post of mine and reposted here almost fully: My favourite things about Christmas are the things that appeal to the romantic and the child in me.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/12/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Culture, Home, Music


Saariaho and Sibelius

This seems to be the week for music themes on my blog. First, I learned that Kaija Saariaho has been named Composer of the Year by Musical America: Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho swore she would never write an opera... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 15/11/2007 | 10 comments
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


at the symphony

When our granddaughter Lael recently celebrated her 7th birthday, we gave her tickets to go with us to the symphony. Because Lael is taking violin lessons, we chose a Russian Classics concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/11/2007 | 12 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Music



September's calendar is filling up with interesting events. I've just booked seats to see a Finnish-themed music theatre work by an MFA grad with a Finnish name. As immigrants ourselves, my husband and I were quite intrigued by this... [Continue Reading...]

77 Million Paintings

Saturday evening, yesterday, felt like a fall evening, so dark so early with rain thundering on the skylights. Desiring some cocooning, we set up our favourite game of Liverpool Rummy on the table, with hot cups of gen-mai cha... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/07/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Music, Other artists


colours of music

Can music have colour? David Hockney thought so, as filmmaker Maryte Kavaliauskas shows in her profile for PBS's American Masters, David Hockney: The Colors of Music. Hockney designed sets for perfomances of some of the world's great operas for... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/07/2007 | 7 comments
themes: Films, Music, Other artists


the magic flute

Oh my, what a wonderful evening! We splurged on a special night out at the opera and were thoroughly enthralled by the wonderful new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, in a unique and fascinating collaboration with First Nations... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 06/02/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Music



Well, it's still rather soggy in southwest BC, with storm after storm bringing us more heavy rains in the past nearly two weeks than we normally get in the whole month of November, usually our wettest month of the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/11/2006 | 9 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Books, Music




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Marja-Leena | 06/07/2006 | 13 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Music, Other artists, Photoworks, Rocks


beauties vs beasts

(Lordi - Photo from Eurovision) The first that I ever heard of LORDI was in an email about two weeks ago from fellow-blogger Anna in England: "Lordi lordi, whatever next? I really think that you should do a piece... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/05/2006 | 16 comments
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


Kaija Saariaho, opera composer

Charles Downey of Ionarts wrote today: "Tonight was the big night in Paris, the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's new opera, Adriana Mater, at the Opéra national de Paris. It was to have been the jewel in the crown... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/03/2006 | be the first to comment
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


Toronto's Lord of the Rings

"The much-anticipated musical theatre version of The Lord of the Rings made its formal début in a gala première in Toronto on Thursday evening, and the reactions of the audience suggested that the massive production would not be leaving... [Continue Reading...]

Kalevala Event

   ... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/02/2006 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Folk Legends & Myths, Music


Isabel Bayrakdarian in Armenia

Last Thursday evening we decided to do a rare thing and watch TV, specifically CBC's Opening Night which featured A Long Journey Home. This is a beautifully filmed and spiritually moving documentary that follows Armenian-Canadian operatic soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 22/01/2006 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Films, History, Music


musician of the year

Today, I'm pleased at this news in Helsingin Sanomat International: Esa-Pekka Salonen named Musical America's "Musician of the Year" Musical America has named the Finnish conductor, composer, and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Esa-Pekka Salonen as its... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 13/12/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


Sibelius...the Last Swan

Images from Jean Sibelius biography site. Canadian Friends of Finland, Vancouver Chapter, presents: SIBELIUS.....THE LAST SWAN A stage play performed by Western Gold Theatre Saturday October 29, 2005, 2 - 3.30 pm Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas St., Burnaby, B.C.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 15/10/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


opera in Finland

I've suspected for some time that Charles Downey of Ionarts is "quite a Finnophile", as he admits in a great post about Finnish opera and the Savonlinna Opera Festival. For me, Savonlinna is a special town in the beautiful... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/07/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


visual music

Wassily Kandinsky: Painting with White Border 1913 This description in Thursday's Arts Journal really captured my imagination: Art in Musical Terms - There is a relationship, but does one describe the other? "The notion was to take the novelty... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 25/06/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Art Exhibitions, Music, Other artists



Last night we enjoyed the first free downloads of Beethoven's music from BBC Radio, thanks to mirabilis. The BBC is broadcasting all of Beethoven's works this week, and some available to download free the day after. I think only... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 08/06/2005 | 4 comments
themes: Music


'Rings' debut in Toronto

"The much-anticipated stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy will have its world premiere in Toronto, producers announced in London Tuesday. The $27-million show, co-produced by Toronto's Mirvish Productions, will open in March 2006 at... [Continue Reading...]

Music meme

Anna passed this to me, and while I have a vague idea of what a meme is, I've never done one. These questions are very challenging and time-consuming to answer and how can I limit myself?! I'm to pass it... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 14/02/2005 | 2 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Music


Finnish music

Many heart-felt thanks to everyone for all the blogoversary congratulations! Extra special thank yous to Anna for the delightful little poem she wrote for the occasion, and to Charles Downey who wrote: "There's a little post on Finnish music... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 03/02/2005 | be the first to comment
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music


does music affect behaviour?

On my daily blogstroll I found this interesting article on today's Arts Journal. Okay, I admit a little bias here because the mention of Finland particularly caught my eye. "Does Classical Music Cure Petty Crime? Anything Else? (Hint: Think... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/01/2005 | 3 comments
themes: Music


My favourite things

about Christmas are the things that appeal to the romantic and the child in me. I love the visual delights of little white lights, red candles, evergreens, snow, red berries, pine cones and red folk embroidery on linens. I love... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 17/12/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Books, Culture, Music


Rare Sami Music CD

This is very interesting - "Sámi singer releases CD in waning language"- from Helsingin Sanomat. Here are some excerpts, but do read the whole fascinating article. "Pálgáh, a new CD by Inari Sámi singer Aune Kuuva, contains what is... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/10/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Ethnicity, Music


CBC's opening night

I've been spending far too much time working at the computer with PhotoShop, developing images for a series of prints combining inkjet and collagraph prints in layers. I've been in the printmaking studio printing proofs, and back to the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 21/10/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Being an Artist, Culture, Music


Lord of the Rings musical

Helsingin Sanomat has a story that really tickles my Finnish funnybone as it makes the intriguing connection between Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Finland. The makers of London's West End musical Lord of the Rings (Flash webpage) have... [Continue Reading...]

Music in Finland

As a lover of opera and all things Finnish, I'm surprised and thrilled by today's post on ionarts "Music in Finland". Charles Downey writes about how active opera is in Finland today as well as its history: "It took... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/08/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music