Culture: La Traviata, Who Killed Mom?, Tiësto

Steve Burgess’s memories of mom, ?Jonathan Miller’s take on a Verdi classic, ?and Tiësto’s turntables hit PG. Opera // La Traviata


Steve Burgess’s memories of mom, 
Jonathan Miller’s take on a Verdi classic, 
and Tiësto’s turntables hit PG.

Opera // La Traviata

Sir Jonathan Miller has become one of the world’s leading opera directors, yet his journey into that rarefied realm has been a surprising one. The British-born Miller trained at Cambridge as a physician. In 1960, while studying medicine, he helped write and produce Beyond the Fringe, a musical revue appearing at the Edinburgh Festival that launched the careers of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Miller’s own career path continues to be eclectic, with alternating turns as a director of TV, theatre and opera – and a return to school in the early ’80s to study neuropsychology at McMaster University. This revival of Verdi’s most popular opera, a co-production with Glimmerglass Opera, marks Miller’s Vancouver debut. Vancouver Opera, QE Theatre; April 30, May 3, 5, 7, 10, 12;

Steve Burgess memoir

Books // Who Killed Mom?

The title doesn’t scream funny, but a new memoir by BCB’s popular columnist Steve Burgess is definitely that, as well as a touching and moving meditation on his mother’s 2009 death. The following passage, in which Burgess contemplates gravestone epitaphs, is typical: “Here lies Joan Burgess, our beloved mother; bet she was better than yours. Too competitive. Here lies Joan Burgess; if you ever met her mother, you’d be leaving flowers here right now. I like it. She wouldn’t. Here lies Joan Burgess – one tough mother. No. Here lies Joan Burgess; her ordinary life became a medium for the extraordinary. The simple truth, whether or not she realized it. As it is, we have only that park bench, inscribed: Mom and Dad – it’s been 50 years. So sit. That one she got to see. And modest though she was, she loved it.” April 2011, Greystone Books,

Electronica // Tiësto

DJ Tiesto

Image: Getty

If you’re not either of a certain age or still partying and carrying on like you’re of a certain age, you may not know Tijs Michiel Verwest, the Dutch DJ known simply as Tiësto. But he is one of the biggest names in electronica. His mainstream break came in 2000 when he signed to Vancouver’s Nettwerk Records and remixed a Delirium song (featuring Sarah McLachlan) called “Silence,” which reached No. 3 on Billboard’s dance chart. However his real claim to fame is not record sales but massive outdoor concerts, including a show at Ipanema Beach during the summer of 2007 that attracted a stunning 250,000 acolytes. Prince George isn’t exactly Rio, but if you close your eyes and let the rhythm take control – well, who knows? CN Centre, Prince George, April 27; Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, April 30;