Abduction at the Opera

Photo: Bruce Zinger / Curtis Sullivan and Amanda Pabyan in Opera Atelier's production of The Abduction from the Seraglio

Photo: Bruce Zinger / Curtis Sullivan and Amanda Pabyan in Opera Atelier’s production of The Abduction from the Seraglio

I could not think of a better pair than Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeuness Zingg – a duo that could not be more modest about their extreme sophistication. Their fascination with music, theatre and dance has given this city quite the cultural reputation ever since they founded Opera Atelier back in 1985.

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to attend the closing performance of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio – an outrageous Italian comedia and audience favourite.

Prior to the opening overture, Pynkoski took to the stage,in front of the curtain, giving a quick introduction as well as the delightful news for what is to come in the New Year. May 2014 will be a memorable time for OA as they perform Persée in Versailles at the Royal Opera House.

As conductor David Fallis began to wave his baton away, within the first few minutes after the overture, you can hear chuckles all around as this famous singspiel began to reveal the plot of the story.

The costume work represented the same colourful feel as the music itself. Each singer shone as they portrayed their characters from the love-struck Belmont to Bassa Selim’s dominating presence.

Let me tell you why I truly enjoy performances by Opera Atelier – the audience!
All who attend OA events share the same enthusiasm as those in front of and behind the curtain. They are supporters of the philosophy that Pynkoski and Zingg have followed all these years. Once you enter the theatre, a unique intimacy takes over where you feel like the Konstanze is singing her sorrow only to you while the musicians  of Tafelmusik are giving you an exclusive performance. I have never experienced a more intimate operatic experience.

The 2013-2014 season will continue with Persée from April 26th – May 3rd, 2014.

For more information about “Dream in Versaille” please visit: operaatelier.com/

Interview with Serbian Blogger Anastasija Milojevic

SNTF-ANA2-696x1024Fashion is read from all over the world and more so recently from various online platforms. You may have noticed that I am a big fan of interviewing bloggers, especially local writers because it’s all about supporting those who are close to home. But speaking of close to home, Toronto is actually one of two cities that share a very special place in my heart. Born near Belgrade, Serbia, my European roots run right through me and my fashion inspirations are a mix between both sides of the Atlantic. North America dominates with its famous blogging stars but Europe is still a whole new world of its own where writers like Elin Kling (Sweden) and Yvan Rodic (Switzerland) have caught the attention of many. Going even a little more east, I started following some wonderful Serbian fashionistas and came across Anastasija Milojevic who is the lady behind Stasha Fashion . Her style caught my attention and through Ana’s blog, I was able to learn about all the up-and-coming names to look out for and what street styles are dominating this part of the world. I got even more excited when she agreed to have a chat with me and share more about the latest from her neck of the woods.


Style Nine to Five: What is the fashion like in Belgrade? Are people following different trends in comparison to other major fashion cities in Europe?

Anastasija Milojevic: Fashion in Belgrade has come a long way – people here are more interested in fashion then they used to be. In the past, trends were delayed and now the situation has improved considerably. People in Serbia spend a lot of money on clothes because the interest is now more on the rise along with street styles becoming a lot more distinct.

SNTF: What attracted you to fashion?

AM: Fashion has always magnetically attracted me. Since I was a kid, I loved reading Vogue and other fashion magazines, playing dressing up and wearing my mom’s high heels. The main channel here is FashionTV which opened up my eyes to the fashion world in general.

SNTF: How were you inspired to start your blog?

AM: My education background is in marketing and for my college thesis I decided to focus from a fashion perspective. The topic was marketing through fashion blogs and that’s where it all began. I started my own blog and it gradually grew with more and more followers.

SNTF: Are there a lot of fashion bloggers in Eastern Europe and how are they attracting readers and followers?

AM: There are more and more fashion bloggers in Eastern Europe and in general, the bloggers from former Yugoslavia countries are related. Everyone has their own audience and the point is to attract readers with something that only you have. Each site has a different fashion personality of its own.

SNTF: Every city is different – what kinds of fashion events do you and other fashion writers go to in Belgrade so you can come up with posts for your blog?

AM: What I usually show on the blog are combinations that can be worn at various occasions and clothes that can be affordable for everyone. When it comes to events in Belgrade, there are so many of them lately and I like to visit them with my fellow blogger girls. Fashion store openings and product launches are very popular here to attend.

Check out Anastasija’s blog by visiting www.stashafashion.com


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