Fall 2018


Onstage and Off (55+)

This course looks at a diverse mix of artists acclaimed as the best in their fields. Their gifts are obvious, but as we’ll discover, there is no single designated route to success, either on the stage or off. Education, talent, luck, charisma, family, timing and hard work all play a part.

We’ll see how six different artists have taken different paths to glory. Daniel Barenboim came to world attention as a child-prodigy pianist, later adding conducting to his résumé. Tony Bennett’s enduring dedication to the American songbook means he’s still performing at 93. Composer Bernard Herrmann developed good working relationships with the best film directors. Nina Simone is famous for her poetic intensity, and Bruno Mars for his high-energy performances. Finally, Marilyn Horne has gone from recording jingles to conquering the world of opera.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 5 Neil Ritchie $96.00 27 Register

What will I learn?

Week 1: Daniel Barenboim 

This prodigy was born in Argentina and started as a pianist, later adding conducting to his resume. His personal life and political philosophy make him a fascinating portrait.

Week 2: Tony Bennett

Still performing at 93, Bennett has endured through sheer intelligence and dedication to the American songbook. He's adored by contemporary singers and their endorsements have kept him in the spotlight

Week 3: Bernard Hermann

When you write film scores, it helps when you have a good working relationship with great directors. Hermann became a favourite with Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock, and his last film score for Taxi Driver was considered a masterpiece.

Week 4: Nina Simone and Bruno Mars

A study in contrasts. Simone was a tortured sole whose singing reflected her dissolutions with a poetic intensity. Mars is a high energy performer who exorcises those demons with kinetic singing and dancing.

Week 5: Marilyn Horne

This American diva started by singing jingles and recording knock-off budget recordings of the hits of the day. But the beauty of her mezzo soprano voice was undeniable and she went on to conquer the opera world.

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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