Music grad is on her way to operatic success

Michelle Danese (BFA Hons. ’07) is not your ordinary Woodbridge girl, wrote the Vaughan Citizen Sept. 29.

Armed with a sophisticated talent and angelic beauty, this 25-year-old accomplished coloratura soprano is on her way to opera house success.

With auditions mounting all across North America and a very demanding training schedule ahead, this young songstress is thrilled at the opportunity to pursue her childhood dream.

“It’s exciting that I’ve been able to travel and perform in different places and see different parts of the world. My life has always been this (singing), so it’s hard to pull myself out of it,” Danese said.

Danese began singing at the age of 11 after her parents took her to watch The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto. Although the production is considered a musical, the performances triggered a desire to pursue classical work, Danese said.

Then came years of training, a bachelor of fine arts honours degree in music from York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, a post-bachelor’s diploma from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music and, finally, Danese was this year’s recipient of the prestigious Kay Hughes Vocal Scholarship, which will allow her to continue her musical education after graduation.

York head backs ban on non-student rallies, says Star 

York University visitors who violate school rules should first be given a written warning, then be charged with trespassing for a second offence, wrote the Toronto Star in a brief item Sept. 30, quoting President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.

That recommendation was one of many by a task force Shoukri endorsed Tuesday, including one banning outside groups from protesting on campus, said the Star.

There’s value in letting go of resentment, says psychology grad student

A marriage-counselling program at York University works with couples who are stuck after suffering an emotional injury, wrote The Hamilton Spectator Sept. 30 in a story about a couple who went through the program. Ten weeks of emotion-focused therapy later, they emerged closer, their marriage happier.

Developed by York University clinical psychology Professor Leslie Greenberg, of the Faculty of Health, the counselling technique emphasizes the visceral expression of emotion in therapy. He says conflicts in marriage often solidify into cycles of attack and blame. The injured party attacks and blames, the offending party retreats in cold silence or defends in anger.

Critics say forgiveness therapy circumvents the effect of anger and absolves perpetrators of crimes such as child abuse. But Catalina Woldarsky Meneses, one of Greenberg’s PhD students, says carrying the anger of an emotional injury is wearing. “There’s so much value to letting go of resentment. It’s incredible to see couples work past it.”

Seminar ponders businesses of tomorrow

A seminar, called A New Media Gathering, will demonstrate how small- and medium-sized businesses can embrace new technologies, resulting in more streamlined, cost-effective business solutions, wrote the Markham Economist & Sun Sept. 29.

The morning seminar will feature Robert Antonioni, IBM Canada’s leader of small/medium business, Willi Powell, Apple Canada’s strategic development manager, and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.

The seminar is presented by the Innovation Synergy Centre in Markham, in conjunction with the Town of Markham, York University and Seneca College. It will be held Friday, Oct. 2, at the Markham Civic Centre. Registration and breakfast are at 7:30am, with the program running from 8 to 11:20am.

On air

  • Ikonica: A Field Guide to Canada’s Brandscape, co-written by Alan Middleton, professor of marketing in the Schulich School of Business at York University, was reviewed on CBC Radio in Ottawa, Sept. 29.