Leonard Rosmarin

Author and Speaker

I May Need A Bodyguard Soon!

I have been very remiss in keeping you informed of my activities. So I will now make up for lost time. I am in my third year as a permanent member of the Speakers Bureau at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. I present pre-performance chats on various operas to about 300 people at a time. I must say I have found here the perfect outlet for my brand of exhibitionism! My audiences are so attentive, committed and enthusiastic. They inspire me to give more than 100% all the time. Some of my most enthusiastic admirers are ladies. In fact one friend told me that I will probably have to hire a bodyguard to protect me from my over-zealous lady admirers. My wife is not in the least perturbed. She says: "Oh, they are either middle-aged or elderly." I reply: "Yes, that may be, but they are far more interesting than young chicks."

In the fall of this year I presented chats on Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat). It occurred to me that beneath the effervescent gaiety of the music there is a dark subtext: we can see a society hooked on hedonism at all costs whirling giddily and recklessly into the abyss. During the winter season, I will present talks on Mozart's last opera, La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus), a work with an exalting message: It glorifies the triumph of compassion and forgiveness over brutality and vindictiveness. During the spring season, I will be talking about the French composer, Francis Poulenc's only opera, Dialogues des Carmélites (Dialogues of the Carmelites), that evokes the mysterious working of divine grace as well as the victory of courage over fear.

In addition to my work at the COC, I have been giving lectures all over the greater Toronto area and will present a public lecture in France in March at the Université de Perpignan in the southwest of France. I'm also reading the final proofs--at last!--of my book on the novels of the great Nobel Prize author, Elie Wiesel. And if that weren't enough, I'm also working on my eleventh book that will describe my half-century relationship with France. So you see, although I am officially retired, I'm so busy that I don't know what the word "retirement" means.
 
May I wish all of you the happiest, most fulfilling New Year imaginable. May 2013 bring you excellent health both physical and moral. When you have your health, you have everything!
 

My New Career as Opera Lecturer

The Canadian Opera Company, one of the five best in North America and one that enjoys an enviable international reputation, has engaged me as a pre-performance lecturer. I will present a number of chats before various operatic performances during the course of the season that runs from October 2010 till May 2011.
 
I was extremely proud and flattered and, yes, humbled, when the Senior Manager of Outreach and Education for the company told me she was convinced I would have no trouble capturing the attention of the three hundred or so people who attend these chats before each performance. I have been a self-confessed opera addict for decades (see my posting on opera in my Blog), and now I will be able to share my passion for this art on a regular basis with many opera-lovers who do not as yet have my knowledge and experience. The dates of my presentations at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto are as follows:
 
            Friday, October 15
            Monday, October 18
            Tuesday, November 2
 
            Saturday, January 29
            Sunday, February 6
            Saturday, February 12
 
In October, I will talk about Giuseppe Verdi's grandest of grand operas, Aida, a story of forbidden love. In January and February 2011, I will present talks on Mozart's masterpiece, The Magic Flute, a musical fairytale that exalts conjugal love. Needless to say, I am already excited out of my skin!

Love Advisor and Ice Queen author

Leonard was an expert on the Advice.LoveDetour website and wrote The Ice Queen episodes for the site. 

Video Interview with Canada's Mississauga News

You can see Leonard's video interview by clicking HERE

Book Banter Review of Getting Enough

Book Banter

By Stuart Nulman

Getting Enough by Leonard Rosmarin (Strategic Book Publishing, $26.50)

What happens when a middle aged couple find themselves in a mid-life crisis of their own, especially when it comes to doing some nooky … or not getting enough nooky? Leonard Rosmarin, a retired professor of literature from Brock University, gives that situation some consideration in his novel entitled Getting Enough.

It tells the story of Vera, an angry, frustrated middle-aged woman who catches her wealthy second husband Sidney in an affair of the heart with a younger woman. As a result, Vera reflects on her life (she lost her first husband at a young age in a car accident), not to mention how she is thoroughly repulsed by Sidney, especially when it comes to intimacy (or lack thereof).

So what does poor, frustrated Vera do? She embarks upon an affair of the heart of her own with Boris, who is the husband of her niece Charmaine.

Will this bit of revenge infidelity be enough for Vera to get even with her philandering weasel of a husband? Or does she still have feelings of affection for the guy?

Getting Enough reads like one of those bawdy British sex farces that were filmed throughout the 1970s (and Rosmarin has authority to do so, because he has studied, lectured and written about different aspects of French bawdy farcical literature during his 40 years as a professor of literature, and based the novel on his experiences of growing up with an extended Jewish family). Although the text can be quite sexually explicit at times, the book shows with a lot of reflection, honesty (and quite a lot of vitriol) the hazards of the institution of marriage amongst the middle-aged, and all the infidelity that goes with the territory. It’s almost like an "R" rated version of "The Honeymooners" without the "Bang, zoom to the moon!"

So if you see that your long term marriage is not getting you enough whoopee, take a look at Getting Enough and believe me, you will be getting your farcical fill of whoopee, nooky, battling, love and affection (but not necessarily in that order).

Stuart Nulman can be reached at [email protected]


Rave Reviews for Getting Enough!

I've had the pleasure of interviewing Leonard Rosmarin a few times on radio shows. This author is bright, witty, and just plain fun. His book Getting Enough reflects his personality and family life. The characters are a hilarious blend of fact and fiction. And, although this is a work of the author's imagination, a lot of truth can be found in the pages. How often do we get bored with our lives and our lover, thinking the grass is surely greener on the other side? Instead, we should work on ourselves and look beneath the thin veneer of our partner to see what makes them tick. Once we get past the ego and see into the heart, very often we can fall in love all over again, and perhaps much deeper than the first time around. I highly recommend Getting Enough if you want a good laugh and a satisfying ending.

Kelly Wallace - Founder of Author Autobahn

Rosmarin's book explodes in your face and tickles the crotch from the first page to the last! The book is an amalgam of humour,pathos,anger and joy which holds the reader's attention. Rosmarin has demonstated clear insight into marriage,love and sex. I highly recommend his book!

Larry Chern

Leonard Rosmarin's story of family dysfunction has been waiting to be told. The characters and their sexual dispositions weld readers to an unpredictable story line. Explosions of verbal abuse and contempt give way to a tenderness that leaves the reader full of anticipation about the future. Everything revolves around Vera, the heroine of this novel, who evokes a full range of emotions from the reader. A must read that beckons for a sequel.
 
Dr. John Reakes

"Leonard Rosmarin's novel Getting Enough is a work of genius. The characters fairly jump off the page, they are so full of energy and life. Even the cover design imaginatively conveys the theme of repressed energy and stifled desire attempting to break out of the box of convention and hypocrisy. The work, coarse in language conveying a society that is struggling to find values and meaning, succeeds in resolving conflict through an ending that is at once realistic and uplifting. The author is to be commended for his great artistic talent and gifted imagination."

Professor Paul Socken

University of Waterloo


"
Getting Enough is an entertaining read as it leads you through the hidden feelings of a family.   A surprising and humorous book!"

Bob & Susie Davis

"My first impression of Getting enough by Leonard Rosmarin is of a splendid, fluid, rather classical style. The story implies some crude words, and the author uses them boldly wherever necessary.

Each novel is unique, and this one maybe more than others: despite the theme it is more psychological than erotic. The narrator describes a total immersion in a world of love and lust. He describes the feelings and inner thoughts of many characters, most of them part of the Jewish family of Vera and Sidney, a middle-aged couple on the verge of implosion, apparently beyond reconciliation.

The evolution of relationships is brilliantly built, each action or decision being described by the monologue or reflexions of the character. The narrator remains heterodiegetic but knows how to integrate the personalities and various points of view like in a well built screenplay."

Michel Goeldlin
 

Article on Getting Enough, written by Journalist, Julia Le, with the Mississauga News

March 25, 2009 12:57 PM - Leonard Rosmarin began writing a novel 25 years ago, but found little time to complete it given his busy schedule as a professor of French literature. Read more of this Article

"If you like a book filled with drama, scandals, and blackmail, then look no further. This book is filled with it and when I started to read it I couldn't put it down. 

My heart kind of goes out to Sid and Vera. Sid wants the love of his wife and intimacy that they once had. Vera on the other hand is a woman who speaks her mind and is hated by people who can't handle her big personality. She doesn't care what people say about her because they don't affect her. She wants to open up something that's locked deep inside of her. 

In Vera's eyes Sid is kind of a loser who has fallen off the social ladder. In Sid's eyes he still loves Vera even though he was messing around on her and she is still a goddess in his eyes. With all of this going on they both figured out things about each other and learn to forgive each other and try and pull it together again. 

The rest of the families in this book are just as dramatic like Sid and Vera and as equally dysfunctional and off balance. In the end love and forgiveness prevails."

Harold Martin

"Getting Enough by Leonard Rosmarin is great reading. The characters come alive in all their essential humanity, the good and the less good, but even at their worst, they evoke our sympathy and understanding. The setting is that of a Jewish family in Ontario, with the members showing all the human traits one expects in any group of relatives: love, loyalty and friendship, but also family feuds, personal rivalries, and random bickering which sometimes hides a deep affection or even love. Yet the characters transcend ethnicity by their universality, with the result that all, whatever their background, can immerse themselves in the story in the same way that we all found "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" so appealing, with the specific setting just providing the background for a universally appealing story. I hope that the book will be turned into a movie, or better still, both a movie and a T.V. sitcom. I am sure that both would be welcomed enthusiastically."

Adi Eisenberg, FRSC
Otto Maass Professor
Department of Chemistry
McGill University
Montreal, QC, Canada

(Affiliation for identification only)

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Entertaining, appealing, & an amazing stress reliever!

This novel captured my attention right from the beginning, with it's imaginative plot and story, as well as its humor tied into family conflicts. I could not stop laughing and found myself with watery eyes at points from laughing so much. I definitely recommend this book as a stress release from a busy life!

Margaret Mlynarczyk


Updates And News

I apologize profusely for having been so remiss in giving all my friends, fans, and groupies news of myself for so long. Let me assure you that this is not the result of negligence or indifference. I have been so frantically busy that I can hardly believe I ever retired. At 76—yes! Believe it or not—I have been involved in so many projects that if I ever had to go back to work full time at my old job as Professor of French Literature at Brock University, I wouldn’t have the time to do it!

 

First of all, over the past four years I have been a Pre-Performance Speaker at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, surely one of the ten finest companies in North America today, and one that, at its best, can rival the most illustrious ones in the world. I have been presenting chats to close to 400 people each time on various operas before performances, and the experience has been most gratifying. People have expressed their enthusiasm for my “performances” by wild applause, even bravos. Sometimes I have received more acclaim than the stars singers themselves. Audience members have approached me regularly after my chats and made comments such as the following: “This is the finest talk I have ever heard at the Canadian Opera Company,” “Your enthusiasm is contagious,” “You are a gem; don’t ever leave,” “It was an honour to hear you speak.” After one particular chat, four ladies came up and kissed me! Three were friends; the fourth came up afterwards and said: “I want a kiss, too.” To which I replied, “Well, I can’t refuse a lady anything.” These are joys that can’t be measured in monetary terms. Knowing that you have enriched and enhanced other peoples lives gives you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Moreover, as a result of my chats, my book on the relationship between opera and literature titled When Literature Becomes Opera, published in 1999 by Rodopi (Amsterdam), has sold out at the Opera Shop six times in the past two years, so I must be doing something right.

 

In addition to this activity, I have been writing a book on my half-century relationship with France. It details my experiences there from the time I was a student back in 1960 to my years as a Visiting Professor at the Université de Perpignan, situated in one of the most hauntingly beautiful areas of the country: the Southwest, near the border with Spain. Some chapter—people have told me this—are hysterically funny, especially the one dealing with love, because the French are extremely relaxed on that matter, and are completely devoid of the puritanical hypocrisy that characterizes too many North Americans. The mind-boggling sums earned by the pornographic industry here is a clear example of this hypocrisy. I hope to start writing the final chapter in the fall, because I have been slowed down by yet another big project that is a rush job: two very prominent publishing houses in Canada, one francophone, the other Anglophone, have commissioned me to do the French translation of Alexander Brott’s autobiography. He was one of the most distinguished musicians in Canada during the 20th century: virtuoso violinist, conductor, composer, and professor of music at McGill University. I knew him and his wife while an undergraduate at McGill, and never in my wildest dreams thought that fifty years or os later, I would be translating his autobiography in French. My editors would like to launch this book in October of this year to celebrate the centenary of his birth. So, you can see that at 76 years old I am hardly unemployed. The Canada Council for the Arts is subsidizing this activity, which is like the Good Housekeeping stamp of approval!

 

In closing, all I can do now is promise you never to let so much time go by without keeping in touch with you wonderful people, and keeping you informed on what has been going on in my life. Have a most restful, fulfilling summer, and we’ll chat again in the fall.

 

Leonard

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You can see Leonard's video interview on Canada's Mississauga News by clicking HERE

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