Cher Public

Joel Rozen

Joel Rozen is a culture critic, anthropologist, and audiophile living in New York. His doctoral thesis at Princeton—still underway—is based on some field research he did in North Africa a few years ago; since then he’s enjoyed teaching in the city and writing about music. His love of opera can probably be traced back to high school, when he used to poach from his girlfriend’s dad’s CD collection. The orientation has changed and so has the digital format. What hasn’t is the Domingo/Studer Otello, which remains awesome, and unreturned.



Animal, vegetable

Everything in the garden.

A buddy once remarked that if a conservatory’s doing evening-length Mozart, it’s probably La finta giardinera, an early opus about fakery in a garden. (“Well, that, or I guess maybe like Amadeus or something…?”) Read more »

Murder, he composed

The higher the hair the closer to camp.

This past weekend, while Lincoln Center was spooking the royal tripas out some of us with a Franco-era dinner party that wouldn’t end, New York City Opera was bobbing for apples a mile away at 59E59, with a creepy shoulder-shrug of a production of its own.  Read more »

Renée! F!

This dress was not worn by Renée Fleming last night at Carnegie Hall, but the author fucking loves it anyway.

I fucking love Renée Fleming. And I don’t give a fuck if you don’t.  Read more »

The love that dare not yawp its name

Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing depicts Walt Whitman’s experience serving wounded soldiers in a DC infirmary and chronicles the period’s tragic effects.

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Py shy

This black-box recital was an aggressively Gallic affair

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Simultaneous transformation

For those who thought opera to be a rare enough commodity that there shouldn’t be duels, Saturday night in the Berkshires offered the odd rebuttal.

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Mostly Mozart in the Jungle

Tack on a little symphonic Beethoven and some particularly zany hosting patter from Bernadette Peters, and you start to lose focus, or at least some sense of, um, what matters mostly.

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Wine coolers are the first thing, morals follow on

Skirting the leafy, patrician Berkshires of Western Mass, and flush with wine coolers and white people, pastoral Tanglewood doesn’t much resemble the dark Nibelung settings of Norse myth.

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Midsummer gladness

Gone are the halcyon days of tradition and ritual.

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Guilt, edged

If Darius Milhaud took a risk in adapting La Mère Coupable as an opera, it wasn’t the quirky, atonal style he used for his score.

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