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.



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. One side of the ring featured Tanglewood’s glittery lineup of Kristine Opolais, Bryn Terfel, and tenor Russell Thomas, chirruping a lawn-pleasing assortment of gems from Tosca and Porgy and Bess. On the other, in mid-sized, Farmers Insurance-approved Pittsfield, Mass. and just down the road from a McDonald’s, the Berkshire Opera Festival was presenting its own take on Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in the newly restored Colonial Theatre that same night.  Read more »

Mostly Mozart in the Jungle

In terms of sheer thematic diversity, last night’s gala opener for the 2017 Mostly Mozart festival was more-than-mostly terrific, juxtaposing the Austrian prodigy’s “Haffner” Symphony with choral works performed by the exceptional Young People’s Chorus of New York CityRead more »

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. But last weekend, the music festival played host to one of Wagner’s moodiest dreamscapes: a concert performance of Das Rheingold, the first part of the Ring Cycle.  Read more »

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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The word is not enough

So, um, I guess we can agree that words are more important than music?

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Triple header

I reckon marketing a sex-themed opera in Brooklyn should be like selling bacon-flavored froyo in Vermont.

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Monday in the park with mike

From up close, the miked opera singer can be a bit tough to take.

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And the ‘Angels’ sing

Angels in America reimagined as an actual, full-blown opera.

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Fixing the fan

Cio-Cio and Carmen: what do you do with two tragic heroines who typify not just the sexist clichés, but also the soupy exotic fixations, of the Old-World West?

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