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.



BASTA: Stridono lasso

Only Gus, a regular at tryouts before BASTA went bankrupt the first time, had an inkling of what was to come.

Supernumerary callbacks for the Big Apple Singing Theater Association’s spring production of Bison Don’t Cry were held later that night at the Mariachi Playhouse. Evan Ingersoll and his new comrade Gus Rippon were among the two dozen or so auditioners who’d made it to the second round.  Read more »

BASTA: The overt and the subliminal

“And I can tell you on the record that nothing, absolutely nothing, you’ve heard about me or my private affairs is true.”

As if the corner of Broadway and 53rd weren’t already busy enough, Evan Ingersoll couldn’t believe the line leading into the Mariachi Playhouse for BASTA tryouts. Read more »

BASTA: Super, tanks for asking

Comfortable clothing that breathes and honors mobility.

The day of the big BASTA audition, Evan found the flier Paul Upczuk had passed him the previous weekend at Aura Bar, flopped down on his bright, trapunto quilt, uncrumpled the lavender paper, and began to read. His jaw slackened.  Read more »

BASTA: Call me by your game

It was already nearly two o’clock in the morning, late for a work night, and Nixon Ben Mahmoud was ashamed to find himself crying real tears.

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Okay by me in America

Mariachi bands travel the world, make appearances in Hollywood, and moonlight on Linda Ronstadt albums.

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BASTA: Press your luck

Jerold Offerman had spent the day readying the Algonquin Opera orchestra for a high-profile, high-stakes revival of Lucia, and things weren’t going well with the glass harmonica.

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Flour song

Touting an austere, governessy program—the hour-and-change Schubert/Müller cycle, Die schöne MüllerinJonas Kaufman  fulfilled his long-awaited, high-profile return to Carnegie Hall last night.

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BASTA: Boots and Saddle

The guy in the green plaid shirt motioned Evan over within seconds of spotting him at Aura. Evan rolled his eyes, checked his abs, and sidled up to the bar.

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BASTA: Evan can wait

Weekends at Aura Bar on 53rd and Ninth are typically big money makers for the morons who run the place. Jonjon and Yoni.

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Scrumptious and relatable

I had a panic attack, that’s how moved you made me.

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