Cher Public

John Yohalem

John Yohalem’s critical writings have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, American Theater, Opera News, the Seattle Weekly, Christopher Street, Opera Today, Musical America and Enchanté: The Journal for the Urbane Pagan, among other publications. He claims to have attended 628 different operatic works (not to mention forty operettas), but others who were present are not sure they spotted him. What fascinates him, besides the links between operatic event and contemporary history, is how the operatic machine works: How voice and music and the ritual experience of theater interact to produce something beyond itself. He is writing a book on Shamanic Opera-Going.



Cock of the walk

You are unlikely ever to hear Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera sung in French, yet the piece, Zolotoy pyetushok (translated as The Golden Cockerel in English, folks around here being wary for some reason of calling it The Golden Rooster) is best known in these parts as Le Coq d’Or, which recalls its Met debut (1918, in French, on a double bill with Cavalleria Rusticana, in Sicilian) and nine subsequent Met seasons in that language.  Read more »

Golden but not delicious

The cultiest of cult musicals, an All-American take on the Iliad and the Odyssey, the spectacularly witty Golden Apple of John Latouche (words) and Jerome Moross (music), opened Off Broadway in 1953 to some acclaim, moved to Broadway in 1954 and promptly sank, overweighted by its own cleverness. This is a great American opera (all-singing, no talking) and a downright weird choice for the Encores! series at the City Center.   Read more »

Matchless!

You may have missed the announcement—because there hasn’t been one—but this is John Latouche Week in New York.  Read more »

Elements of style

Antonio Literes, a boy soprano from Majorca, had, we may presume, friends in high places.

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Ladies’ Quadrille

It is much to be regretted that song recitalists stick to the tried, the true, the excessively familiar when the repertory of song is so vast, so full of treasures ready for the light

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Yes, we have no Banat

In The Gypsy Baron (Der Zigeunerbaron), currently (through Sunday) enjoying a revival by the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, you get Strauss waltzes and patriotic marches.

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Mountain high, valley low

Be wary of operas that are famous for just one aria or just one famous opinion.

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How do you solve a problem like Medea?

I was puzzled by my initial exposure to the Medea of Aribert Reimann, a work of 2010.

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A “Juive’ for the 21st century

A brilliant production of La Juive like that of Peter Konwitschny generalizes the message that mindless hate does not pay and the mindless mob is always the enemy of civilization.

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Clash of symbols

La Campana Sommersa (The Sunken Bell), which is being presented by the New York City Opera at the Rose Theater through April 7, is a true oddball.

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