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.


gerhaherChristian Gerhaher does not appear at first to sing but rather to speak on pitches, telling stories, explaining words by lingering on them or biting them off short.  Read more »

Daggers are a thane’s best friend

macbeth-1How often do you hear Macbeth with four really good singers in its four big roles? Not every day, right? It’s a tough scone to crack.  Read more »

The Minnesanger of Seville

tannhauserSeville bills itself as the “City of 150 operas,” and celebrated this fact at the Exposition of 1992 by erecting a magnificent new opera house, the Teatro de la Maestranza, right beside the Plaza de Toros. The seasons of the two theaters do not overlap. Next month, there will be a rare staging of an opera buffa by local boy Manuel Garcia, renowned for being the first to bring opera to New York, with his teenage daughter La Malibran.  Read more »

Future imperfect

This year’s treat was Vittorio Gnecchi’s Cassandra, completed around 1905

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One finger exercise

David Lang is, per The New Yorker, a “postminimalist enfant terrible.”

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Cuts like a knife

You may wonder what Rachmaninoff’s Aleko and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci have in common.

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Opera Syria

“The music’s fun, but doesn’t Rossini repeat himself?”

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Jersey shore

You don’t often hear the grand operas of Benjamin Britten on smaller stages.

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Ezio said than done

Ezio was an inspired choice for Boston’s feisty Odyssey Opera to open its “When In Rome” festival.

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“This is the very ecstasy of love”

The grand illusion is that we know it all. From four hundred years of opera, we’ve distilled the worthy survivors.

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