Patrick Clement James is a writer and teacher based in New York City. His love of opera began in high school, leading to studies in vocal performance at the Manhattan School of Music. He currently studies English literature as a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and he teaches at Brooklyn College. As a writer, he is particularly interested in the ways that opera participates in the larger contexts of history and culture.
Patrick Clement James
I am, perhaps instinctively, skeptical of those who commit suicide. And yet Vittorio Grigolo somehow makes it look so good—even when covered in blood. Read more »
I suppose the most significant moment of the season premiere of Bellini’s I Puritani at the Metropolitan Opera occurred when someone—a deranged purist no doubt—heckled Javier Camarena from the balcony of the opera house for withholding the infamous high F during “Credeasi, misera.” Read more »
Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is opera on the grand scale with mellifluous arias and breathtaking duets that tell a tale of ancient Roman political machinations, adultery, and murder in which there is no true protagonist. This stunningly expressive music is performed by an all-star cast. Soprano Miah Persson, praised by The New York Times for her “sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism,” is joined by singers who have all won worldwide critical acclaim for their mastery of this beautiful repertoire. The Guardian wrote that “there are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano.” Alessandrini and company anchor a performance that promises to be one of the season’s most thrilling nights of opera.
With a cast of stellar singers and maladroit direction by Mary Zimmerman, Dvorák’s Rusalka debuts in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera. The libretto, by Jaroslav Kvapil (based upon the fairy tale Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué) is probably most recognizable as an iteration of The Little Mermaid, a folktale made famous by Hans Christian Andersen in the 19th century, and the wonderful world of Disney in the 20th. Read more »
Verdi’s Rigoletto returned to the Met Friday in the stilted “Las Vegas” production by Michael Mayer, with mostly competent singing from a good-looking cast.
The Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Carmen began with a bit of drama Thursday night when tenor Rafael Davila replaced Marcelo Álvarez.
Mortality is ugly—it smells, it makes uncomfortable noises, it takes its time; and then there is the overwhelming sense of dread and helplessness.
It’s easy to see why Leonard Bernstein’s Candide was a flop when it premiered on Broadway.
The Met ushers out this wretched year and rings in the new with an elegant and effective new production of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
Blood-and-guts singing is the reason to see Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera this season.