Cher Public

Patrick Clement James

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.



Painful progress

A distinctly American brand of vulgar showmanship

The world is always falling apart. That’s just one of many lessons surfacing in Tony Kushner’s epic Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.  Read more »

Speaking ill of the dead

“Get it over with already!”

The Metropolitan Opera honored the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (four hundred and two years ago on Monday) with a revival of Bartlett Sher’s production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. However, with a libretto that stunts Shakespeare’s genius dramatic structure, it was hard to see the opera as an appropriate homage. And that’s despite a capable cast and functional direction.  Read more »

The perfect use of an imperfect medium

They let their golden chances pass them by.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel is a work of inarguable genius, so perfectly crafted that it almost feels impossible to mess up. If you don’t believe me, then head on down to the Imperial Theater, where Carousel is receiving a Broadway revival in a simple, cautious production that still manages to pack an emotional wallop.  Read more »

I want magic

Why, only now, Cendrillon is having its premiere at the Met is a puzzling question.

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Cabal me by your name

It’s fortunate that the Met’s production of Luisa Miller featured the incomparable Piotr Beczala in the role of Rodolfo.

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Italian dressing

Lucia di Lammermoor, a bloody story of a young woman’s mental degeneracy amidst feuding families, remains Donizetti’s most popular exploration of the landscape and culture of Britain.

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The help

As Despina in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Così fan tutte, Kelli O’Hara injects much needed vitality into an otherwise lethargic evening.

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Surfacing: an appreciation in 20 fragments

I struggle to articulate the notion of an erotics of art.

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Technical difficulties

La bohéme returned to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera once again last night (does it ever leave?)

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Placebo effect

Good singing and a dramatically potent (if conservative) production were an unbeatable combination in the Metropolitan Opera’s season premiere of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. 

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