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.



‘Mawrdew,’ he wrote

“Gods are hard for mortals to see”—Homer (trans. Gregory Nagy), Hymn to Demeter  Read more »

But is it an artful paradox?

When I entered the small, unique performance space at National Sawdust, I found a bunch of people just sitting around. The chairs had been arranged in a haphazard way, instead of the linear and unilateral manner that one expects from a traditional auditorium.  Read more »

Apparition

There was a moment during Natalie Dessay’s performance of Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade” when the singer summoned the ghost of her former self. It was on the word Kuß!: her voice opened majestically, blooming with a youthful vibrancy. It brought back memories of her great successes on the operatic stage—Ophelia, Lucia, Zerbinetta—the performances that made her an international star.  Read more »

Tragedy in song

LoftOpera’s Saturday night performance of Rossini’s Otello successfully appealed to the essential kinetic energy of the operatic art form.

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Reunited

There is much to say about the similarities between the plot of Fidelio and the ancient myth of Orpheus.

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Plummeting in love

The Met’s current production of Verdi’s La Traviata is something of a mixed bag.

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Crazy in love

I am, perhaps instinctively, skeptical of those who commit suicide.

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Purists

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.”

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Sleeping with the fishes

With a cast of stellar singers and uneven direction by Mary Zimmerman, Dvorák’s Rusalka debuts in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera.

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It’s a Mantua’s world

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.

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