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.



Musical theater of the absurd

candideIt’s easy to see why Leonard Bernstein’s Candide was a flop when it premiered on Broadway. A quick look through Voltaire’s source material reveals a plot full of obscenity and atrocity: floggings, hangings, disembowelment, rape, dismemberment, impalement, bestiality, cannibalism, heresy, and sex trafficking. Such a catalogue of depravity suggests an adaptation of Pasolini rather than a Broadway musical.  Read more »

Foolish love

rj-1After all the horror and trauma of 2016, a double suicide honestly sounds like the perfect way to end the year. Well, at least the Metropolitan Opera agrees with me; and so the company ushers out this wretched year and rings in the new with an elegant and effective new production of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, succinctly directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted with passion and generosity by Gianandrea NosedaRead more »

Conversion narrative

abigailleBlood-and-guts singing is the reason to see Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera this season. Featuring a vocally adventurous cast, and the keen conducting of James Levine, the company redeems a seemingly cheap and outdated production by Elijah Moshinsky, with passionate music making and searing theatricality.  Read more »

Mourning glory

I can think of no other role that provides the most unique promise of humiliation, and consequently the most opportunity for glory.

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Chanson d’amour

Much like Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, which launched the Met’s 2016-2017 season, Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin is an opera about love and death.

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Flight of fancy

Jonathan Dove’s Flight is an opera that makes excellent use of setting.

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Gone girl

Anna Netrebko‘s Manon was deeply unforgettable for its wide scope, control, and incredible virtuosity.

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Search for Tamara

The 2016 Richard Tucker Award recipient is Tamara Wilson.

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Rock, star

The centerpiece of Janácek’s Jenufa was the performance of Karita Mattila as the murderous Kostelnicka.

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Heart in darkness

>The Crypt Sessions, in collaboration with On Site Opera, presented the world premiere of Gregg Kallor’s The Tell-Tale Heart

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