Cher Public

Pretty little lyres

Orpheus, mythology’s greatest musician, has fascinated artists for centuries from Poussin to Rilke to Cocteau to Balanchine to Tennessee Williams. But opera composers have naturally held him most dear; even the genre’s first surviving work involved him although Jacopo Peri’s Euridice was named after his doomed wife.  Read more »

The love that dare not yawp its name

Bi-curious, not judgmental.

Walt Whitman, that great American bard of free verse who sent legions of us struggling to define “yawp” in our AP English classes, was also a man of queer taste. By the outbreak of Civil War, he’d become something of a dandy about town—a well-known New York belletrist who fancied Romantic poetry, loved to skinny-dip with The Youth, and enjoyed mooning over bel canto rep in the bosomy company of contraltos.  Read more »

All about the voice

Paul ApplebyAs many vocalists know, song recitals present the singer at the most naked. No “concept” to dissolve into—no costumes, no greasepaint, no set, no orchestra. Only the pianist—exposed, translucent—a single partner guides the way. In no other genre of performance are we given as much access to a musician’s authentic self—who they are as a person, what kind of sensibilities they bring to text and music.  Read more »

When this cruel war is over

Jarrett Ott is a star. That is the only surprise takeaway from the well-intended snore, Cold Mountain.

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