Cher Public

The finale countdown

In Gounod’s sentimental take on Shakespeare’s tragedy, Charles Castronovo took an elegiac approach, refining his dark, haunting tenor to delicate piano tones.

“Like most opera fans (or, let’s be accurate, opera queens) I have specialist tastes, with the soprano voice at the top of the list. But the final weeks’ offerings at the Metropolitan Opera, revivals of Lucia di Lammermoor and Roméo et Juliette might very well convert me to a tenor fanatic.” Our Own JJ catches up with the tail end of the Met season.

An evening in the Sewers

Mean, moody, magnificent Matt Baume (left) hosts a live version of his celebrated podcast The Sewers of Paris this afternoon beginning at 5:00 PM Eastern time. Our Own JJ (not pictures) jumps into the conversation circa 6:30 PM. You can watch and listen to the whole shebang after the jump. Read more »

Heather on the ‘shrill’

Le duc d’Orléans, le duc d’Ayen, Duc de Coigny, la comtesse d’Estrades, La duchesse de Brancas…

Opera originalist Heather MacDonald is at it again, lavishing praise on the artistic conservatism of noted Tory David McVicar and describing Our Own JJ as “New York’s shrillest advocate for revisionist opera productions.” Oh, there’s lots more to enjoy! [City Journal]

You’ve got to climb Mount Everest

In this Sunday’s New York Times, Our Own JJ (not pictured except in spirit) examines why Bellini’s Norma should be considered “the Everest of Opera.”

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Paul’s campaign

Gregory SpearsPaul’s Case is on the way to being commercially recorded.

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Mimecraft

Our Own JJ (not pictured) muses on the difficulty of staging Mozart’s greatest opera in his latest piece for the New York Times.

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Panache room

“Roberto Alagna has found his most congenial and emotionally moving role yet: Cyrano de Bergerac.”

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I got through all of last year, and I’m here

“James Jorden always wanted to direct, but when he first moved to New York the closest he could get to the stage was in a low-paying job sweeping up bobby pins.”

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Leading lady

“She not only sang the difficult leading role, she also directed the opera.”

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Women beware women

Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now presented new works in which women were variously gang-raped, eviscerated and executed by firing squad.

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