Callum John Blackmore
Callum Blackmore is a writer and a researcher currently completing a PhD in historical musicology at Columbia University. Before moving to New York, Callum was awarded degrees from the University of Auckland and the University of Leeds, and has worked with opera companies in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. His research currently focuses on opera and politics in the wake of the French Revolution.
Angela Meade, reportedly flown in at the very last minute to take on the role of Norma, absolutely triumphed, pulling out all the stops to deliver a commanding performance that should, indeed, go down in history.
It seems that François Girard has been watching a little too much Star Wars lately. His new production of Lohengrin, which opened at the Metropolitan Opera Sunday afternoon, reduced Wagner’s opera to a knockoff space opera, full of hackneyed sci-fi tropes and B-rated futurist apologue.
For me, Fedora is the perfect opera
Monday November 14th’s performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Freitag aus Licht by the contemporary music ensemble Le Balcon began in complete chaos.
Arts Council England, as a global policy trendsetter, may have sounded the death knell for the international opera industry as we know it.
One wonders whether an obsession with metrics and measurement has the potential to create arts organizations that are more preoccupied with finding systems that quickly and efficiently tick the Arts Council’s boxes than with creating meaningful, impactful art.
“Opera needs a reset. We think there needs to be a fundamental shift in the ecology.”
This month, both the Paris Opéra and the Opéra-Comique are mounting seminal works about unhinged anti-heroines who meet their downfall after falling head-over-heels for an unavailable, deeply unattainable man – Salome, in the case of the Opéra; and Armide, in the case of the Opéra-Comique.
Both the mise-en-scène and the musical direction amplified the absolute worst tendencies of the Opéra Comique’s Lakmé in the most tasteless and baffling ways.
With the phenomenal cast that stacked Paris Opera’s production of I Capuleti e i Montecchi , it was easy to overlook the quirks of Bellini’s opera and get lost in the pleasures of glorious bel canto singing.
My impression was of a very fine singer performing a role that was slightly too large for him.
The Met’s revival of Turandot on Saturday night was surprisingly contentious.
At the heart of this success was Quinn Kelsey’s revelatory take on Rigoletto. He was matched, vocally and dramatically, by Rosa Feola’s Gilda—a tour-de-force performance.
The Met’s Cinderella is a charming adaptation of Massenet’s opera. Frothy, fun, and enchanting, it is a magical holiday treat for the whole family to enjoy.
Sondra Radvanovsky was a force of nature as Tosca on Thursday night at the Met.
No, we don’t really need another “Orpheus” opera. Or, rather, we don’t need this one.
Last weekend, On Site Opera presented What Lies Beneath, a program of maritime-themed operatic excerpts staged aboard the 19th century schooner Wavertree (now a part of the South Street Seaport Museum).
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions were one of the last events I attended in person in 2020. Now, one year on, the competition has returned, this time in an online format, and this time with an entirely new name: The Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, after the event’s new sponsors.
It was a meaty program. But both singers had the chops for it.
Despite the ongoing pandemic and the political upheaval, the Prototype Festival is back, and it is bigger and more accessible than ever before.
Everything’s coming up mélodie! As the pandemic rages on and new lockdowns have thrown large-scale performances into disarray, record labels have been releasing new albums of French art song by the bucketload.
It struck me that Jamie Barton’s voice is not dissimilar to a Henry Moore sculpture: grand and monumental but never brash or ostentatious; eccentric and offbeat but always graceful and tastefully molded.
On Sunday afternoon, husband-and-wife duo Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak presented a charming program of operatic favorites from the patio of the Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Èze, France.
Such a sleek, polished finish is a testament to the incredible resources and experience at the Met’s disposal – to coordinate this livestream across two different continents so seamlessly and with such flair is very impressive indeed.