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.


Taking care of business Taking care of business

Not everyone is happy about the Beethoven sestercentennial.

on March 06, 2020 at 11:19 AM
Well equipped Well equipped

While last year’s finals were dominated by early nineteenth-century bel canto arias, this year’s finalists took on a remarkably broad range of music from a variety of repertoires.

on March 04, 2020 at 11:56 AM
A delicate balance A delicate balance

Saturday’s performance of Così fan tutte demonstrated that even the cool, acerbic wit of Mozart’s most controversial comedy can warm our hearts in these icy winter months.

on February 16, 2020 at 10:04 AM
“Operatic whitewashing” “Operatic whitewashing”

On the day of the Super Bowl, I attended a near-sold-out screening of the Paris Opéra’s recent production of Rameau’s 1735 opéra-ballet Les Indes galantes at New York’s Alliance Française.

on February 10, 2020 at 9:09 AM
You tread on my dreams You tread on my dreams

Wednesday night’s New York Philharmonic concert was a high-stakes performance for a number of reasons.

on February 06, 2020 at 8:27 AM
Elegance, passion and poise Elegance, passion and poise

It is rare to be moved to tears by a lieder recital. It is rarer still to be moved to tears by the third song on a recital program.

on February 05, 2020 at 7:43 AM
A radical participatory platform A radical participatory platform

The opera’s radical vision lay in its enormous scale, which encompassed a hundred-strong community chorus taken from the ranks of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Master Voices.

on January 15, 2020 at 10:42 PM
Flawless! Flawless!

At the Metropolitan Opera on Friday night, an otherwise undistinguished Traviata was salvaged by an astonishing performance from Aleksandra Kurzak, whose Violetta was an incontrovertible triumph.

on January 12, 2020 at 12:49 PM
Queen of the New Year Queen of the New Year

Although the gold glitter cannons detonated at the end of the act were an ostentatious reminder that this was a celebration of the new year, it seemed that the only words on anyone’s lips as the audience filed out of the theater were “Viva Netrebko!”

on January 02, 2020 at 7:30 PM
Every snarl and shimmer Every snarl and shimmer

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra reigned supreme at the opening night of Wozzeck on Friday evening, rendering every snarl and shimmer of Berg’s score with gripping intensity.

on December 28, 2019 at 12:04 AM
You better sit down kids You better sit down kids

If Sunday’s performance of Magic Flute at the Met demonstrated one thing, it is that opera targeted at children must be just as good as (if not better than) opera targeted at adults.

on December 16, 2019 at 10:33 AM
Singing through Singing through

A near-full house attended the Jessye Norman Memorial Celebration at the Met on Sunday afternoon, the auditorium packed with family, friends, colleagues, and fans of the late soprano, who passed away on September 30 of this year.

on November 25, 2019 at 8:57 AM
Let your love flow Let your love flow

Saturday afternoon’s performance of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Met was awash with contradictions.

on November 18, 2019 at 8:00 AM
Is that how they do it? Is that how they do it?

Così fan tutte presents a considerable challenge to the modern director.

on November 17, 2019 at 12:07 PM
A place in the sun A place in the sun

Friday evening’s Met premiere of Akhnaten was a resounding triumph and an outstanding testament to Philip Glass’s enduring operatic vision.

on November 09, 2019 at 5:24 PM
Endlessly engrossing Endlessly engrossing

It seems a travesty that Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, one of the seminal works of the 20th by one of America’s most iconic composers, is only just receiving its Met premiere in 2019, some 35 years after its first performance!

on November 09, 2019 at 1:39 AM
We’ll always have Paris We’ll always have Paris

At Friday night’s performance of La Bohème at the Met, the cast seemed to lean into (and gamble upon) the production’s enduring popularity.

on October 26, 2019 at 12:19 PM
Over the garden wall Over the garden wall

Hannah Lash’s latest opera, which premiered at the Miller Theater on Wednesday night, was a musical and dramatic misfire.

on October 18, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Sleeper Sleeper

As the Netrebko-crowned Macbeth took to the stage at the Met, just a few blocks away, Teatro Grattacielo presented its 25th Anniversary Gala Concert.

on September 30, 2019 at 8:00 AM
When a man loves a woman When a man loves a woman

At the Met’s performance of Manon Tuesday evening, Michael Fabiano made as good a case as any for renaming the opera Chevalier des Grieux.

on September 25, 2019 at 1:51 AM
Defying gravitas Defying gravitas

Benjamin Yarmolinsky’s The Constitution: A Secular Oratorio, performed by Vertical Player Repertory on Thursday evening, was an awful lot of legal speak for one evening.

on June 28, 2019 at 2:56 PM
Toys in the attic Toys in the attic

One of the main problems with My Undying Love was that it did not appear to know what audience it was pitching to.

on June 23, 2019 at 8:45 AM
Pardon my dust Pardon my dust

David Lang’s Prisoner of the State, which was premiered on Thursday night by the New York Philharmonic, places the issue of mass incarceration front and center, foregrounding the violence of the prison system, both physical and psychological.

on June 08, 2019 at 9:00 AM
First Lady sings the blues First Lady sings the blues

Daniel Thomas DavisThe Impossible She, was a towering musical achievement, a hugely complex work packing a whopping political and intellectual punch.

on May 20, 2019 at 10:00 AM
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