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.

Love for sail Love for sail

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).

on August 30, 2021 at 11:15 AM
The Zoom Generation The Zoom Generation

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.

on May 19, 2021 at 10:01 AM
Unashamedly dark Unashamedly dark

It was a meaty program. But both singers had the chops for it.

on January 25, 2021 at 11:00 AM
Times after times Times after times

Despite the ongoing pandemic and the political upheaval, the Prototype Festival is back, and it is bigger and more accessible than ever before.

on January 11, 2021 at 9:25 AM
The mélodie lingers on The mélodie lingers on

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.

on November 27, 2020 at 2:15 PM
Standing woman Standing woman

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 October 05, 2020 at 12:33 PM
By the beautiful sea By the beautiful sea

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.

on August 17, 2020 at 11:40 AM
And the star was shining And the star was shining

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.

on July 20, 2020 at 11:12 AM
Living in the future Living in the future

What does the opera singer of the future look like?

on July 08, 2020 at 12:16 PM
“Le Mozart noir” “Le Mozart noir”

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint George is frequently referred to as “le Mozart noir.” While surely intended as a favorable comparison to Mozart, the sobriquet is diminishing, implying that Bologne’s music was somehow derivative of Mozart’s.

on June 10, 2020 at 11:17 AM
Outsider art Outsider art

The opera titled L’Amant anonyme (“The Anonymous Lover”) is important because it is one of the earliest known operas by a Black composer that still survives in its entirety.

on June 09, 2020 at 1:01 PM
Changing the lockdown Changing the lockdown

HERE’s Zoom opera, all decisions will be made by consensus, is not merely an opera written to be performed on a digital platform, but an opera that critiques the platform itself, laying bare all its social and aesthetic limitations.

on April 26, 2020 at 1:28 PM
Illness as illness Illness as illness

In operatic pathology, diseases are endowed with preposterous mythological properties: they are both an emblem of desire and the punishment for desire. They are crime, confessional, and executioner all rolled into one.

on April 15, 2020 at 1:35 PM
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
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