Cher Public

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.

Why so seria?

At its premiere in 1791, Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito was already something of an anachronism: an opera seria at a time when opera seria was in sharp decline, and a tribute to a monarch at a time when Europe’s monarchs were being guillotined left, right and center. Yet, at the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday night, Mozart’s opera never sounded fresher, a superstar cast shining new light on one of the composer’s all-too-seldom-performed scores.  Read more »

Everybody dance now

It is not often the most memorable part of a production is the act-three ballet. Yet, in Darko Tresnjak’s production of Samson et Dalila (which opened at the Met last fall), Austin McCormack’s lascivious choreography outshone a tepid and tedious staging of Saint-Saëns’s old-testament epic.  Read more »


On paper, the prospect of hearing Kindertotenlieder in a crypt is a macabre one: Rückert’s poems alone are a harrowing read, a cry of anguish over the premature deaths of the poet’s two children, and Mahler matches the torment of the text with some of his most gut-wrenching, and indeed, most beautiful music.  Read more »

Follow her lead

New Yorkers will be very familiar with the voice of Barbara HanniganRead more »


While 4.48 Psychosis is an intricately-crafted, deeply moving portrait of human agony, Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance lacks the creative clout to realize its artistic ambitions.

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