Joel Rozen

Joel Rozen is a culture critic, anthropologist, and audiophile living in New York. His doctoral thesis at Princeton—still underway—is based on some field research he did in North Africa a few years ago; since then he’s enjoyed teaching in the city and writing about music. His love of opera can probably be traced back to high school, when he used to poach from his girlfriend’s dad’s CD collection. The orientation has changed and so has the digital format. What hasn’t is the Domingo/Studer Otello, which remains awesome, and unreturned.

The men who rule Ramrod The men who rule Ramrod

It’s been eight decades since darling Aix-en-Provence was under attack—its last formal invasion, at least by non-operagoers, was in 1942 during the German occupation of southern France. But on Friday, the town was besieged once again by its annual festival, with two dazzling premieres that examined the cruel and constructive dimensions of war and revolution.

on July 12, 2023 at 11:25 AM
Stravinsky in the streets, Dostoevsky in the sheets Stravinsky in the streets, Dostoevsky in the sheets

The Aix festival organized two back-to-back evening concerts dedicated to the Russian masters. One was an embarrassment of Slavic riches, the other… well, just an embarrassment.

on July 11, 2023 at 1:00 PM
Quat’sousical the musical Quat’sousical the musical

With unrest and looting nearby as France learned collectively that minority lives should matter, Marseille-adjacent Aix-en-Provence could be forgiven for the heavy-handedness of launching its 75th anniversary summer Festival with a new French translation of the ultimate carnival of social tension, The Threepenny Opera.

on July 06, 2023 at 7:46 PM
A view to a kill A view to a kill

You’d want to expect that every Met retread would draw the same curiosity, the same large crowds, to Lincoln Center.

on February 15, 2019 at 1:53 PM
Can you ‘Fille’ the love tonight Can you ‘Fille’ the love tonight

La Fille du Régiment, Donizetti’s half-spoken ode to La France about a girl raised by a division of daddies, is at once infamous and beloved for the string of nine high C’s capping act one.

on February 08, 2019 at 4:34 PM
Knock on wood Knock on wood

Cellist Leah Coloff’s one-woman cabaret act ThisTree finds its place among a lineup of Prototype Festival miniatures this week that seem to plumb the depths of womanly distress.

on January 10, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Neigh sayers: Frightening the Horses Neigh sayers: Frightening the Horses

At tonight’s performance of Aida at the Met, the Triumphal Scene horses suddenly panicked and tried to bolt from the stage. I can’t say I blame them.

on January 08, 2019 at 3:30 PM
Next to Norman Next to Norman

In addition to Jessye Norman, this event paid homage to the shamefully obscure soprano Sissieretta Jones—once billed as “The Black Patti.”

on December 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM
May contain nuts May contain nuts

Mark Morris’ saucy, psychedelic The Hard Nut has returned to the Brooklyn Academy of Music yet again this week for its 27th Christmas since the ballet premiered in Brussels

on December 19, 2018 at 12:19 PM
Lion, tamer Lion, tamer

At Friday’s opening of Otello, there was a good deal of interesting going on, though not all of it necessarily onstage.

on December 16, 2018 at 3:59 PM
My sister, my queen My sister, my queen

It had something for everyone who loves loud chesty singing and smoky soft-singing: from Tchaikovsky to Rachmaninoff to Strauss…

on December 11, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Miracle on 28th street Miracle on 28th street

This a sincere revival with a social conscience, a chance to take immersive part in the Christmas miracle, not just watch it remotely.

on December 08, 2018 at 2:12 PM
Sound bite Sound bite

Only the Sound Remains introduced Americans to the latest collaboration between dazzling Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and hirsute metteur-en-scène Peter Sellars.

on November 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM
The devil’s eye candy The devil’s eye candy

There are shows with iconic characters, and there are shows with iconic characters playing iconic characters. 

on November 10, 2018 at 11:45 AM
Fleur du mal Fleur du mal

Too bad, then, that this season’s tossed flower was a bit of a wilted one.

on November 09, 2018 at 10:41 AM
Center ring Gandhi Center ring Gandhi

BAM brings us a political opera featuring… literal balancing acts.

on November 06, 2018 at 11:04 AM
The beautiful doom is empty The beautiful doom is empty

The Met is on it with something something woker than woke: a noirish psychodrama of a frigid hysteric who seeks redemption via Freudian analysis!

on October 20, 2018 at 1:20 PM
Automaton poem Automaton poem

With only a few weeks left to slice up our pumpkins and track down the perfect Luigi for our Mario, the timing seems right for a pair of Gothic operas set in a crypt. 

on October 12, 2018 at 2:13 PM
Magnificent seven Magnificent seven

Even for a medium that often trades in high-impact visuals, The Mile-Long Opera is dazzling to look at.

on October 08, 2018 at 1:42 PM
Hop on pops Hop on pops

Carnegie Hall’s season opener last night fetched the usual glitterati.

on October 04, 2018 at 12:16 PM
Must the winter come so soon? Must the winter come so soon?

On Tuesday we got one of the Met’s inveterate classics, which meant yet another opportunity to gaze upon the old accessories: Donkey cart! Teal shawl! Fugly plaid slacks!

on September 26, 2018 at 11:05 AM
Rigoletto on the fringe Rigoletto on the fringe

Tanglewood may bring the classical music crowd to Lenox, but for opera, it’s all about neighboring Pittsfield, Mass.

on August 28, 2018 at 11:47 AM
I’m no angel I’m no angel

Bard cultish Summerscape series continues to test our esoteric limits with Demon, Anton Rubinstein’s little-known opera about a demon who hankers for a Georgian princess.

on August 01, 2018 at 1:38 PM
Lakeside ‘Story’ Lakeside ‘Story’

Sunny, lakeside Cooperstown presents a peppy, exuberant, winning production of West Side Story, the musical.

on July 24, 2018 at 3:26 PM