John Yohalem

John Yohalem's critical writings have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, American Theater, Opera News, the Seattle Weekly, Christopher Street, Opera Today, Musical America and Enchanté: The Journal for the Urbane Pagan, among other publications. He claims to have attended 628 different operatic works (not to mention forty operettas), but others who were present are not sure they spotted him. What fascinates him, besides the links between operatic event and contemporary history, is how the operatic machine works: How voice and music and the ritual experience of theater interact to produce something beyond itself. He is writing a book on Shamanic Opera-Going.


Los Aztecas Galantes Los Aztecas Galantes

What is opera for if not to commemorate a national epic tragedy and triumph?

on November 14, 2019 at 3:03 PM
Bloody Mary, Hold the Pepper Bloody Mary, Hold the Pepper

Come ye addicts of melody! After long eclipse, Bel Canto shines again!

on November 05, 2019 at 9:00 AM
The long listen The long listen

A conversation with maestro Gil Rose of Odyssey Opera.

on October 29, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Quicksilver messenger Quicksilver messenger

At the Park Avenue Armory, Barbara Hannigan chose to sing works that tested her metal in odd corners of vocalism.

on October 18, 2019 at 12:18 PM
A life for the zarzuela A life for the zarzuela

In El Barbero de Sevilla, as given through the weekend by the New Camerata Opera, there is far too much comic dialogue, all of it in English and none of it sparkling.

on October 18, 2019 at 10:05 AM
Three sisters who are not sisters Three sisters who are not sisters

Dell’ Arte Opera Ensemble’s “Scenes from the Tower” evening is devoted to three operas composed by women, and the metaphorical tower is women’s sequestration from the opera stage.

on August 24, 2019 at 11:33 AM
Hamstrung by Maeterlinck Hamstrung by Maeterlinck

Whitney George’s music falls pleasingly upon the ear and is wittily scored for a small ensemble conducted by herself.

on August 19, 2019 at 4:37 PM
The Isle is full of noises The Isle is full of noises

Dell’ Arte Opera Ensemble theme this summer is women composers, which is timely, and the more to be applauded as likely to turn up unusual works.

on August 15, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Winterstorms that go bump in the night Winterstorms that go bump in the night

A hefty thunderclap shook Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Shed just as Andris Nelsons raised his baton for the third act of the weekend’s concert Die Walküre.

on July 31, 2019 at 10:31 AM
Crimes of a ragged century Crimes of a ragged century

The Mac-Haydn Theatre are giving Ragtime, a musical about turn-of-the-century race relations, unwelcome immigrants, labor revolts against brute force and the collapse of the traditional family.

on July 27, 2019 at 8:30 AM
She’s a stranger here herself She’s a stranger here herself

The four leading roles in La Straniera were all attractively cast by Teatro Nuovo with fresh, promising young voices that did not seem quite ready for the big time.

on July 19, 2019 at 11:17 AM
When off-off was on to something When off-off was on to something

Promenade is a powder keg but the powder may not be as explosive as it hints.

on July 15, 2019 at 9:16 AM
Nixon in Jersey: The Renixoning Nixon in Jersey: The Renixoning

The singers and the orchestra carry the show, but where do they carry it?

on June 25, 2019 at 10:48 AM
Mistress class Mistress class

Everett Quinton’s Galas is a star at the end of her tether, and she goes nova with the best.

on June 18, 2019 at 3:23 PM
Band in Boston Band in Boston

In the triumphant American premiere of Orlando Generoso at the Boston Early Music Festival last week, the hippogriff was among the many stars of the show.

on June 18, 2019 at 11:48 AM
In a deep vaulted cell In a deep vaulted cell

We convoke for Dido and Aeneas in an arched tunnel a city block long, lit by candles in the many recesses.

on June 05, 2019 at 10:44 AM
All I mask of you All I mask of you

Amore Opera, an old-fashioned, adventurous little company that performs ambitious and sometimes delectably obscure but worthy repertory at the Riverside Theatre, is now (through Sunday) presenting Un ballo in maschera.

on June 01, 2019 at 11:40 AM
Waiting for the sun Waiting for the sun

The New York premiere of Kopernikus, an opera by the Canadian mystic Claude Vivier, who was murdered in Paris in 1983, three years after its completion.

on May 16, 2019 at 10:40 AM
Prophète bien aimé Prophète bien aimé

New Amsterdam Opera specializes in American singers whose abilities are as yet little known.

on May 11, 2019 at 4:16 PM
Soldiering on Soldiering on

Britten’s penultimate opera, the anti-war ghost story Owen Wingrave, was composed for television performance in 1971.

on May 11, 2019 at 2:48 PM
The lady in question The lady in question

The story shows what may happen when corrupt individuals occupy positions of trust.

on May 06, 2019 at 9:00 AM
A Lesbian in distress A Lesbian in distress

Zelmira, a work of 1822, was the last of the eight operas Rossini composed for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, then the largest opera house in Italy—perhaps in Europe.

on April 09, 2019 at 1:30 PM
Still crazy after all these years Still crazy after all these years

A return to Amore Opera’s production of Meyerbeer’s Dinorah to hear the second cast underlined two conclusions.

on March 23, 2019 at 11:14 AM
Lite Meyerbeer Lite Meyerbeer

Amore Opera, one of New York’s smaller opera companies, is presenting the first local run of Dinorah, ou le Pardon de Ploërmel since before the war.

on March 20, 2019 at 3:46 PM
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