Cher Public

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.

Elopement, Neapolitan style

Stephanie Houtzeel “made the heart ache and the ears tingle.”

Niccolò Jommelli, forgotten now, was quite well known in Italy and southern Germany in his day. There are two reasons to revive one of his operas, as Opera Lafayette has just done, in Washington and in New York, Cerere Placata, a “festa teatrali” of 1771…  Read more »

A past recaptured

It’s a lucky thing the Tudors are long extinct; there’s no one to protest the High Victorian cultural appropriation of The Yeomen of the Guard.  Read more »

I think we’ve got her number

“Genuinely lovely  singing of slight but attractive tunes” – Kerri Marcinko’s Gloria

Studying the synopsis of the brief three-act opera Gloria, a friend asked me, “Are we Team Guelf or Team Ghibelline?”  Read more »

Take me out to the bull game

I braved the alarming and majestically colorful wall-graffiti-art of Bushwick to attend Bullfight Boylesque, which runs to October 28.

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Djinn and tonic

Odyssey Opera in Boston, which loves to open its season with a concert performance of some forgotten work, gave La Reine de Saba in Jordan Hall Saturday night.

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The art of the steel

This Sony Classical set of live performances covers a golden quarter century in the singing and staging of Wagner. Birgit Nilsson shared it with many other legends, and many of them appear on these discs.

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Congas on the Roof

In Hatuey, composer Frank London and librettist Elise Thoron have created something that crosses boundaries from cabaret romance to flashback historical pageant to revolutionary thriller.

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Cipher space

Salieri’s La Cifra (“The Cipher”) played all over Europe for 20 years, in several translations (German, Spanish). Then, like many a worthy work, it was forgotten.

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