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.

Soldiering on

Britten’s penultimate opera, the anti-war ghost story Owen Wingrave, was composed for television performance in 1971, and the cast of that original staging was a golden book of the great Britten singers of his times: Janet Baker, Heather Harper, Peter Pears,John Shirley-Quirk, Benjamin LuxonRead more »

The lady in question

Though he composed several entries in the newly invented form of opera, Alessandro Stradella was better known for church music including oratorio, dramatizations of Biblical incidents. He set texts sympathetically (and sensuously), and possessed a melodic gift that would have conquered the world in a later age.  Read more »

A Lesbian in distress

Silvia Tro Santafé, Washington’s beleaguered Zelmira.

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. He paid special attention to the orchestration, as the opera was set to feature in a triumphant festival devoted to his works in Vienna later that year, and the Vienna players were already renowned.  Read more »

Still crazy after all these years

Dinorah is the “attractive… worthy… untiring” Jennifer Moore.

A return to Amore Opera’s production of Meyerbeer’s Dinorah to hear the second cast underlined two conclusions: first, that the woods of Brittany are absolutely full of top-notch coloratura sopranos running mad after pet goats, and second, less astonishingly, that Meyerbeer was a first-rate, elegant composer of opera, light as well as grand.  Read more »

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.

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Mage of all work

Utopia Opera is fond of the less well known branches of the Savoy repertory (as the company name suggests), and is currently (through next weekend) doing a job on an early and rare bird of the flock, The Sorcerer.

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A boy’s best friend

At the opening of the Scottish Opera’s 2017 production of Turnage’s opera Greek, I was very sorry I’d missed Anna Nicole.

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Death be not proud

The New Camerata Opera performs a double bill of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, sometimes dubbed the first English opera, and Gustav Holst’s Savitri.

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