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.

A boy’s best friend

To put the matter succinctly: I missed Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole when New York City Opera presented it at BAM five years ago. Wednesday night, at the opening of the Scottish Opera’s 2017 production of Turnage’s previous opera, Greek, at the same place, I was very sorry I’d missed Anna Nicole. And I am thinking of returning to Greek.  Read more »

Death be not proud

The New Camerata Opera is a small company that performs in the Flea Theater, a performance space a few blocks from City Hall. Their current project (through Sunday) is a double bill of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, sometimes dubbed the first English opera, and Gustav Holst’s SavitriRead more »

Christmas past imperfect

The Christmas truce in 1914, an impromptu and unofficial laying down of arms in favor of camaraderie between soldiers on both sides (or several sides) of the Great War, was an actual event or series of small events, but it is also a myth, real events given magnitude and coherence by repetition and artistic gloss.  Read more »

Poetess without portfolio

Washington Concert Opera on the occasion of Gounod’s 200th birthday presented the American premiere of his first opera, Sapho.

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Something’s comin’

This program honored the singer, composer and theorist Giulio Caccini, “Giulio da Romano,” on the 400th anniversary of his death.

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Elopement, Neapolitan style

Niccolò Jommelli, forgotten now, was quite well known in Italy and southern Germany in his day.

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A past recaptured

The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players (NYGASP to its friends) is giving Sullivan’s most operatic score a dusting off (or should one say dusting-up?) at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.

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I think we’ve got her number

“Are we Team Guelf or Team Ghibelline?”

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