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.

Take me out to the bull game

“If you want to grind it, wait till you’ve refined it.” Austin McCormick clearly took that motto to heart (from the Proverbs of Solomon, isn’t it?) when he spruced his little dance group, Company XIV* and revitalized it as New York’s most sophisticated Theater of Bawdy.  Read more »

Djinn and tonic

Fire and air and earth and water (not necessarily in that order)

A quarter of an hour till the Chinatown bus left Boston, so I plugged my phone into a socket. The other socket was taken by the phone of a young guy in a hoodie.

“You know about Annabelle?” he said. “Annabelle the doll?”  Read more »

The art of the steel

Idle question: Is there a singer today for whom you would stand overnight on line for a ticket to the following day’s concert? The Met was sold out, as was often true in 1979, but standing room, sold the day of the performance, was affordable, the inconvenience of acquiring it aside. It was an occasion—just the line, never mind the event. I began friendships that night that lasted for decades.  Read more »

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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Mostly NYFOS

The theme was “Lyrics by Shakespeare.”

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Social Medea

Simone Mayr’s Medea in Corinto, a curious work of 1813, has been revived by Will Crutchfield’s new enterprise, Teatro Nuovo.

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The boy from Syracuse

Tancredi is a serious opera, which means that at its heart lies a dilemma. 

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