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.

Giglio d’april

Have you ever stood in a mountain stream, exhilarating froth bursting at you from every side?

April brought I Puritani to Palermo’s centerpiece Teatro Massimo. The final masterpiece of Sicily’s national composer is no rare visitor here, of course.  Read more »

King of the Neapolitan road

The climax of Auber’s once beloved Fra Diavolo (1830) takes place in the bedroom of Zerline, the innkeeper’s daughter. She undresses for bed, singing of the man she loves (Lorenzo, the police captain) and, pointedly, not of the man her father insists she marry (Francisco, but never mind him. He’s rich—and mute. In an opera, that can’t be good).  Read more »

No retreat, Nono surrender

When a premiere is a succès de scandale, it is hard to be certain (57 years later) whether it was the music or the politics that made the rumpus. Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza (as the publishers prefer to call it nowadays, a more universal focus than Intolleranza 1960, the original title) was howled out of La Fenice by angry crowds in 1961 (someone shouted “Viva la polizia!”), and was not produced again in Italy for 30 years. Read more »

Stout fellow

There are two delights here: a delectable score too rarely heard and an introduction at close quarters to half a dozen young singers ready for takeoff, indeed already flying.

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Take this ‘Job’ and stage it

There is some difficulty in describing just what IYOV the musical occasion is—and I’ll take refuge in calling it a musical work in the current PROTOTYPE Festival.

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A little Proust

Though the novel’s structure and texture are often compared to musical forms such as Wagnerian music-drama, who would attempt to turn Proust’s A la Recherche de Temps Perdu into opera?

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Well-trod cinders in fitting slippers

Forgotten operas when revived may prove to be only their own reward.

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What’s at stake for a soul on fire?

Norman Dello Joio, who was knocking about winning prizes for film and TV scores, composed The Trial at Rouen, his second opera on the subject, for NBC.

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