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.


All I mask of you All I mask of you

Amore Opera, an old-fashioned, adventurous little company that performs ambitious and sometimes delectably obscure but worthy repertory at the Riverside Theatre, is now (through Sunday) presenting Un ballo in maschera.

on June 01, 2019 at 11:40 AM
Waiting for the sun Waiting for the sun

The New York premiere of Kopernikus, an opera by the Canadian mystic Claude Vivier, who was murdered in Paris in 1983, three years after its completion.

on May 16, 2019 at 10:40 AM
Prophète bien aimé Prophète bien aimé

New Amsterdam Opera specializes in American singers whose abilities are as yet little known.

on May 11, 2019 at 4:16 PM
Soldiering on Soldiering on

Britten’s penultimate opera, the anti-war ghost story Owen Wingrave, was composed for television performance in 1971.

on May 11, 2019 at 2:48 PM
The lady in question The lady in question

The story shows what may happen when corrupt individuals occupy positions of trust.

on May 06, 2019 at 9:00 AM
A Lesbian in distress A Lesbian in distress

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.

on April 09, 2019 at 1:30 PM
Still crazy after all these years Still crazy after all these years

A return to Amore Opera’s production of Meyerbeer’s Dinorah to hear the second cast underlined two conclusions.

on March 23, 2019 at 11:14 AM
Lite Meyerbeer 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.

on March 20, 2019 at 3:46 PM
Mage of all work 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.

on February 11, 2019 at 9:00 AM
A boy’s best friend 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.

on December 08, 2018 at 9:40 AM
Death be not proud 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.

on December 01, 2018 at 7:57 AM
Christmas past imperfect Christmas past imperfect

Give the creators credit for producing an emotional response.

on November 23, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Poetess without portfolio Poetess without portfolio

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

on November 21, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Something’s comin’ Something’s comin’

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

on November 15, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Elopement, Neapolitan style Elopement, Neapolitan style

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

on October 31, 2018 at 2:07 PM
A past recaptured 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.

on October 29, 2018 at 12:58 PM
I think we’ve got her number I think we’ve got her number

“Are we Team Guelf or Team Ghibelline?”

on October 01, 2018 at 8:30 AM
Take me out to the bull game 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.

on September 26, 2018 at 1:49 PM
Djinn and tonic 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.

on September 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM
The art of the steel 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.

on September 23, 2018 at 11:30 AM
Congas on the Roof 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.

on September 18, 2018 at 9:20 AM
Cipher space 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.

on August 20, 2018 at 1:41 PM
Mostly NYFOS Mostly NYFOS

The theme was “Lyrics by Shakespeare.”

on August 10, 2018 at 10:49 AM
Social Medea Social Medea

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

on July 31, 2018 at 9:48 AM
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