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.


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
The boy from Syracuse The boy from Syracuse

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

on July 31, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Too cloistered for comfort Too cloistered for comfort

New Amsterdam Opera’s concert version of Donizetti’s elaborate score La favorita, offered energy, panache and several top-notch young soloists.

on June 04, 2018 at 10:02 AM
When in Rome When in Rome

Mozart was barely sixteen when he wrote Lucio Silla to open the Carnival in Milan in 1772.

on May 16, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Virgin territory Virgin territory

When Arthur Sullivan (not yet Sir Arthur) composed his “dramatic oratorio” The Martyr of Antioch in 1880, he had just completed The Pirates of Penzance.

on May 07, 2018 at 8:54 AM
Lovedeath in swingtime Lovedeath in swingtime

I broke up with my first lover over the phone and while watching TV. I’m not proud of this. 

on April 30, 2018 at 12:41 PM
Giglio d’april Giglio d’april

April brought I Puritani to Palermo’s centerpiece Teatro Massimo.

on April 16, 2018 at 9:26 AM
King of the Neapolitan road King of the Neapolitan road

At Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, Zerline, the heroine of Auber’s once beloved Fra Diavolo , undresses down to frilly French skivvies.

on March 24, 2018 at 11:23 AM
No retreat, Nono surrender No retreat, Nono surrender

Intolleranza was presented by Leon Botstein and his American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Thursday night, holding the audience rapt and intrigued for 65 minutes.

on March 03, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Stout fellow 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.

on February 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM
Take this ‘Job’ and stage it 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.

on January 17, 2018 at 1:56 PM
A little Proust 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?

on January 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Well-trod cinders in fitting slippers Well-trod cinders in fitting slippers

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

on December 09, 2017 at 11:27 AM
What’s at stake for a soul on fire? 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.

on December 06, 2017 at 8:00 AM
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