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 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
Kiss the pearls goodbye Kiss the pearls goodbye

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s spectacularly colorful and glitzy new production of The Pearl Fishers opened on Sunday.

on November 22, 2017 at 8:00 AM
Girls on horseback Girls on horseback

It’s a fairly traditional post-Patrice-Chereau Ring, set during the Industrial Revolution.

on November 22, 2017 at 7:30 AM
Allowing the birds to nest in your hair Allowing the birds to nest in your hair

In the seventies and eighties Dominick Argento (who turned ninety this year) was one of the most oft-performed of American opera composers.

on November 13, 2017 at 9:37 AM
The last ruse of summer The last ruse of summer

Flotow’s Martha, a work of 1847 that was popular around the world for a hundred years.

on November 06, 2017 at 4:11 PM
The piccolo on the hearth The piccolo on the hearth

Riccardo Zandoni’s Il Grillo del Focolare is an opera after all.

on October 18, 2017 at 12:04 PM
Triumphal Arc Triumphal Arc

Tchaikovsky’s Orleánskaia Djeva (The Maid of Orleans) kicked off Odyssey’s Opera’s fifth season

on September 20, 2017 at 10:32 AM
A Frabjous Day: The Siege of Calais A Frabjous Day: The Siege of Calais

The turntable set looks much the same from any angle: gutted concrete tenements and perilous alleys, instantly recognizable as a scene of urban guerrilla mayhem.

on August 08, 2017 at 1:18 PM
Imogenary beings Imogenary beings

Will Crutchfield’s Bel Canto at Caramoor program of concert operas concluded with a bang on Saturday with Bellini’s first success, Il Pirata.

on July 10, 2017 at 8:30 AM
In the River Rhine.  In it. In the River Rhine.  In it.

It is always a pleasure to hear a great orchestra take on a major score that might sound half-muffled emerging from the pit of an opera house.

on June 05, 2017 at 12:59 PM
Arrivederci, Romany! Arrivederci, Romany!

In the same season that Manhattan School of Music revived The Gypsy Baron, Riverside Theater around the corner is the site of Amore Opera’s “Season of Gypsy Operas.”

on June 02, 2017 at 8:11 PM
Das Süsses Mädel and the Boy from Berlin Das Süsses Mädel and the Boy from Berlin

Diana Damrau has chosen for her new Erato recital disc Grand Opera 11 high-flying showpieces from ten operas by Giacomo Meyerbeer.

on May 31, 2017 at 12:57 PM
Cock of the walk Cock of the walk

Zolotoy pyetushok (translated as The Golden Cockerel in English, is best known in these parts as Le Coq d’Or.

on May 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM
Golden but not delicious Golden but not delicious

The cultiest of cult musicals, an All-American take on the Iliad and the Odyssey, the spectacularly witty Golden Apple of John Latouche (words) and Jerome Moross (music), opened Off Broadway in 1953 to some acclaim.

on May 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Matchless! Matchless!

Douglas Moore’s score for The Ballad of Baby Doe has everything that could please and little that could offend.

on May 08, 2017 at 8:00 AM
Elements of style Elements of style

Antonio Literes, a boy soprano from Majorca, had, we may presume, friends in high places.

on May 07, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Ladies’ Quadrille Ladies’ Quadrille

It is much to be regretted that song recitalists stick to the tried, the true, the excessively familiar when the repertory of song is so vast, so full of treasures ready for the light

on May 03, 2017 at 10:08 AM
Yes, we have no Banat Yes, we have no Banat

In The Gypsy Baron (Der Zigeunerbaron), currently (through Sunday) enjoying a revival by the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, you get Strauss waltzes and patriotic marches.

on April 28, 2017 at 3:22 PM
Mountain high, valley low Mountain high, valley low

Be wary of operas that are famous for just one aria or just one famous opinion.

on April 13, 2017 at 9:02 AM
How do you solve a problem like Medea? How do you solve a problem like Medea?

I was puzzled by my initial exposure to the Medea of Aribert Reimann, a work of 2010.

on April 12, 2017 at 11:00 AM
A “Juive’ for the 21st century A “Juive’ for the 21st century

A brilliant production of La Juive like that of Peter Konwitschny generalizes the message that mindless hate does not pay and the mindless mob is always the enemy of civilization.

on April 12, 2017 at 8:47 AM
Clash of symbols Clash of symbols

La Campana Sommersa (The Sunken Bell), which is being presented by the New York City Opera at the Rose Theater through April 7, is a true oddball.

on April 01, 2017 at 12:10 PM
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