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.
Zolotoy pyetushok (translated as The Golden Cockerel in English, is best known in these parts as Le Coq d’Or.
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.
Douglas Moore’s score for The Ballad of Baby Doe has everything that could please and little that could offend.
Antonio Literes, a boy soprano from Majorca, had, we may presume, friends in high places.
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
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.
Be wary of operas that are famous for just one aria or just one famous opinion.
I was puzzled by my initial exposure to the Medea of Aribert Reimann, a work of 2010.
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.
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.
Leos Janacek composed Adventures of Vixen Sharp-Ears, with its singing forest creatures of many species, in 1922-23.
The New Amsterdam Opera Company presented a concert Forza (orchestra and chorus, yes; sets and costumes, no) at $35 a ticket.
Since Gilbert and Sullivan remain constant in the light-opera repertory, somewhere between Fledermaus and Les Mis in popular esteem, there must be good reasons their final collaboration, The Grand Duke, is seldom revived.
Opera composers do not often change their spots.
Pretty Yende was still hanging around after her last Barbiere and she knows the role of Elvira, having sung it in Zurich last June.
An unstaged performance of Juditha Triumphans by five soloists and the Venice Baroque Orchestra under Andrea Marcon.
strong>Christian Gerhaher does not appear at first to sing but rather to speak on pitches, telling stories, explaining words by lingering on them or biting them off short.
How often do you hear Macbeth with four really good singers in its four big roles?
Seville bills itself as the “City of 150 operas,” and celebrated this fact at the Exposition of 1992 by erecting a magnificent new opera house, the Teatro de la Maestranza, right beside the Plaza de Toros.
This year’s treat was Vittorio Gnecchi’s Cassandra, completed around 1905
David Lang is, per The New Yorker, a “postminimalist enfant terrible.”
You may wonder what Rachmaninoff’s Aleko and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci have in common.
“The music’s fun, but doesn’t Rossini repeat himself?”
You don’t often hear the grand operas of Benjamin Britten on smaller stages.