Patrick Clement James

Patrick Clement James is a writer and teacher based in New York City. His love of opera began in high school, leading to studies in vocal performance at the Manhattan School of Music. He currently studies English literature as a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and he teaches at Brooklyn College. As a writer, he is particularly interested in the ways that opera participates in the larger contexts of history and culture.

Purple hearts Purple hearts

Composer Gregory Spears is a unique example of this maxim that one must be “deeply rooted in tradition in order to innovate with integrity.”

on January 13, 2018 at 2:06 PM
Angel of the mourning Angel of the mourning

The most distinct pleasure of The Merry Widow at the Metropolitan Opera was the polished, yet warm, performance of Susan Graham as Hanna Glawari.

on December 16, 2017 at 10:20 AM
Forgiveness Forgiveness

It was odd, if not downright uncomfortable, to watch Le Nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera.

on December 08, 2017 at 3:25 PM
Puppet show Puppet show

Madama Butterfly remains fascinating because of its complexity.

on November 03, 2017 at 2:23 PM
Leah and the barihunk Leah and the barihunk

At yesterday’s recital at the Morgan Library, Leah Crocetto sang as her encore Kern and Hammerstein’s “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.”

on October 30, 2017 at 3:20 PM
Untouched by an ‘Angel’ Untouched by an ‘Angel’

Just because one can write an opera based on a film, does this necessarily indicate that one should?

on October 27, 2017 at 4:48 PM
Turandon’t Turandon’t

From the perspective of current identity politics, Puccini’s Turandot is a disaster of epic proportions.

on October 13, 2017 at 3:06 PM
A voice that must be heard A voice that must be heard

At the center of the Met’s revival of Puccini’s La bohème, one found the rich and layered talent of Angel Blue.

on October 04, 2017 at 9:33 AM
Dark matter Dark matter

In Schikaneder’s patriarchal cosmology, darkness is the province of emotional women—not just the erratic fury of the Queen of the Night, but the pathetic supplications of Pamina as well.

on September 28, 2017 at 7:44 PM
‘Mawrdew,’ he wrote ‘Mawrdew,’ he wrote

Published in 1975, James McCourt’s novel Mawrdew Czgowchwz is engaged with a longing for the divine.

on July 07, 2017 at 9:44 AM
But is it an artful paradox? But is it an artful paradox?

It was a timeout—but maybe it was a timeout we deserved.

on May 01, 2017 at 9:56 AM
Apparition Apparition

There was a moment during Natalie Dessay’s performance of Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade” when the singer summoned the ghost of her former self.

on April 29, 2017 at 11:11 AM
Tragedy in song Tragedy in song

LoftOpera’s Saturday night performance of Rossini’s Otello successfully appealed to the essential kinetic energy of the operatic art form.

on March 20, 2017 at 11:09 AM
Reunited Reunited

There is much to say about the similarities between the plot of Fidelio and the ancient myth of Orpheus.

on March 18, 2017 at 12:32 PM
Plummeting in love Plummeting in love

The Met’s current production of Verdi’s La Traviata is something of a mixed bag.

on February 25, 2017 at 1:25 PM
Crazy in love Crazy in love

I am, perhaps instinctively, skeptical of those who commit suicide.

on February 18, 2017 at 1:19 PM
Purists Purists

Someone—a deranged purist no doubt—heckled Javier Camarena from the balcony of the opera house for withholding the infamous high F during “Credeasi, misera.”

on February 11, 2017 at 12:42 PM
Sleeping with the fishes Sleeping with the fishes

With a cast of stellar singers and uneven direction by Mary Zimmerman, Dvorák’s Rusalka debuts in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera.

on February 03, 2017 at 7:52 PM
It’s a Mantua’s world It’s a Mantua’s world

Verdi’s Rigoletto returned to the Met Friday in the stilted “Las Vegas” production by Michael Mayer, with mostly competent singing from a good-looking cast.

on January 22, 2017 at 1:14 PM
Not my dragoon Not my dragoon

The Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Carmen began with a bit of drama Thursday night when tenor Rafael Davila replaced Marcelo Álvarez.

on January 22, 2017 at 11:43 AM
You give me fever You give me fever

Mortality is ugly—it smells, it makes uncomfortable noises, it takes its time; and then there is the overwhelming sense of dread and helplessness.

on January 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM
A little off the top A little off the top

Beaumarchais clearly delighted in this unobtrusive realm.

on January 10, 2017 at 2:12 PM
Musical theater of the absurd Musical theater of the absurd

It’s easy to see why Leonard Bernstein’s Candide was a flop when it premiered on Broadway.

on January 09, 2017 at 10:02 AM
Foolish love Foolish love

The Met ushers out this wretched year and rings in the new with an elegant and effective new production of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

on January 01, 2017 at 2:58 PM