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Home > Author Archives: Joel Rozen

Author Archives: Joel Rozen

BASTA: The overt and the subliminal

BASTA: The overt and the subliminal

BASTA: The overt and the subliminal “And I can tell you on the record that nothing, absolutely nothing, you’ve heard about me or my private affairs is true.” As if the corner of Broadway and 53rd weren’t already busy enough, Evan Ingersoll couldn’t believe the line leading into the Mariachi Playhouse for BASTA tryouts. “For the love of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,” he thought, inspecting the boisterous crowd of supernumerary hopefuls. “This is insane.” Honestly there must’ve ... Read More »

BASTA: Super, tanks for asking

BASTA: Super, tanks for asking

BASTA: Super, tanks for asking Comfortable clothing that breathes and honors mobility. The day of the big BASTA audition, Evan found the flier Paul Upczuk had passed him the previous weekend at Aura Bar, flopped down on his bright, trapunto quilt, uncrumpled the lavender paper, and began to read. His jaw slackened.  BIG APPLE SINGING THEATER ASSOCIATION  SUPERNUMERARY AUDITION NOTICE   Bison Don’t Cry, a new opera in English. Music by Zack Wedgie. Libretto and spoken-word ... Read More »

BASTA: Call me by your game

BASTA: Call me by your game

BASTA: Call me by your game Or maybe—he knew it!—it was his crazed admiration for Renée Fleming that drove the boys away. It was already nearly two in the morning, late for a work night, and Nixon Ben Mahmoud was ashamed to find himself crying real tears.  He never cried, he whimpered from the corner of his bed. Wasn’t supposed to. He just felt so rejected. He’d just come, for chrissakes; he was still fucking ... Read More »

Okay by me in America

Okay by me in America

Okay by me in America Manhattanites will continue to associate mariachi with tacky nacho restaurants and subway serenades, but that hooty genre of music in fact finds its origins in the subtropics of Western Mexico, where rural migrants once brought trumpets, fiddles, guitarras de golpe, and spangled charro outfits to urban Guadalajara.  In Mexico, the hybrid folk song style remains traditional at weddings and baptisms; Mexico City’s Garibaldi Plaza still teems with musicians to this ... Read More »

BASTA: Press your luck

BASTA: Press your luck

BASTA: Press your luck Chapter Three of the continuing saga of Evan Ingersoll, opera-loving bar-back. The call came on a Tuesday, just as Jerold Offerman was leaving Lincoln Center. He’d spent the day readying the Algonquin Opera orchestra for the year’s season blockbuster, a high-profile, high-stakes revival of Lucia, and things weren’t going well with the glass harmonica.  Goddamn historical accuracy, he thought to himself, as a chauffeur and two PAs wrestled him from his wheelchair ... Read More »

Flour song

Flour song

Flour song Touting an austere, governessy program—the hour-and-change Schubert/Müller cycle, Die schöne Müllerin—Jonas Kaufmann (alongside Austrian accompanist Helmut Deutsch) fulfilled his long-awaited, high-profile return to Carnegie Hall last night.  Here was a fine specimen of idol-singer for the ages: a hot, debonair lirico-spinto with baby boomer appeal and a propensity to draw panties onstage as well as flowers. The ladies love him. The bros respect him. The gays vie for appointments with their analysts. Daddy’s home! But ... Read More »

BASTA: Boots and Saddle

BASTA: Boots and Saddle

BASTA: Boots and Saddle Chapter Two of the continuing saga of Evan Ingersoll, opera-loving bar-back. The guy in the plaid shirt motioned Evan over within seconds of spotting him at Aura. Evan rolled his eyes, checked his abs, and sidled up to the bar.  “What’s up?” “Hey, Sam, remember me?” “Name’s not Sam. So nope.” “It’s not? Hold it right there.” The man undid the top three buttons of his green flannel to reveal a silver ... Read More »

BASTA: Evan can wait

BASTA: Evan can wait

BASTA: Evan can wait Weekends at Aura Bar on 53rd and Ninth are typically big money makers for the morons who run the place. Jonjon and Yoni—preferred portmanteau: “Yawnyawn”—are a couple of scissorbills from Tel Aviv or France or wherever; they aways bring in the best of the Hell’s Kitchen Knuckle-Draggers. But this past Saturday, the place was deserted. A recent gun scare in Midtown (just in time for New Year’s!) left three of the joint’s ... Read More »

Scrumptious and relatable

Scrumptious and relatable

Scrumptious and relatable A woman-themed evening, as both authors and subjects of song Dear Jamie Barton, Last week at Zankel, as always, you made everyone want to bravo and swoon and scream-cry and also maybe phone a few dads to say it’s okay, all bygones now, we’re basically dead.  I had a panic attack, that’s how moved you made me. Dig: you’re the kind of singer that changes the way we think about mezzos in this ... Read More »

Intimacy

Intimacy

Intimacy Cape fearsome It may be true that opera singers aren’t always at their comfiest in the lonely context of the cabaret space. But last week, a pair of terrific recitals demonstrated what kind of intimate spell a dramatic singer can cast when left alone with a piano.  On December 10, soprano Marjorie Owens and baritone Quinn Kelsey graced the Morgan Library’s Gilder Lehman Hall for a joint concert presented by The George London Foundation ... Read More »

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