Discover the premier community for art enthusiasts, dedicated to discover the love of culture, visual beauty, and colorful masterpieces! Sign up to receive updates from the amazing world of arts.
Home > Author Archives: John Yohalem

Author Archives: John Yohalem

Lovedeath in swingtime

Lovedeath in swingtime

Lovedeath in swingtime You call this a tale of romance? I broke up with my first lover over the phone and while watching TV. I’m not proud of this.  Still, that’s an indication right there, wouldn’t you say? that we – Lili and I – had prolonged things beyond their natural life?  That we were no longer synchronized?  We had begun matters, how many years before? three? two? delighted with each other’s odd impulses and reactions ... Read More »

Giglio d’april

Giglio d’april

Giglio d’april Have you ever stood in a mountain stream, exhilarating froth bursting at you from every side? April brought I Puritani to Palermo’s centerpiece Teatro Massimo. The final masterpiece of Sicily’s national composer is no rare visitor here, of course.  Opening night, last Friday, was packed, the performance broadcast on RAI. Puritani, notoriously, requires a star quartet; impressive as it was that the company had them (especially as the original Elvira had fallen sick), ... Read More »

King of the Neapolitan road

King of the Neapolitan road

King of the Neapolitan road The climax of Auber’s once beloved Fra Diavolo (1830) takes place in the bedroom of Zerline, the innkeeper’s daughter. She undresses for bed, singing of the man she loves (Lorenzo, the police captain) and, pointedly, not of the man her father insists she marry (Francisco, but never mind him. He’s rich—and mute. In an opera, that can’t be good).  While she disrobes to her scanties, Zerline admires her figure in ... Read More »

No retreat, Nono surrender

No retreat, Nono surrender

No retreat, Nono surrender When a premiere is a succès de scandale, it is hard to be certain (57 years later) whether it was the music or the politics that made the rumpus. Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza (as the publishers prefer to call it nowadays, a more universal focus than Intolleranza 1960, the original title) was howled out of La Fenice by angry crowds in 1961 (someone shouted “Viva la polizia!”), and was not produced again ... Read More »

Stout fellow

Stout fellow

Stout fellow Luckless Otto Nicolai belongs to the large company of opera composers who never reached forty. Barely out of his twenties, he went south to Milan and scored a palpable hit, Il Templario, based on Ivanhoe. On the strength of this, he was offered a confused but epic libretto, a Biblical farrago entitled Nabucodonosor. He turned it down, and the impresario gave it to an even younger composer named Verdi. When this came to ... Read More »

Take this ‘Job’ and stage it

Take this ‘Job’ and stage it

Take this ‘Job’ and stage it Sumerian wood sculptures of a man in torment alternate with electric iconostases. “Iyov” is Hebrew for “Job,” as in the Biblical Book of Job. 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, through Saturday at HERE, on Dominick Street, between Soho and the Holland Tunnel.  There is a familiar recited ... Read More »

A little Proust

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? Not even Berlioz would have had such hubris. (Offenbach, peut-être?) Attempts to translate the enormous novel into any other #art seldom have much success. Perhaps an entirely new sort of mixed medium is the way to go.  This is the calculated choice ... Read More »

Das Süsses Mädel and the Boy from Berlin

Das Süsses Mädel and the Boy from Berlin

Diana Damrau is a finished artist, the voice full-bodied rather than tinkling, pastel not metal, her agility well-schooled and the instrument of sufficient size to fill the Met. The range is extensive if sometimes a bit thin above the staff, and the core is strong. She does not sing around the note or touch on the note, as the watery coloraturas do; she sings the note. There is an ease and a weight to her ... Read More »

Cock of the walk

Cock of the walk

You are unlikely ever to hear Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera sung in French, yet the piece, Zolotoy pyetushok (translated as The Golden Cockerel in English, folks around here being wary for some reason of calling it The Golden Rooster) is best known in these parts as Le Coq d’Or, which recalls its Met debut (1918, in French, on a double bill with Cavalleria Rusticana, in Sicilian) and nine subsequent Met seasons in that language.  Even the ... Read More »

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, moved to Broadway in 1954 and promptly sank, overweighted by its own cleverness. This is a great American opera (all-singing, no talking) and a downright weird choice for the Encores! series at the City Center.   The score (which produced ... Read More »

Scroll To Top