The zine parterre box appeared bimonthly 1993-2001. Click on a link to download a pdf of an issue.

That day we all knew eventually would come did come, in the winter of 2001, when the final issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine was mailed out to the cher public, such as they were at the time. La Cieca is happy to recall that we went out in gala fashion, though, with an in-depth interview with James McCourt, parting rants from stalwarts Enzo Bordello and Dawn Fatale, an imaginary farewell concert and a mediocre Sondheim parody. As dear William Shakespeare once remarked, “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it,” and so, your doyenne hopes, the late zine will leave you with a fond memory or two. [Download Issue #48]

The winds of change sweep across the first post-9/11 issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine. Glimmerglass Opera is in a slump, Mark Adamo talks to Our Own JJ about his new opera Little Women, a passel of pundits predict the highlights of the 2001-2002 season, Hans Lick goes to Zagreb, La Cieca dresses up Renée Fleming… and Ira Siff closes shop on the legendary La Gran Scena Opera Co. di New York. Things indeed would never be the same. [Download Issue #47]

An endorsement by the legendary Astrid Varnay, the fever-dream libretto Der Fledermausmann, Dr. Repertoire and Dawn Fatale cavorting through the Broadway smash The Impresarios, the usual reviews and gossip, plus an installment of “A Boy and His Diva” by Jon Taylor. [Download Issue #46]

Devotees of Dawn Fatale (and you are legion!) will be delighted to hear that the parterre scribe makes an early (2001!) appearance, ranting about the “squish-squish school of opera direction.” This groundbreaking issue also includes in-depth interviews with the legendary, lovely Anja Silja (in town to perform Vec Makropulos at BAM) and frequently-nude countertenor David Walker; plus reviews from around the world, La Cieca’s occasionally accurate gossip, and a do-it=yourself interview with “Lanfranco Madlibbo.” [Download Issue #45]

In a slight detour from the usual all-opera-all-the-time format of parterre box, the queer opera zine, this issue centers on Ben Letzler‘s superb appreciation of film and cabaret diva Zarah Leander. This feature-rich installment also includes a gaggle of high-concept operas devised by Dawn Fatale, a reimagining of La gioconda as performed by the cast of TV’s Friends (courtesy of Hans Lick) and Our Own JJ‘s glowing review of Astrid Varnay‘s awesome autobiography. And don’t miss La Cieca‘s breathless accounts of Graham Vick‘s Trovatore at the Met and Renata Scotto‘s role debut as Klytämnestra in Elektra! (“At times she reminded me of Vivien Leigh in Streetcar Named Desire or Ship of Fools in the way she seemed on the very brink of dissolving in hysterical tears, though never quite losing control.”) [Download Issue #44]

Alessandra Marc in interview with Our Own JJ. Also on the agenda: the final episode of Manuela Haltertop‘s sizzling melodrama “All About Steve,” as well as reports from all over: La Cieca at Glimmerglass, Dawn Fatale in Bayreuth, Hans Lich in Seattle, Basta Profunda in Munich and Clifton James (what sort of a name is that?) in Los Angeles. [Download Issue #43]

With issue #42a, “City of Dreams,” parterre box the queer opera zine returned at least temporarily to a rational numbering system. Somewhat less than rational, however, were that issue’s contents: La Cieca delights in Der Ring Gott Farblonjet at Show World; Manuela Haltertop thickens the plot of “All About Steve”; Dr. Repertoire answers in exhaustive depth questions from the cher public; John Yohalem introduces us to the concept of “Shamanic Opera-going”; and we hear reports of performances from Vienna to San Francisco courtesy of Dawn Fatale, Fils de Brahma and Gertie Dammerung. [Download Issue #42a]

Before you ask, cher public, there is no Issue #41 of parterre box, the queer opera zine, or, rather, this issue, #42 is the 41st of the series. La Cieca hasn’t a clue why the numbering system went to hell, but at least she didn’t let you down on content: Gossip about Madame Vera Galupe-Borszkh and Cecilia Bartoli! An interview with Catherine Malfitano! Reviews by Indiana Loiterer III, Fleur Jetée, and Fils de Brahma! “The Ballad of Billy Budd!” Plus the first installment in the serial “All About Steve” by the ineffable Manuela Haltertop! [Download Issue #42]

Our Own JJ nabs lengthy interviews with critic John Ardoin and tenor Richard Leech; the New York opera scene is dissected by Dawn Fatale, Little Stevie and Indiana Loiterer III; the inimitable Dick Johnson journeys to Pittsburgh for an early Sondra Radvanovsky Trovatore; and Richard and Peter sum up the Houston Grand Opera audience thusly: “…a peculiar mix [of] snarling Wagner queens in leather, bourgeois Europeans in black tie, and fat women in sweat pants and Nikes.” [Download Issue #40]

The very first words in this issue are “Renata Scotto will return to the American operatic stage in the 2001 season!” And if just gets more exciting from there! Casting and repertoire gossip from all over the place; the Top 50 Excuses for Jane Eaglen‘s Isolde; reviews by Dawn Fatale, Qual Cor, Enzo Bordello, Doug Peck, Richard and Peter, Flora Bervoix and The Loge Lizard; Leila de Lakmé pays tribute to Leonie Rysanek, and that notorious “artist’s conception” of Renée Fleming with the nekkid guys in Alcina. [Download Issue #39]

After leading off with a completely inaccurate gossip item about Sam Ramey, your doyenne discusses Glimmerglass Opera; Gertie Dammerung travels to Munich and Bayreuth; Dr. Repertoire muses on Marta Eggerth, MTV and Carlo Bergonzi; Leila de Lakmé appreciates Leyla Gencer; and, bestest of all, Opera Snooze! [Download Issue #38]

The celebrated “lost” issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine (now found, thanks to the avid cataloging of Indiana Loiterer III) features a blow-by-blow account of La Cieca and Dawn Fatale‘s Italian sojourn, including reviews from Firenze, Roma, Torino and Bologna; the debut of John Yohalem with the thought-provoking essay “Effeminato Amante;” the “Name That Diva!” quiz; a report from Enzo Bordello; and an analysis of the trouble status of La Scala by Mario Cavaradossi. Plus: parterre’s first and only erratum slip! [Download Issue #37]

Richard Bernstein is a very good-looking guy, even with his clothes on.” An interview with the Speedo-sporting singer is the centerpiece of this Spring 1999 issue, along with gossip from La Cieca, a round-the-world revue from Enzo Bordello, a visit by Indiana Loiterer III to the Met’s premiere of Moses und Aron, a Renata Scotto discography by Leila de Lakmé and the evergreen aria parody “Ain’t it a pretty voice?” [Download Issue #36]

“La Cieca cannot imagine it is much fun to sing ‘Dove sono’ when you’re suffering a fresh case of the Reno jumpy-wumps.” In the December 1998 issue of parterre box, your doyenne muses on Renée Fleming and Aprile Millo; Our Own JJ reviews a recording of the Callas master classes; Enzo Bordello, Dawn Fatale and Nakamura Akira chime in from three continents; Roy Wood gushes over Kathleen Battle; and Dr. Repertoire dissects Cinderella and Company. [Download Issue #34]

La Cieca gossips about Dr. Jonathan Miller, Renée Fleming‘s Lucrezia Borgia, a weekend at Glimmerglass and New York Grand Opera in Central Park; reviews by Andrew Cooper and Dawn Fatale; “La Canzone di Lydia”; the final installment of “Impossible Discs”; Act Two of “A Bitchy Class”; and offbeat recordings selected by Leila de Lakmé. [Download Issue #33]

How that opening night of Lohengrin might have gone; La Cieca on La Gran Scena, lesbian opera and Aretha Franklin; a salute to Renata Scotto by Enzo Bordello; reviews by Dawn Fatale, Loge Lizard and Gertie Dammerung; more Impossible Discs from Ortrud Maxwell; and advice of varying kinds from Dr. Repertoire and Bitchy Spice. [Download Issue #32]

Featuring an interview with David Daniels, reactions to Robert Wilson‘s Lohengrin, and the first installment of Ortrud Maxwell‘s fascinating feature “Impossible Discs.”Oh, and did I mention that La Cieca has the rock-solid, incontrovertible scoop that the role of Violetta in the Met’s 1998 new production of La traviata will be sung by… Renée Fleming[Download Issue #31]

parterre box, issue 3030: Melpomene StessaAsk Dr. Repertoire, Preview of the Met’s 1998 season, Interview with Ethan Mordden, Readers rrrrant, A boy and his diva.

parterre box, issue 2929: Role ModelMiss Bitchy Spice, Xerxes, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Aprite presto aprite, Joan Crawford operas, Bordello weekend, Interview with Charles Busch, Night of the unpronounceable cast.

parterre box, issue 2828: La Vera StoriaLes excuses de M. ALAGNA, Homoeroticism at NYCO, Peter and Richard, Ira Siff interview, A boy and his diva, Boy was I disappointed.

parterre box, issue 27 27: DebrisWhen your tongue gets a hard-on, Questions you’ll never hear on the opera quiz, Out West, Missed opportunities, Gaggles of queens, Enzo Bordello rants.

parterre box, issue 2626: Scandale! Bobby Bob’s big mouth, Wig angst, Dawn Carlos, Behrens meltdown, Richard Breath wants to know, Opera is not porn, Little Stevie screams, Our lives are better than your lives.

parterre box, issue 2525: Old-fashioned GirlDeborah Voigt interview, Mawrdew Czgowchwz quiz, I’m not an opera queen, Moedlrollen.

parterre box, issue 2424: Soviero in cyberspaceFaye vs. Dixie, Holland’s tunnel vision, Enzo Bordello at the Met, The Kathy Lee Syndrome, Half-naked musclement, Getting your fach straight, Faggots and Trovatore, Zinging Lessons.

parterre box, issue 2323: Forbidden LoveThe tenor of very little brain, Catfight at the Met, Operatic tearooms, Randall Wong, Patrice Munsel talks about King Kong, Fleming Flappers, Is Kallen Esperian a duck?

parterre box, issue 2222: A Boy and His DivaLa Cieca looks at NYCO, Festive occasions, Boys and their Divas, Ou va la jeune andouille?

parterre box, issue 2121: Legal at Last!Patti LuPone in Master Class, 10 Rules for Stage Directors, Queer-friendly opera, The Artist formerly known as Maria Ewing, Incest is Best, Bleating Man, The most glamourous diva of them all, Heroin chic, Fishbone.

parterre box, issue 2020: Post-gala depressionWorst-dressed Singers at the Levine Gala, Renee Fleming is a Mess, My Voice Gone Now, A Gran Night for Sinking, Ghaghiu and Lasagna, Il Trionfo di Westchester, The Hunt for Red Hot Diva, Richard Breath Wants to Know, L’homme a la Pomme, The Callas Circle.

1parterre box, issue 199: Cathy killsBusted Again, Questo e Quello, Little Stevie, Bartoli’s Met Debut, Soverio’s Butterfly, Fishbone, Ritual of Obedience, Readers Rant, I Hate Romans, No Comment, Road Kill, Fag Bashing at NYCO.

parterre box, issue 1818: Jessye was dressyeTop Ten List of June Anderson’s Newly Augmented Repertoire, Master Class, Opera Continues to Suck, We Fear That…, An American Opera Queen in London, Slaughter of the Regiment, Duelling Mezzos.

parterre box, issue 1717: Sure, opera sucks, but… The Three Sopranos, Seat Titles, Enzo Bordello, Top Ten Queer Influences on Maria Callas, Fishbone in Philly, Fax from Flora, Mrs. Kavanaugh.

parterre box, issue 1616: Talk the talk The Licia Albanese Gala, Mathis der Maler, Sunday in the Park with Scourge, Heads Will Roll, Readers Rant, Queenspeak.

parterre box, issues 14-15 14/15: Risen from the grave The “comeback” issue. La Cieca’s first howler: Maria Ewing replaces Jessye Norman in Makropulos Case, Gay Men’s Chorus, Farinelli, Nekkid Gays on CD Covers, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Fishbone at Large, Nothing, Fax from Flora, Harvey Milk, Dawn Patrol, Lend Me a Heldentenor.

parterre box, issue 1212: Kiss my mouth!Cheryl Studer phones it in, Licia boos, Death on the Nile (the historic turning point in Aprile Millo criticism!), Salome as gay text, Fishbone goes home, Easy to Swallow.

parterre box, issue 1010: Mud will be flungDel Monaco directs Butterfly, Enzo Bordello, La Gran Scena, La Cieca Predicts, I Never Will Forget Jeanette MacDonald, Divas and Their Boys.

parterre box, issue 99: Feminine, glamorous Fishbone, Amadigi, Menoriti Rules, The ’94-’95 Metropolitan Opera Broadcast Season.

parterre box, issue 88: Those darn divasPostcards from Two Lakes, To Wang Foo: Thanks for Everything – Anna Moffo, Zinka v. Eleanor, Diana Soviero, Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts You Never Heard.

parterre box, issue 77: Back to the futureRant, The Montreal Thing, Unmasking the Ball, Questo e Quello.

parterre box, issue 66: Busted!Debbie Does Naxos, Cecilia Bartoli, My Own Private Montparnasse, The Texaco Opera Queers, Readers Rant.

parterre box, issue 55: I am divine! I am oblivion!We hear that, Have You Met Miss Jones, Dmitri After Dark, Call Me Magda, Your Queer Operatic Heritage, Soubrette from Hell.

parterre box, issue 44: A Boy and His DivaThe Phantom of the Opera is Queer, Stiffelio, Adriana Lecouvreur, We hear that.

parterre box, issue 33: Valley of the DivasLa Cieca’s debut, Awakening Scene, Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Kathy Battle Scandale.

parterre box, issue 22: Diviant BehaviorCarol Vanmess and Cheryl Strudel, Wolfboy, The Life and Times of Sunny von Bulow, We hear that, Why bother?

parterre box, issue 11: All those lousy TraviatasThe very first issue of parterre box, the queer opera zine. Featuring: We hear that, Thomas Hampson, I love my dead gay Walsung, Cavalleria Suburbiana.