Christopher Corwin began writing for parterre box in 2011 under the pen name “DeCaffarrelli.” His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Musical America, San Francisco Classical Voice and BAMNotes. Like many, he came to opera via the Saturday Met Opera broadcasts which he began listening to at age 11. His particular enthusiasm is 17th and 18th century opera. Since 2015 he has curated the weekly podcast Trove Thursday on parterre box presenting live recordings.
Despite having lost its announced Cherubino, conductor and Count (the latter in the midst of rehearsals), the season premiere of Le Nozze di Figaro Saturday afternoon proved to be one of the most enjoyable Met Mozart performances I’ve attended in ages.
For Christmas 2021 Trove Thursday welcomes The Three Wise Cis-Men each bearing a broadcast of my favorite sacred work by Mozart, the “Great” Mass in C minor, featuring a sterling American soprano: Kathleen Battle, Arleen Augér and Lisette Oropesa.
My sister Julie celebrates an important birthday later this month which reminded me—as I also recalled I visiting her while she was living in Prague—that I should unearth Bohuslav Martin?’s Julietta with Lucia Popp and Dénes Gulyás for this week’s Trove Thursday.
As one can see from the chronology published earlier this year, the American Opera Society, in addition to reviving a number of now familiar operas, introduced many singers who became important local figures; however, there were shooting-star exceptions like today’s Trove Thursday offering of d’Albert’s Tiefland featuring Angeles Gulin and Ion Buzea.
Symphony orchestras crave Wagner so much they occasionally program single acts of one of the master’s demanding operas, especially Die Walküre’s rapturous first, so Trove Thursday offers six (!) incestuous concert renditions spanning half a century.
With one show opening Sunday, another beginning previews on Monday and two more scheduled for the spring, 2021-22 will be yet another Stephen Sondheim-centric season in New York City which leads Trove Thursday to offer three “international” live recordings in which the artist’s works are performed without his inimitable English lyrics.
November in New York hosts two premieres dedicated to mythology’s greatest musician, which prompts Trove Thursday to present a vintage Monteverdi L’Orfeo with Judith Raskin and Gérard Souzay conducted by Leopold Stokowski (!) and a recent HIP London broadcast of Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo.
Last Wednesday the 92nd Street Y presented the friendliest-ever episode of American Gladiators when Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres continued their bel canto bromance with a delirious (almost) all-Rossini recital accompanied by Myra Huang.
Trove Thursday remembers Edita Gruberová with live recordings of two of the three operas I heard her perform at the Met: a 1985 Munich La Traviata with Neil Shicoff and Wolfgang Brendel conducted by Carlos Kleiber and an I Puritani from Vienna 1994 featuring two other artists who recently left us too soon: Marcello Giordani and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.
The fifth annual edition of Trove Thursday’s “Handel for my Birthday” actually falls on the very day this year, and there are few broadcasts I love more than the 1972 BBC Tamerlano starring the greatest Janet Baker along with Norma Burrowes, Patricia Kern, Maureen Lehane and Alexander Young.
Turandot finally arrives on Trove Thursday, but it’s the setting by Ferruccio Busoni which predates by a decade the one by that other Italian guy, and it’s paired today with Arlecchino, the composer’s other commedia dell’arte-influenced short opera.
Trove Thursday joins with those who prayed for opera to reopen worldwide for two broadcasts—more than fifty years apart–of Janacek’s stunning Glagolitic Mass, one conducted by Robert Shaw featuring Martina Arroyo, the other with Asmik Grigorian (pictured) led by rising American Karina Canellakis.