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.
As New Yorkers swelter in the Fahrenheit 90s. Trove Thursday escapes to wintry Vienna 1920s for Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo (in English) sumptuously conducted by Julius Rudel and starring the incomparable Elisabeth Söderström as the delicious, exasperating wife of Alan Titus.
Last month in the New York Times Joshua Barone surveyed recent European streams of German works by Kurt Weill and pondered their relationship to his later Broadway successes; his piece prompted Trove Thursday to feature two versions of One Touch of Venus.
The American Opera Society introduced many important singers to New York City audiences, but few were as controversial as the Greek soprano Elena Souliotis; Trove Thursday offers her local debut (at age 23) in Anna Bolena with Marilyn Horne, Janet Baker, Plácido Domingo and Carlo Cava.
Franco Corelli was born on April 8, 1921 in Ancona and Trove Thursday celebrates the matinee-idol tenor’s centenary with a pair of his rare non-Met US appearances; seducing Marie Collier in La Fanciulla del West and vacillating between Ilva Ligabue and Grace Bumbry in Il Trovatore.
Off-and-on since last fall my PPP (Personal Pandemic Project) has been assembling a chronology of the American Opera Society. For 19 years beginning in 1951 it presented a remarkable series of concert performances of works unperformed by either the Met or New York City Opera.
Following last week’s Golden Cockerel, Trove Thursday offers another classic Russian opera not in Russian: Borodin’s Fürst Igor with Nelly Miricioiu, Marjana Lipovsek, Bodo Brinkmann, Evgeny Nesterenko, Robert Schunk and Sergei Koptchak conducted by Mark Ermler.
Saturday marks the centenary of Julius Rudel’s birth which Trove Thursday celebrates with Le Coq d’or, Faust and Ariodante, a triple-bill showcasing his impressive versatility, featuring Beverly Sills and Norman Treigle, two of the most important artists he nurtured during his leadership of the New York City Opera.
Still under the spell of the recent stream of the Met’s 1983 Les Troyens (finally!), Trove Thursday offers an important musical and mythic antecedent to Berlioz’s epic work: Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, as well as Iphigenia in Aulis, Wagner’s 1847 reworking of the earlier composer’s first French tragédie.