Christopher Corwin

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, The Observer, 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.


The Roman stain The Roman stain

Gotham Chamber Opera stumbled so badly Friday night with Francesco Cavalli’s 1668 Eliogabalo at The Box, it was hard to know whether to feel sad or angry—or both.

on March 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Box office Box office

Although married five times including to the heretofore off-limits Vestal Virgin, he patronized hundreds of prostitutes while also showering political favors on his male lovers.

on March 08, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Thrace off Thrace off

Nearly 30 years after a Handel opera last played there, Carnegie Hall presented The English Concert opening a three-year opera-oratorio project on Sunday afternoon with Radamisto.

on February 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM
Empire records Empire records

That’s what it must have been like in 1726 London when Handel composed Alessandro for perhaps the three most famous (and expensive) singers of the day.

on February 18, 2013 at 5:41 PM
Veni, vidi, Vinci! Veni, vidi, Vinci!

Not only cursed to bear a name nearly identical to that of one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived, Leonardo Vinci also had the misfortune to die just three months after the premiere of his greatest opera, reportedly murdered with a cup of poisoned chocolate at the age of 36.

on January 30, 2013 at 4:47 PM
An embarrassment of divas An embarrassment of divas

As if last week’s survey wasn’t enough, a few more recent diva-recital disks remain worthy of attention particularly since they arrive from five front-rank singers.

on December 23, 2012 at 7:49 PM
Divas merrily on high Divas merrily on high

Cecilia Bartoli and Joyce DiDonato are not the only ladies who have recorded recitals this year featuring music from the 17th and 18th centuries.

on December 11, 2012 at 2:33 AM
The sun also rises The sun also rises

If you’re the sort who prefers his diva to be an unapproachable sphinx prone to infuriating cancellations while radiating ennui, I suspect that the sunny, hard-working, grateful persona of American mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato will not appeal to you at all.

on November 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM
Mission statement Mission statement

Can it be nearly a quarter-century ago that an Italian mezzo-soprano in her early twenties recorded her first recital?

on October 25, 2012 at 2:44 PM
Back to the Beach Back to the Beach

“Is a work an opera simply because its creators choose to call it one?”

on September 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM
A boozy short leave A boozy short leave

After 23 years, the Queen of Carthage has finally made it to Manhattan.

on August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Brit star! would I were steadfast as thou art! Brit star! would I were steadfast as thou art!

Rule Britannia? Often during the Olympics that famous number from Thomas Arne’s 1740 Alfred echoed in my ears.

on August 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Virgin territory Virgin territory

The chicken or the egg?

on July 27, 2012 at 4:39 PM
Citius, Altius, Fortius Citius, Altius, Fortius

Of all the Olympics-related products created to honor the upcoming summer games in London, surely one of the oddest must be a brand new pasticcio just released on a two-CD set by Naïve—L’Olimpiade.

on June 05, 2012 at 1:52 PM
Grand, hotel Grand, hotel

Sneaking in under the wire during the final week of May were two highpoints of New York’s opera season: the Cleveland Orchestra’s Salome with a stunning Nina Stemme and operamission’s revelatory US stage premiere of a complete edition of Handel’s first opera Almira.

on May 28, 2012 at 8:31 PM
Just my Gluck Just my Gluck

For all his historical importance Christoph Willibald Gluck remains one of the least known and performed of the great opera composers.

on May 18, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Room for improvement Room for improvement

It’s hard to think of a rare work by a great composer more tailor-made for a twenty-first century reexamination than Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione.

on April 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Counter attack Counter attack

By the end of its 2012-13 season, the Met will have presented four HD transmissions in less than two years featuring countertenors in prominent roles.

on March 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Enfin, elle est en notre présence Enfin, elle est en notre présence

Almost exactly one hundred years ago on March 18, 1912, the Metropolitan Opera gave its final performance to date of Armide.

on February 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM
Agitated, of two minds Agitated, of two minds

Few singers today cause me as much consternation as Vivica Genaux.

on February 06, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Pout and about Pout and about

I could feel my face (to say nothing of my spirits) sink as I opened an envelope from La Cieca containing a new Decca CD to review.

on January 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM
Noble salvage Noble salvage

The New Year’s Eve gala at the Met ushering out 2011 was the world premiere of the much-anticipated mash-up The Enchanted Island AKA “baroque opera for those who hate (or at least don’t know) baroque opera.

on January 01, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Many American opera-lovers take the “Grand Tour”—a pilgrimage to Europe to attend opera at its great houses—Peter Grimes at the Royal Opera in London or Otello at La Scala in Milan, or perhaps for the more well-heeled a visit to the summer festivals of Glyndebourne, Salzburg or Aix-en-Provence.  

on December 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM

“Hey the line forms, on the right dear / Now that Macheath’s back in town / You’d better lock your doors, and call the law / Because Macheath’s back in town.” So concludes Marc Blitzstein’s famous English translation of the song that opens Die Dreigroschenoper.

on October 10, 2011 at 10:48 AM
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