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.

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

Every year New York City opera-lovers eagerly anticipate the autumn because it means that summer is finally over and we can get back to serious opera-going, and this September promises “The Battle of the A’s.” 

on September 19, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Noticing how often she turns up lately, one might guess that the operatic “heroine” for the global economic crunch is Medea, the mythological Greek sorceress and filicide. 

on September 03, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Joyce DiDonato enjoys the rare cachet of having three studio-recorded operas released in the past three years while other famous divas must be content with “just” DVDs. Although two of Renée Fleming’s Violettas have found their way onto video in less than five years (why??), “the people’s diva” has only recorded one studio opera in…

on August 18, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Scanning this summer’s Mostly Mozart schedule one wondered if New York really needed another Don Giovanni right now?  And one with a non-starry cast where the best-known name was the Commendatore, Kristinn Sigmundsson? 

on August 05, 2011 at 8:39 PM

While major stars like René Pape and Piotr Beczala had to wait until they were over 40 to record a solo aria CD, Julia Lezhneva has just done her first—and she’s only twenty-one!  After a drought, CD companies are issuing a surprising number of debut recitals; Nino Machaidze, Olga Peretyatko, Mojca Erdmann, and Aleksandra Kurzak…

on July 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Despite baby-steps over the years, America’s musical scene, especially opera, remains decidedly un-HIP. (HIP: “historically-informed performance,” also called “period performance.”)  While European opera houses turn increasingly to “original instrument” orchestras and specialist singers for seventeenth and eighteenth century works, this rarely occurs in the US. 

on June 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Other than binging on seven or eight Agatha Christie novels in seventh grade, I can’t recall ever again reading another mystery novel, or what they now call “crime fiction.”  Perhaps it’s a coincidence but around that same age I attended my first opera and began subscribing to Opera News.  Hence, Commissario Guido Brunetti, hero of…

on May 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

This Cleofide must have been conceived as a perfect target for haters of Italian baroque opera.  While many might (grudgingly?) acknowledge that Handel is indeed an important operatic composer, here we have a virtually unknown name often relegated to dusty music history books. Not only has no one ever heard (nor probably even heard of)…

on May 02, 2011 at 2:41 PM
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