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.
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.
Important European revivals this season would like to return Nicola Porpora to the remarkable prominence he held during the first half of the 18th century. Trove Thursday argues his case with a “pirate” recording of Polifemo featuring Franco Fagioli in a star performance along with Xavier Sabata (pictured), Laura Aikin, Mary-Ellen Nesi and Christian Senn.
Trove Thursday sends best wishes to Michael Tilson Thomas, currently recovering from a recent surgery to remove a brain tumor, and presents him in a broadcast leading the UK premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mlada with Makvala Kasrashvili, Felicity Palmer, Jon Frederic West and Sergei Leiferkus.
Trove Thursday previews Bard Summerscape’s upcoming production of Ernest Chausson’s Le Roi Arthus with a recent Paris broadcast conducted by Philippe Jordan featuring the doomed love triangle portrayed by Sophie Koch, Roberto Alagna and Thomas Hampson.