Enzo Bordello

Jason McVicker, one of the first contributors to parterre box under the name “Enzo Bordello,” was a private clinical social worker/therapist at Lakeview Center for Psychotherapy and a visiting faculty member at the University of Chicago School of SSA, the Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC and Loyola University School of Social Work. Jason’s grandmother instilled a love of opera in him at a young age and he carried that passion with him until his death in 2016 at the age of 54. His husband, Michael Worley, notes, "Jason was a walking encyclopedia of opera, which he discovered at the age of eight. He could tell you the year of any major singer's debut at a certain opera house, recognize the singer in most audio recordings, and tell you the whole cast of most Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. Jason worked as stage manager at the New Orleans Opera and later traveled extensively to the great American and European opera houses. He wrote numerous opera reviews for Windy City Times, and most recently for an Italian online opera zine, GB Opera.”


Lady be good Lady be good

Anna Netrebko‘ s new CD of Verdi arias seems to be a bold, defiant, “in your face” statement about the direction she is taking with her career.

on August 16, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Love in bloom Love in bloom

Everything about Aleksandra Kurzak’s new disc is a variation on the term “fioritura.”

on July 04, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Not quite right Not quite right

The last of the Strauss-Hofmannsthal collaborations, Arabella, is a real problem child.

on November 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM
A star is reborn A star is reborn

Let’s start with some refreshing news:  Poèmes is the finest thing Renée Fleming has recorded in many a season.

on March 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM
Now it is the turn of the poor little small one Now it is the turn of the poor little small one

It is hard to know just who is the intended audience for this release of Pelléas and Mélisande.

on March 01, 2012 at 2:06 PM
Nothing but nets Nothing but nets

This 2010 DVD of Brecht and Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny from Madrid assumes pride of place among the available video versions of the opera.

on February 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

“Gioia!” is the title of Aleksandra Kurzak‘s debut aria recital, her first international release under a new exclusive contract with Decca Music Group, and—not surprisingly—this writer’s response to the soprano’s sparkling vocalism.   In the liner notes, the Polish soprano explains that the title of this recording was her agent’s suggestion: “He said that he can…

on September 08, 2011 at 9:56 AM

In this new Decca DVD of Tosca we find a highly intellectual, even fascinating staging at odds with the visceral nature of the original melodrama but one that inspires its cast to great heights.  Robert Carsen is a clever producer with an elegant visual palette.  He employs the same directorial strategy as his famous Mefistofele…

on April 24, 2011 at 4:59 PM

When handing out the goodies, the gods weren’t stingy with Shirley Verrett.  Few opera singers were as prodigiously gifted as Verrett:  the perfect amalgam of Kunst and Stimm housed in a frame of voluptuous allure.  In addition to an instrument of stunning natural beauty and easy range, Verrett displayed superior musicianship, dramatic intelligence and searing…

on November 07, 2010 at 12:19 PM

According to Mary Garden’s autobiography, Claude Debussy first encountered the Scottish-born diva at the Opéra Comique.  After rehearsing her at the piano in a few scenes from his newly completed opera, Debussy said to Garden:  “To think that you had to come from the cold far North to create my Mélisande.”  He then turned to…

on September 27, 2010 at 11:50 AM

The Met’s 1979 telecast of Mahagonny exposed one of the lesser-known factors contributing to the demise of disco:  the global supply of eye shadow, rouge and lip gloss was exhausted for the next decade by a cast featuring Klara Barlow, Louise Wohlafka, Nedda Casei, Gwynn Cornell, Joann Grillo and Isola Jones—and stilettos, garter belts and…

on September 26, 2010 at 3:20 PM

A long-awaited DVD from the Met documents one of the great “42nd Street” episodes in operatic history: on December 20, 1980, a largely unknown Julia Migenes (or Migenes-Johnson, as she was called in those days) stepped in on a few hours’ notice for an ailing Teresa Stratas as the anti-heroine of Berg’s Lulu. A prodigiously…

on June 08, 2010 at 11:06 AM