Cher Public

Our Own JJ

James Jorden (who writes under the names “La Cieca” and “Our Own JJ”) is the founder and editor of parterre box. During his 20 year career as an opera critic he has written for the New York Times, Opera, Gay City News, Opera Now, Musical America and the New York Post. He has also raised his voice in punditry on National Public Radio. From time to time he has directed opera, including three unsuccessful productions of Don Giovanni, a work he hopes to return to someday. He is the co-creator, writer and occasional wig stylist for “The Dozen Divas,” the long-running cabaret show starring the ineffable Dorothy Bishop. Currently he alternates his doyenne duties with writing a twice-weekly column on opera for the New York Observer.



Silver lies hidden in the core of dreams

Twenty-five years ago today, a zine cracked its shell and poked its timid beak into the world.  Read more »

Unfair ‘Lady’

Mainly plain.

In Pygmalion, and, by extension, in My Fair Lady, George Bernard Shaw packed a multitude of important social issues—class, privilege, feminism, morality and gender roles among them—into a light comedy. Sadly, a revival of the 1956 musical at Lincoln Center makes a muddle of the show’s thoughtful elements and isn’t particularly funny either.  Read more »

Bringing up Bondy

Is it not enough that the more ignorant segments of the public and the critical establishment continue to shout praise to David McVicar‘s torpid Tosca as the greatest triumph of the reactionary since the Bourbon Restoration? Must we also endure the smug smirking of the likes of Justin Davidson, who yet again has leapt at the opportunity to kick the cold corpse of Luc BondyRead more »

Panache room

“Roberto Alagna has found his most congenial and emotionally moving role yet: Cyrano de Bergerac.”

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A quiet girl

“Tatiana has developed into one of Netrebko’s very best roles.”

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Wig schlock

Despite the participation of venerable composer Carlisle Floyd, the only distinction Prince of Players can claim is as the worst drag show in Manhattan.

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Leading lady

“She not only sang the difficult leading role, she also directed the opera.”

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Women beware women

Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now presented new works in which women were variously gang-raped, eviscerated and executed by firing squad.

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