Cher Public

James Jorden

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.



The damned don’t cry

Michael Mayer‘s production of La traviata at the Met is so timid, so devoid of insight, so cynically pandering and gaudy that I feel like it hardly even matters what I think of the performances of the current cast.  Read more »

Jump for my love

Last night at the Met the main event—as planned, anyway—was the debut of the celebrated bass-baritone Wolfgang Koch as Scarpia. But another newcomer, this one jumping on on just a few hours’ notice, to my mind nabbed the show to herself.  Read more »

Why parterre box is not going to cover the David Daniels / Scott Walters arrest

The arrest of an important gay opera star and his husband on a serious criminal charge is undoubtedly news and almost certain to be interest to regular readers of parterre box. But we’re not going to follow this story for reasons I will offer after the jump.   Read more »

Silver lies hidden in the core of dreams

parterre box published its first issue on December 3, 1993. That date was chosen because Our Own JJ wished to honor the 70th anniversary of the birth of Maria Callas.

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Unfair ‘Lady’

A revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center makes a muddle of the show’s thoughtful elements and isn’t particularly funny either. 

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Bringing up Bondy

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.

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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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