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.

Flame off Flame off

First things first: working from the limited evidence of half or less than half of Frank Castorf’s production of the Ring, I don’t see any evidence of contempt for the audience or whatever you want to call it.

on August 24, 2013 at 2:39 AM
First impressions First impressions

There are some productions that “introduce” themselves quite clearly early on: for example, the Patrice Chereau Ring puts it cards on the table very frankly with the image of the hydroelectric dam populated by grisette Rhinedaughters.

on August 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM
He who gets kicked He who gets kicked

A last minute scheduling conflict at the New York Post (curse you, Tony season!) meant that my planned review of Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at Manhattan School of Music had to be 86ed.

on April 25, 2013 at 12:54 AM
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