La Cieca

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. Currently he alternates his doyenne duties with writing a weekly column on opera for the New York Observer.


Standing in the shadow of love Standing in the shadow of love

Pop culture diva Kim Kardashian seized the opportunity of Sunday night’s Met gala to perform a scene from a lesser-known Richard Strauss opera, Der Schatten ohne Frau.

on September 15, 2021 at 8:15 AM
Valiant is the word for Gladys Valiant is the word for Gladys

Born on this day in 1904 actress Gladys George.

on September 13, 2021 at 12:39 AM
Salome Salome

Simone Young conducts a new production by Andreas Homoki from the Opernhaus Zürich.

on September 12, 2021 at 10:03 AM
String of pearls String of pearls

Born on this day in 1938 mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos.

on September 12, 2021 at 6:23 AM
Requiem Requiem

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Met presents Verdi’s Requiem, with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the extraordinary Met Orchestra and Chorus as well as a quartet of star soloists: soprano Ailyn Pérez, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and bass-baritone Eric Owens.

on September 11, 2021 at 4:52 PM
Disney princess Disney princess

Born on this day in 1919 dancer Marge Champion.

on September 02, 2021 at 8:00 AM
Gamine attractions Gamine attractions

On this day in 1951, the film An American in Paris debuted in London.

on August 26, 2021 at 10:21 AM
Met, Orchestra reach agreement Met, Orchestra reach agreement

A new collective bargaining agreement between the Metropolitan Opera and its orchestra, the last of the Met’s three largest unions to reach an agreement, was ratified today.

on August 24, 2021 at 12:48 PM
Gala Rossini Gala Rossini

Featuring Juan Diego Flórez, Marina Monzó, Marta Pluda, Manuel Amati, Giorgio Caoduro, Nicolò Donini, Matteo Roma, Sergey Romanovsky, Pietro Spagnoli and Jack Swanson.

on August 22, 2021 at 11:50 AM
While you were sleeping While you were sleeping

Jennifer Hudson “honors” Aretha Franklin by singing “Nessun dorma.”

on August 21, 2021 at 6:37 PM
Götterdämmerung Götterdämmerung

Frank Castorf’s staging of the Ring, premiered in 2013 and filmed in 2016, provoked controversy right from the beginning. Marek Janowski’s musical reading was unanimously praised

on August 21, 2021 at 11:25 AM
Run for cover Run for cover

The cover for Anna Netrebko‘s new CD is…

on August 20, 2021 at 10:40 AM
Diane Zola departs Diane Zola departs

La Cieca has received a copy of a message, apparently from the Metropolitan Opera, announcing the departure of Diane Zola from the company.

on August 19, 2021 at 6:34 PM
Benjamin Bernheim in recital Benjamin Bernheim in recital

From the Salzburg Festival, the tenor sings sings Chausson, Schumann, Brahms and Britten, with Mathieu Pordoy.

on August 17, 2021 at 10:09 AM
Roberto Devereux Roberto Devereux

Sondra Radvanovsky, Russell Thomas and Jamie Barton star in this performance from San Francisco Opera.

on August 14, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Monster’s ball Monster’s ball

Born on this day in 1923 actress and singer Alice Ghostley.

on August 14, 2021 at 7:51 AM
Together again for the first time Together again for the first time

At long last the plans for the Met’s 2017 New Year’s Eve Gala are to be realized.

on August 13, 2021 at 11:45 AM
The Lord of Cries The Lord of Cries

The Santa Fe Opera’s 17th world premiere is The Lord of Cries by composer John Corigliano and librettist Mark Adamo.

on August 09, 2021 at 5:13 PM
Tears in heaven Tears in heaven

Awesome, astounding, Asiatic Anna Netrebko sings Puccini and Puccini/Alfano at the Arena di Verona.

on August 06, 2021 at 8:03 PM
Tannhäuser Tannhäuser

Tobias Kratzer’s “novel… wrenching” (New York Times) 2019 production of Tannhäuser as a wildly contemporary parable of art and freedom.

on August 02, 2021 at 5:43 PM
Tristan und Isolde Tristan und Isolde

Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros star, with Kirill Petrenko conducting a Krzysztof Warlikowski production.

on July 31, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Das Rheingold Das Rheingold

From the 2016 Bayreuth Festival with Music Director Marek Janowski and Stage Director Frank Castorf.

on July 30, 2021 at 4:49 PM
Gala: Der wendende Punkt Gala: Der wendende Punkt

All-star gala at the Bayerische Staatsoper honoring the regime of Nikolaus Bachler.

on July 30, 2021 at 12:37 PM
Il trovatore Il trovatore

Baritone Christopher Maltman stars as Count di Luna against the breathtaking backdrop of the ancient Roman Circus Maximus.

on July 29, 2021 at 6:06 PM
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