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.
The operas of Saverio Mercadante are often said to be among those 19th century Italian works most worthy of revival; in case you’ve never heard one, judge for yourself with a 1974 broadcast of his best-known work, Il Giuramento, with Annabelle Bernard, Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras and Robert Kerns.