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.

Parsifal Parsifal

Live, a new production from the Bayreuth Festival.

on July 24, 2023 at 6:08 PM
Gli arabi nelle Gallie ossia Il trionfo della fede Gli arabi nelle Gallie ossia Il trionfo della fede

Giovanni Pacini’s 1827 opera, revived for the first time since the 19th century.

on July 22, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Semele Semele

Broadcast live from Munich with a number of members of the cast who will appear in the impending Met presentation of this piece.

on July 15, 2023 at 10:44 AM
A lady with a song A lady with a song

Born on this day in 1920 or so actor Yul Brynner.

on July 11, 2023 at 9:16 AM
Il Turco in Italia Il Turco in Italia

Alex Esposito and Lisette Oropesa star at the Teatro Real de Madrid.

on June 24, 2023 at 9:00 AM
Theme park Theme park

On this day in 1967 the Metropolitan Opera presented its first “Met in the Parks” performance in Crocheron Park, Bayside, Queens. La bohème featured Anna Moffo, Sandor Konya, Laurel Hurley and Frank Guarrera.

on June 24, 2023 at 6:00 AM
Carmen Carmen

For your Friday evening chatting pleasure, a video from the Opéra Comique, Paris.

on June 23, 2023 at 7:11 PM
El último sueño de Frida y Diego El último sueño de Frida y Diego

Gabriela Lena Frank‘s score for Frida y Diego was nothing short of extraordinary, at times recalling Béla Bartók (in her treatment for climaxes) or Giacomo Puccini (in her handling of choruses), but the musical idioms were certainly her own. I particularly mesmerized by many instrumental solos peppered throughout the score (most particularly the bassoon and violin solos), and Frank used such device to define the characters, almost in a way of leitmotif.”

on June 22, 2023 at 8:37 PM
Wrong side of the tracks Wrong side of the tracks

Renowned musical artist Jonas Kaufmann has returned to his first true love, recording dated kitsch.

on June 21, 2023 at 7:28 PM
Die Frau ohne Schatten Die Frau ohne Schatten

Tonight’s chat is late (10:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM PDT) and based on a pay-per-view event, but….

on June 20, 2023 at 6:25 PM
Der Fliegende Holländer Der Fliegende Holländer

The final broadcast of the season.

on June 10, 2023 at 12:20 PM
La bohème La bohème

The final Free Live Audio Stream of the Met’s 2022-2023 season.

on June 09, 2023 at 5:28 PM
Die Zauberflöte Die Zauberflöte

“I’ve never laughed so much nor been so moved by a Zauberflöte until Simon McBurney’s where even its Busby Berkeley-flavored finale brought tears to my eyes.”

on June 03, 2023 at 11:00 AM
Getting better and better Getting better and better

Once again, La Cieca thanks you for your concern and patience during May 2023.

on June 02, 2023 at 8:07 AM
Der Fliegende Holländer Der Fliegende Holländer

Tomasz Konieczny stars as the accursed Dutchman in Wagner’s haunting ghost story.

on May 30, 2023 at 6:00 PM
Die Zauberflöte Die Zauberflöte

“Following her sublime Met debut two weeks ago leading Don Giovanni, Nathalie Stutzmann once again led a fleet and transparent reading full of ravishing detail.”

on May 25, 2023 at 5:00 PM
Aida Aida

The troubled run of Verdi’s opera at the Met this season is almost over.

on May 13, 2023 at 12:52 PM
Don Giovanni Don Giovanni

“One consistent feature was a tendency across the cast to tip from recitative into aria with no pause for breath or thought. The effect was almost naturalistic—if such a thing were possible in opera—and was just one example of the many ways in which the night’s music felt fresh, even urgent.”

on May 09, 2023 at 5:00 PM
Grace Bumbry 1937-2023 Grace Bumbry 1937-2023

In voice, artistic sensibility and glamour, the singer was every inch a diva.

on May 08, 2023 at 12:12 PM
Ein Feldlager in Schlesien Ein Feldlager in Schlesien

Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Singspiel in three acts, as broadcast from Bonn Opera.

on May 07, 2023 at 12:00 PM
La bohème La bohème

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Puccini’s timeless tragedy for the first time at the Met, leading a cast that stars Eleonora Buratto and Stephen Costello.

on May 06, 2023 at 11:04 AM
Don GIovanni Don GIovanni

Peter Mattei heads a luxe cast conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann.

on May 05, 2023 at 4:00 PM
On the mend On the mend

La Cieca was most gratified to see that the cher public kept visiting and commenting on every topic under the sun during her mid-April bout of illness!

on May 03, 2023 at 12:53 PM
Peter Grimes Peter Grimes

Performance from November 9, 2022.

on April 29, 2023 at 12:08 PM