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.


Il Gran Teatro della Cieca proudly presents Above the Title: Operatic Superstar as Protagonist. This program features five complete live performances: La Fille du Regiment (Beverly Sills), Salome (Gwyneth Jones), Don Carlo (Franco Corelli), Die Walkuere (Kirsten Flagstad) and Madama Butterfly (Montserrat Caballe). Listen to the program Read more details

on May 13, 2005 at 5:22 PM

Coming up this weekend on “Il Gran Teatro della Cieca,” an all-new, all-recorded-live program of opera. You’ll hear complete performances of La Fille du regiment, Salome, Don Carlo, Die Walkuere and Madama Butterfly, with the title roles taken by Beverly Sills, Gwyneth Jones, Franco Corelli, Kirsten Flagstad and Montserrat Caballe (respectively!) In the meantime, do…

on May 12, 2005 at 4:40 PM

La Cieca hopes you enjoy her radio show (currently featuring an all-Virginia Zeani program) and would like to know: what do you want to hear on “Il Gran Teatro della Cieca?” Complete operas? Highlights? A concert by “Il Divo?” Email your suggestions to parterrebox@aol.com.

on May 11, 2005 at 2:44 AM

Well, La Cieca thinks that Jane Eaglen must be a hell of a wonderful colleague, or is it that she has a mortgage payment due on her Seattle condo? Whatever the reason, the Brit Brunnhilde is (you should pardon the expression) jumping in for an ailing Susan Marie Pierson in tonight’s performance of Fidelio at…

on May 10, 2005 at 3:16 PM

La Cieca hears (from sometimes reliable internet snitch Tony Soprano) that Matthew Epstein will make a triumpant return to the 15% biz in general and Columbia Artists Management in particular. Expect an announcement (from someone besides Tony, that is) sometime next week. Glad to see that someone knows his correct Fach! In completely unrelated news,…

on May 05, 2005 at 6:04 PM

La Cieca abandons HTML today and shifts to a blog-driven site. She’s hoping that the easier interface will mean more frequent and timely updates, but I guess you’ll be the judge of that! A rave review for last night’s Ballo at the Met from the hard-to-please Charlie Handelman, in particular Miss Millo and Mr. Giordani…

on May 04, 2005 at 4:47 PM

Is this the new Stefan Zucker?

on April 24, 2005 at 1:47 PM

This one is just a whisper at the moment, but La Cieca has heard that Mirella Freni is not going to show up for the Met Pension Fund gala in May? Like I said, it’s just a whisper, but… Those of you listening to today’s intermission feature during the Met’s Walkuere broadcast just heard Sally…

on April 23, 2005 at 9:43 PM

La Cieca hears that Thomas Hampson may not be singing his first Met Simon Boccanegra in 2006-07 as scheduled. The rumor is that Hampson has been asked to step down so that Placido Domingo can add this role to his already vast repertoire. Can Placido’s Kostelnicka be far behind?

on March 15, 2005 at 10:45 PM

The Impresarios The Ballad of Billy Budd All About Steve A Bitchy Class Just Jessye! Ain’t it a pretty voice? Valley of the Divas The Texaco Opera Queens New Roles for Cecilia Bartoli Bartoli Meets Swenson Beefcake in Opera Ten Rules for Stage Directors Ten Questions You’ll Never Hear on the Opera Quiz Missed Opportunities…

on March 06, 2005 at 8:06 PM

In response to a very official-looking email from the Business and Legal Affairs department of the Universal Music Group, La Cieca reluctantly must now reveal that the mp3 she mischievously identified as “a track from Renee Fleming‘s new jazz album” is in fact nothing of the kind. The clip was meant as a travesty of…

on February 23, 2005 at 1:14 AM

La Cieca has just been informed that the legendary team of superagents Bruce Zemsky and Alan Green have packed their bags and moved out of CAMI, presumably to start up their own management firm. Zemsky and Green handled artists ranging from Marcelo Alvarez to Mariana Zvetkova; no word yet on how many of the dozens…

on February 09, 2005 at 1:19 AM

This is getting ridiculous, folks. La Cieca, sitting here in New York, reported four days ago that David Gockley had accepted an offer to helm San Francisco Opera. And now she hears that Gockley broke the news to his Houston Grand Opera staff “days ago.” And still no announcement from the city by the bay!…

on February 03, 2005 at 1:51 PM

You heard it here first. In fact, you heard it here a month ago — and now the “other” media are finally picking up on the operatic story of the year. According to the Houston Chronicle, David Gockley is mulling an offer from San Francisco “to lead that city’s legendary but troubled opera company.” La…

on January 16, 2005 at 9:56 PM

Which diva, star of a new production that was one of the Met’s hottest tickets of recent years, has refused to repeat her role in a future season because she can’t stand the staging? We’ll hear her sing a different title role instead.

on December 20, 2004 at 10:33 PM

Once Matthew Epstein has left Chicago (as reported this morning at musicalamerica.com), you can be sure he’ll have better things to do than rest on his laurels. La Cieca hears that Matthew has his eye on San Francisco Opera, succeeding Pamela Rosenberg there. But the competition for this post is fierce: front runners include Charles…

on December 15, 2004 at 11:35 PM

Just imagine! The legend herself, Anja Silja taking time out of a busy rehearsal schedule (and despite her concern about the orchestra, problematic in early runthroughs)—to talk to parterre box. I confess I imagined she would be at least a little bit like her character of Emilia Marty—cynical, burned out, impatient. What a surprise, then,…

on January 17, 1999 at 11:11 PM
Page 236 of 2361...232233234235236