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.


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
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