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.


Past and furious Past and furious

An “opera critic” is still terrified of productions that closed a generation ago.

on October 16, 2019 at 5:04 PM
Porgy and Bess Porgy and Bess

A second helping of The Gershwins’ gorgeous folk opera from the Met.

on October 16, 2019 at 4:00 PM
Sneer and sneer again Sneer and sneer again

Separated at smirk: base George Sanders and bass René Pape.

on October 16, 2019 at 2:10 PM
What opera is this, anyway? What opera is this, anyway?

“I showed up at dress rehearsal and doggone it, they were doing Turandot instead. Was my face ever red!”

on October 15, 2019 at 11:41 AM
Shout it out loud Shout it out loud

On this day in 1976 soprano Hildegard Behrens made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Giorgetta in Il tabarro.

on October 15, 2019 at 8:00 AM
Who’s that girl? Who’s that girl?

Here’s a look at the genuinely sensational performance by Asmik Grigorian in a new Manon Lescaut in Frankfurt.

on October 13, 2019 at 6:23 PM
The Bassarids The Bassarids

Video webcast from the Komische Oper, Berlin.

on October 13, 2019 at 12:51 PM
Madama Butterfly Madama Butterfly

Puccini’s perennial tearjerker returns to the Met repertoire tonight.

on October 11, 2019 at 3:40 PM
The baton is passed The baton is passed

Chorus girls declare red alert.

on October 08, 2019 at 1:41 PM
Marcello Giordani 1963-2019 Marcello Giordani 1963-2019

It is reported that the tenor died suddenly today of a heart attack in his home in Augusta, Sicily.

on October 05, 2019 at 11:58 AM
La Gioconda La Gioconda

Met diva of the moment Anna Pirozzi sings the title role in this broadcast from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

on October 05, 2019 at 10:00 AM
Hot takes, get your hot takes here Hot takes, get your hot takes here

“In none of this was he ever anything close to perfect. Great artists never are. Without their devils there would be no angels.”

on October 03, 2019 at 11:30 PM
Turandot Turandot

Join us, cher public and stranger alike, for tonight’s broadcast.

on October 03, 2019 at 3:00 PM
Miss me blind Miss me blind

Which soprano, who’s so talented you’d think her career would go on forever, has quietly decided to retire following her current not every eventful season?

on October 03, 2019 at 11:08 AM
Goodbye Los Angeles: Domingo resigns Goodbye Los Angeles: Domingo resigns

“The opera superstar Plácido Domingo resigned from his position as general director of Los Angeles Opera and withdrew from his upcoming performances there on Wednesday. ” [New York Times]

on October 02, 2019 at 2:05 PM
Come and knock on her door Come and knock on her door

High concept! Joyce DiDonato is Mrs. Roper!

on October 01, 2019 at 12:14 PM
Sunday will never be the same Sunday will never be the same

Surely no one can be surprised to learn that the departure of Plácido Domingo from the Met was the most-read story on parterre box for the month of September.

on October 01, 2019 at 9:24 AM
Race-bait to the bottom Race-bait to the bottom

That’s right, it’s September 30, 2019 and Venomous Fishwife Norman Lebrecht claims this is the first time in his entire life he has heard that some people might find Turandot offensive.

on September 30, 2019 at 8:51 PM
Jessye Norman 1945-2019 Jessye Norman 1945-2019

The Grammy winning opera and concert singer is dead. She was 74.

on September 30, 2019 at 5:43 PM
I feel your thane I feel your thane

Bass-baritone Craig Colclough makes his Met debut tonight in the title role of Macbeth.

on September 28, 2019 at 1:39 PM
The press representative doth protest too much, methinks The press representative doth protest too much, methinks

This overabundance of detail serves only to set La Cieca wondering who protested Ms. Davis.

on September 27, 2019 at 4:23 PM
Slow curtain, the end Slow curtain, the end

La Cieca has discovered a document of Plácido Domingo‘s faute de mieux Metropolitan Opera farewell performance.

on September 26, 2019 at 8:48 PM
Boy interrupted Boy interrupted

Rising tenor TBA is now scheduled for the role of Alfredo in La traviata at the Met, replacing Vittorio Grigolo, who has been suspended for personnel reasons.

on September 26, 2019 at 11:38 AM
Domingo jumps (or was pushed?) Domingo jumps (or was pushed?)

“The Met and Mr. Domingo are in agreement that he needed to step down”

on September 24, 2019 at 5:22 PM
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