A cynical member of Generation X, Louisville native Todd Koenig rejected a society that told its youth the answers could be found in the MTV video games. His exploration of 20th-century popular music led to a study of piano and a love of jazz. In his twenties, he began to listen to classical music – first symphonic works, chamber music, and keyboard literature, then song cycles, masses and oratorios. Five years into that period, he ventured into one of the few remaining uncharted territories: opera. He has familiarized himself with the standard repertory and much outside of it, and has advocated the art form to friends his age or younger who love music and theater. Since September 2015, as "Porgy Amor," he has written reviews, history and think pieces (sometimes all at the same time) for parterre box. The opera he loves above all others is Verdi's Falstaff, which he has described as the work of a very old man, with which a listener can grow old.
The tendency to rank—to create subjective lists of best or greatest, or to organize things in ascending or descending order—is a human compulsion.
The subject of timidity has been in my thoughts in these waning days of February 2017. One would almost think there had been some big announcement recently, preceded by a series of smaller ones, to turn a U.S.-based opera fan’s thoughts in this direction.