Parterre Box is an ezine devoted to opera, about which it cultivates a campy, critical, strongly opinionated attitude with explicit gay overtones. The publication was founded by the New Yorker James Jorden in 1993 during a period of under-employment as an opera director. It appeared for a number of years in print form, but now it is solely published on the Web, where it is considered an influential opera blog.
In May 2005, Jorden introduced the first regular opera podcast entitled "Unnatural Acts of Opera." For this show, Jorden takes on the drag persona of "La Cieca", a gossipy commentator. La Cieca introduces a single act of what she calls "demented" opera, concentrating on the most exciting live vocal performances from around 1950 to the present. The podcasts are available through all the usual downloading services including iTunes as well as in streaming form on the parterre.com website.
A highlight of the 2006 season of "Unnatural Acts of Opera" was the first podcast ever of Richard Wagner's four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, an event Jorden termed "Podderdammerung." Jorden has also contributed a number of opera video clips to YouTube, concentrating on his favorite divas, including Renata Scotto, Leonie Rysanek and Dame Gwyneth Jones.
Since 2009, Jorden has also been contributing opera reviews to the New York Post.
- Ruffling the Met's feathers – Parterre Box, a gay opera magazine. The Advocate, November 25, 1997. Accessed via subscription 18 January 2008.
- "You Go Diva!", The New York Times, April 27, 1997. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- "The Parterre Posse", New York Observer, January 29, 2001. Accessed 18 January 2008.
- Lynn Neary, When Opera Fans Attack, NPR: Morning Edition, June 26, 2003
- "Voice of the Opposition", Opera News, July 2009. Accessed 9 February 2011.
- "The Bewitching Art of 'La Cieca'" by Zachary Woolfe, New York Observer, July 8, 2009. Accessed 9 February 2011.