Hello. I write this blog I decided it was time for me to identify myself. My name is Micaela Baranello and I am a graduate student at Princeton. My day job is writing my musicology dissertation, which is a study of Viennese operetta and its reception from 1900 to 1935. I teach music history and appreciation, wrote this essay on Puccini’s La rondine, play the clarinet, and occasionally moonlight as a stage manager. (You can see my actual academic qualifications here, if you care.)
I began this blog anonymously because I didn’t think my identity was particularly relevant or interesting. Then the blog became, er, more visible and longer-lived than I anticipated and things became confusing. While being a mysterious personage has had its perks, at this point I have no idea who in the
wide small world of musicology knows that I write this thing and who doesn’t. So here we are. I am honored that so many people seem to find my writing interesting, and I’m very grateful for the generous encouragement and support I’ve received from the more legitimate corners of music criticism.
Blogging has allowed me to casually explore many topics I’ll never write
about as a scholar, which is really fun and, particularly when I’m not
teaching, helps keep me from disappearing into a bottomless dissertation pit filled with Lehár waltzes. I didn’t deceive you about anything having
to do with my background except about living New York. In my defense,
admitting that one lives in New Jersey invites scorn. (Unfairly. Jersey
has lots going for it.)
I hope I’ll be able to continue this blog as usual this year; there’s certainly stuff I want to write about, though I’m not going to have much free time (I have a dissertation to defend!). We will return to our regular programming later this week with a review of Anna Nicole at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
If, by any chance, you’re coming across this blog for the first time, I mostly write regular opera reviews, some concert reviews and occasionally I’ll write something that’s more like an essay. I particularly like Baroque opera and Regietheater; deliver smackdowns when confronted with sexism, racism, or poorly researched program notes; and really enjoy April Fools’ Day. I don’t blog about my dissertation and I’m not going to start; it takes up enough of my life already.