Son io!

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.

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  1. As I have said in an email, I think your blog is spot on! You are my main guide to the opera and I always consult your blog before I buy tickets to anything. and I have recommended your blog to many friends and family (not on facebook but privately.
    I also very much enjoy your writing style.
    I hope that your "coming out" will not act as a restraint.
    In bocca al lupo on the defense of the dissertation!


  2. Have loved your blog from the time I found it a little over a year ago. Thought you might have been in some kind of academic position–never would have guessed Viennese operetta as a topic–you need to write a post about this sometime. I look forward to whatever posts you are able to do and best of luck with defending the dissertion. Bryan

  3. Congratulations! I just dropped in to read your comments on the new Onegin and was surprised and delighted to see your picture. How nice to finally "meet you."

  4. congrats on the delightful blog, the dissertation, and the loss of anonymity. princeton is a very nice place- enjoy it while you have the chance to live there-!