About Superconductor

Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Opera Review: The Help Strikes Back

The Metropolitan Opera revives Mozart’s Figaro.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The crowded house: Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Christiane Karg, Adam Plachetka and Luca Pisaroni
in Act II of Le Nozze di Figaro. Photo by Chris Lee © 2017 The Metropolitan Opera.
As Mozart's most popular romantic comedy, Le Nozze di Figaro is more than just the story of a crazy household in Spain getting ready for two of its servants to get hitched. Based on what was (at the time) a controversial play by Pierre de Beaumarchais, Figaro is an opera that makes the listener confront ideas of social justice and shouts of the need for equality between different classes within the microcosm of Aguas Frescas, the Almaviva estate. Looking at the opera in this way, the Met's current revival of the company's 2014 production could not be better timed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Opera Review: When the Shoe Finally Fits

MSM Opera unearths Nicolo Isouard's Cendrillon.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
What Cendrillon is all about: the shoes. 
In recent years, the Manhattan School of Music's opera program has become a cabinet of curiosities: a clearing-house for little-heard versions of familiar operatic stories by unfamiliar composers. The latest of these, seen Saturday at the school's temporary performance space, the Florence Gould Auditorium at the French Institute/Alliance Francaise is Cendrillon, in a 1810 opera-comique by the Maltese composer Nicolo Isouard.

Who?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

No Roads Lead to Rome

Sir Bryn Terfel pulls out of the new Met Tosca.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Sir Bryn Terfel (center) has exited the Met's troubled new Tosca, opening Dec. 31.
Photo by Cory Weaver © 2010 The Metropolitan Opera.
First they lost their leading lady. Then the conductor. The Cavaradossi quit. And then the second conductor. Now, Sir Bryn Terfel has become the latest artist to pull out of the Metropolitan Opera's increasingly troubled new production of Puccini's Tosca.

Concert Review: The Hetaera and the Philosophers

The Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Photo © 2017 The Berlin Philharmonic.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has always occupied an important place among orchestras that visit New York. They are near neighbors, and their regular appearances at Carnegie Hall are a linchpin of that august venue's concert programming. In recent years, the announcement that Philadelphia's music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin would be assuming that same post at the Metropolitan Opera has only served to raise the profile of these concerts.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.