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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.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Nabucco

Plácido Domingo is the king of Babylon in Verdi's hokey but effective Old Testament opera.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Plácido Domingo (seen here as Oreste in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride.) sings the title role in Verdi's Nabucco. 
Photo by Ken Howard © 2015 The Metropolitan Opera
Verdi's early opera is an Old Testament epic with a towering title role and a chorus that you will never forget. For this revival, Placído Domingo steps into the gold boots of Nebuchednezzar, king of Babylon, captor of Jews and finally, convert to the faith.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Opera Review: The Sleazy Life in Paris

Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble mounts Massenet's Manon.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
In a scene from Act III of Massenet's Manon, the title character (Olivia Betzen)
works her wiles on the hapless Des Grieux (Sean Christensen.)
Photo by Mark Baker for Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble.
When presenting the classic opera repertory, sometimes it is good to do a lot with very little. That is the mantra behind this handsome but economical staging of Massenet's Manon, currently running at the Nagelberg Theater, located deep within CUNY's Baruch College. This Manon is part of Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's ongoing summer festival. Traditional in its costuming and yet modern in the staging approach of director Victoria Crutchfield, it proved a satisfying experience on Monday night.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Concert Review: The Total Mass Retain

Mostly Mozart goes to church...twice.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Conductor Louis Langrée.
Photo © 2016 Mostly Mozart Festival/Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Four singers made their debuts at the Mostly Mozart Festival on Friday night, singing two major choral works by the Austrian composer: the Mass in C minor and the Requiem. Both compositions were begun at key moments in Mozart's tumultuous life. Due to extenuating circumstances, each of these grand choral compositions was left unfinished.

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Salome

The opera that made Richard Strauss a household name and shocked the world.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Catherine Naglestad (center) sings Salome at the Deutsches Oper Berlin.
Photo by Monika Rittershaus © 2015 Deutsches Oper Berlin
Salome is a white-knuckle ride down the road of excess, leading not to the palace of wisdom but to depravity and death. And yes the Met has scheduled performances of it right around the holidays.


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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.