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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Jenůfa

Leoš Janáček's harrowing drama of Czech village life returns.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
A pastoral moment from Jenůfa as staged by the Metropolitan Opera.
Photo © 2016 The Metropolitan Opera.
The last time the Met staged its production of Jenůfa, Karita Mattila shone in the title role. Now, the Finnish diva graduates to the role of the Kostelnicka, the original operatic stepmother from hell. t
his bucolic tragedy is one of Janáček's masterpieces and the opera tht made the Czech composer a sensation late in life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Rossini's comic brilliance lights up the Met stage...again.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Figaro (on cart) makes his grand entrance in Act I of Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Photo © 2016 The Metropolitan Opera.
The Met brings joy and warmth into the middle of winter with this January 2017 revival of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. This version of the opera is sung in Italian and presented without cuts.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Opera Review: The Full (Digital) Verdi

The Met outdoor broadcast series does Il Trovatore.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Passions writ large: Dmitri Hvorostovsky (left) woos Anna Netrebko in Act IV of Il Trovatore.
Photo © 2016 The Metrropolitan Opera.
Not every opera reviewer can see every important revival at the Metropolitan Opera. (It's even harder when that house continues its practice of keeping hard-working bloggers out of its press seats.) A major gap was corrected last night when this writer finally got a chance to see last year's searing revival of Il Trovatore, with Anna Netrebko, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dolora Zajick and Younghoon Lee squaring off in Verdi's most passionate opera. Il Trovatore is a repertory staple, but one that is hard to bring off as a full success. Under the baton of Marco Armiliato, this quartet of singers succeeded.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Superconductor Audio Guide: Le Nozze di Figaro

Mozart's high-speed comedy of domestic chaos yields infinite rewards.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The measuring tape and bonnet from the opening scene of The Marriage of Figaro.
Image collage by the author.
It was really hard to start writing this newest Superconductor Audio Guide devoted to five great recordings of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. It is an opera that (for this writer anyway) cures all ills. Not only does this mix of genuine pathos and knockabout comedy have some of Mozart's most sublime writing for the voice, but its message that the little guy can have his day and defeat the evils of patriarchy and patronage still resounds, inspired and comforts listeners today.

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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.