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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 here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Opera Review: The Belmonte Stakes

The Met mounts Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
I've got a tenor on my shoulder: Hans-Peter König (left) clowns as Osmin as
Pedrillo (Brenton Ryan) tries to sneak past in a scene from Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
Photo by Marty Sohl © 2016 The Metropolitan Opera.
The James Levine era is ending at the Met. In fact, the company's current revival of Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail is the last production that Mr. Levine will lead as music director before he adds "emeritus" to that title and makes way for a new conductor to take over his job. So it was an especially warm and appreciative audience that greeted him Tuesday nigh. It's fitting that Entführung is his last big show, it is an opera that he restored to the company's repertory after a 30-year absence, way back in 1979.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jump, They Say

Anna Netrebko to sing Tosca at the Met.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Anna Netrebko (right) on the roof of the Castel Sant'Angelo,
practicing for her 2017-18 run as Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera.
Well, not really. It's a photo job by the author.
Although the Metropolitan Opera season is winding down this week, those planning to attend the 2017-18 season have a hot ticket to look forward to: Anna Netrebko's first Tosca.

Opera Review: Well, There's Your Lion

The Met brings back Bart Sher's Otello.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
A rit of fealous jage: Aleksandrs Antonenko returns as Otello.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2016 The Metropolitan Opera.
At the Metropolitan Opera under the aegis of general manager Peter Gelb, it has become standard practice to open the fall season with a new production, and to bring that staging back in the spring for radio broadcasts, usually with a few casting changes. The current revival of this year's new Bartlett Sher Otello is back on the boards, and Superconductor finally had the opportunity to attend a live performance of this revival on Monday night.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Concert Review: The Bearable Lightness of Being

Alan Gilbert conducts his last program of the 2015-16 season.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The amazing Carter Brey and his favored instrument.
Photo by Chris Lee © 2016 The New York Philharmonic.
For the past year-plus, the podium of the New York Philharmonic has been aswirl as the orchestra prepares to make a transition from the Alan Gilbert era to the leadership of incoming music director Jaap van Zweden. Although he has brought a welcome appreciation for modern music to America's oldest orchestra, Mr. Gilbert hasn't always seen eye to eye with traditional repertory, particularly Germanic music like Schumann and Brahms.


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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.