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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Opera Review: The Girl Who Has (Almost) Everything

Patricia Racette brings her Salome to the Met.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
A head in the opera business: Patricia Racette holds the severed head of Jokaanan (John the Baptist)
in the climactic scene of Salome. Photo by Ken Howard © 2016 The Metropolitan Opera.
When the Metropolitan Opera announces a cast change in the weeks leading up to an important mid-season revival, opera critics sometimes get nervous. (Your humble blogger is no exception.) At the Met on Monday night where the company's first 2016 performance of the Richard Strauss shocker Salome, a sense of foreboding, even trepidation hung over New York's largest opera house. Patrons crossing the plaza were unusually subdued. This revival (originally meant to feature soprano Catherine Naglestad) now starred a familiar Met trouper: soprano Patricia Racette. Ms. Racette, who has been acclaimed in past seasons but more hit-and-miss in recent years, had never sung this role before in New York.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Concert Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Hear Them

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra returns to Carnegie Hall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Conductor Semyon Bychkov in action. Photo from the artist's website.
A visit to the former New Amsterdam from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam's best known musical export is always an occasion for rejoicing. On Wednesday night, Semyon Bychkov and the Dutch players paired the New York premiere of Theatrum bestiarum by Detlev Glanert with Gustav Mahler's sprawling Symphony No. 5 in their return to the big stage of Carnegie Hall.

Saturday, December 3, 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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bacharach to the Future

Some reflections on a lost album and my early love of music.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Burt Bacharach. © 1971 A & M Records.
Ever have one of those moments where music makes you travel back in time? That happened to me last night around 1am, when I sat down very late, put up my feet, put on my big headphones and listened to the 1971 record Burt Bacharach, the fourth studio album from the composer and arranger who has been part of this country's musical landscape for an amazing sixty-four years.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

My photo

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.