Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats."
Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, since 2007. All written content © 2014 by Paul Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Don Giovanni

Peter Mattei returns as Mozart's lust-driven nobleman.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Peter Mattei (with knife) and Luca Pisaroni are partners in crime in Don Giovanni.
Photo by Marty Sohl © 2011 The Metropolitan Opera.
Don Giovanni may be Mozart's crowning achievement. The opera is a deft blend of comedy and tragedy, with the Don's everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to the fair sex leading him to an inevitable, terrifying and fiery end. Mozart had written both comedies and tragedies at this point, and fearlessly blended light and dark in this brilliant score. The work combines grand musical ambition with hummable, unforgettable tunes.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Concert Review: The Crowd Pleasers

Maxim Vengerov at the New York Philharmonic.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Maxim Vengerov. Photo by Sheila Rock for Warner Brothers Classics.
A debut and a return were the story at the New York Philharmonic this week. Making his debut before a subscription audience was Long Yu, the Chinese maestro who leads three orchestras in that country. The return was that of violinist Maxim Vengerov, who had not played with the Philharmonic in nine years. His solo spotlight: the evergreen Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, an audience favorite that puts much of the burden squarely on the soloist's shoulders.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Opera Review: If Love is a Red Dress

Sonya Yoncheva triumphs in La Traviata.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Champagne supernova: Sonya Yoncheva in La Traviata at the Met.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2015 The Metropolitan Opera.
On Wednesday night,  the penultimate La Traviata of this current Metropolitan Opera season featured Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva. In a thrilling performance, she met both the challenge of this role and this peculiar, demanding production, one which has divided audience members since its 2011 premiere.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Superconductor Preview: A Season You Can't Refuse

The New York Philharmonic unveils an ambitious slate for 2015-2016.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Original gangsters: Olive oil importer Vito Corleone (second from left)and his three sons 
Michael (l.) Santino (c.) and Fredo (r.) pose with adopted consigliere Alan Gilbert. 
The New York Philharmonic will play the complete score of The Godfather next September. 
Original film image © Paramount Pictures.
Photo of Alan Gilbert by Chris Lee © 2015 The New York Philharmonic.
Photo alteration by the author. 
This year the New York Philharmonic moved its annual press breakfast from the cozy, modern confines of the Greene Space at WQXR to the chilly modern space of Lincoln Center's own David Rubinstein Atrium. The event, hosted by executive director Matthiew VanBesien and music director Alan Gilbert unveiled the 2015-16 season.


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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.