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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.

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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Metropolitan Opera Preview: The Magic Flute

The birdcatcher returns to the Met to enchant the kids in Mozart's family-friendly fable.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Christopher Maltman returns to the role of Papageno in this year's revival of Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Photo by Cory Weaver © 2015 The Metropolitan Opera.
The Met offers up this year's holiday production, a shorter English-language version of Mozart's The Magic Flute. Apparently, some bloggers have jokingly dubbed this version of the opera The Magic Piccolo.  The nerve of some people...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Concert Review: Cherry Moon Rising

Burnt Sugar Arkestra throws a Parade at Lincoln Center.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Members of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber paint Lincoln Center purple.
Photo anonymous, from the group's Facebook page. © 2016 Burnt Sugar Arkestra.
It was a wake, a gospel revival, and a celebration of the life of an American musical genius. Last night, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber played a free concert in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, with all sixteen musicians and singers delivering a smoking and soulful tribute to one Prince Rogers Nelson, the Minneapolis singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist whose death earlier this year rocked an already reeling and shuddering world.

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Roméo et Juliette

"A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life..."
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Publicity photo of Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo as Juliette and her Roméo.
Photo by Kristian Schuller for the Metropolitan Opera.
The Met unveils a new take on Shakespeare's classic story of doomed young love, with Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau singing Charles Gounod's gorgeous music. This new production by Bart Sher was first seen at Salzburg and La Scala.


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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.