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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.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Superconductor Audio Guide: Elektra

Richard Strauss' fourth opera is black and white...and red all over.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The bloody axe used to kill Agamemnon is a central plot point of Strauss' Elektra.
Richard Strauss chose to follow up the whirlwind success of Salome with Elektra, an opera that shares several points of similarity. Both works have a heroine who descends into insanity,  horrific offstage murder (two this time) and take place in a single, intense act that lasts about an hour and a half. However, Elektra much more than Strauss repeating himself: it was a great leap forward.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Metropolitan Opera Preview: La Traviata

The girl in the red dress goes back on the clock.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Champagne supernova: Sonya Yoncheva in La Traviata at the Met.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2015 The Metropolitan Opera.
Sonya Yoncheva returns to sing Violetta in the Met's controversial, clock-watching production of Verdi's tragic masterpiece.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Superconductor Audio Guide: Salome

Richard Strauss' shocking opera still makes heads roll.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Depravity: Salome (Camilla Nylund) with the head of Jokanaan (Alan Held)
at the climax of Salome at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Photo by  Dominic M. Mercier © 2014 Opera Philadelphia/The Philadelphia Orchestra
When Richard Strauss unveiled Salome in  1905,  he was already a leading light among German composers and conductors. He was born in Bavaria, and his father Franz was =the principal horn player at the first Bayreuth performances of Wagner's Ring.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Superconductor Interview: Stewart Copeland

The former Police-man discusses his fifth opera, premiering Feb. 18.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Welcome to The Island of Morel with your guide: Stewart Copeland.
Photoshop by the author, which is cheaper than flying to the Pacific
with a famous musician but not as much fun.
Stewart Copeland rose to fame as the founder and drummer of the rock band The Police, who burst out of the British punk scene to top the charts in the 1980s. He has been a composer since The Police broke up, branching from soundtracks and TV scores to orchestral works and opera. His fifth and latest is is The Invention of Morel, a co-production between the Long Beach Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater. Morel bows at the Studebaker Theater on February 18.

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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.