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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 © 2018 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Concert Review: Evil Never Dies

Judas Priest, Saxon, Black Star Riders rock Newark.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The mighty Judas Priest (l.r. Richie Faulkner, Scott Travis, Rob Halford, Andy Sneap, Ian Hill)
sacked New Jersey on Tuesday night. Photo by the author. 
Last week, I excitedly told a colleague who works in PR for Carnegie Hall that I had tickets for Tuesday night's Judas Priest concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. "Really? Judas Priest." I said, "yeah! I get to be 17 again!"

"Why do you like that stuff?" someone asked.

"Because," I answered with a straight face, "they write opera for teenaged boys!"

Concert Review: Follow the Bouncing Bow

Joshua Bell leads the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Joshua Bell leads his troops. Photo by Erik Kabik © 2018 Erik Kabik.
In the years before the 19th century, the conductor standing before an orchestra, baton in hand, was at best an anachronism. In choosing the American violinist Joshua Bell as its music director, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields flew in the face of that tradition. At Monday night's concert at David Geffen Hall, Mr. Bell chooses to conduct most concerts from the concertmaster's chair (in this case, a piano bench) at the front of the first violins. Alternatively, he stood and led with his instrument in hand, using the tip of his violin bow.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Theater Review: The High Price of Beauty

Farinelli and the King on Broadway.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Tragic kingdom: Sam Crane and Mark Rylance in the titular roles of Farinelli and the King.
Photo © 2018 Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Those of you who regularly read Superconductor know that the dramatic stage, that is, the one without an orchestra or singing is not the normal demesne of this publication. However, thanks to the good offices of my friend Amy M., your humble correspondent found himself at Saturday night's performance of Farinelli and the King. This play, produced by Shakespeare's Globe of London and written by that company's resident composer Claire van Kampen, opened on Broadway in December after a successful London run. (It closes at the Belaco Theater on March 25.)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Lucia di Lammermoor

The blood-stained bride returns to the Met stage.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
"Well, the bride was a picture in the gown that her mama wore
When she was married herself nearly twenty-seven years before
They had to change the style a little but it looked just fine
Stayed up all night, but they got it finished just in time." --Nick Lowe
Everything dies: Vittorio Grigolo and Olga Peretyatko in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Photo © 2018 Richard Termine for the Metropolitan Opera.
The Met revives Mary Zimmerman's controversial, deeply weird and really fun take on Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, for some the ultimate expression of the bel canto style. And yes, this is the opera with the blood-splattered wedding dress.

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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.