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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

At An Exhibition: The Burning Red

My visit to the works and world of Lucio Fontana.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
No way out: the claustrophobic, unsettling work of Lucio Fontana.
Photo taken at the Met Breuer by the author, who is still feeling the retinal effect.
Writing about the visual arts is not something that this blog is particularly known for. And yet, one of the perks of doing this blog is being able to accept an occasional invitation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to experience the opening of a new exhibit. This morning, your faithful correspondent put on two layers of clothes and sallied forth to see Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold, the new exhibit celebration work of the 20th century artist.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Concert Review: The Boss is Back

Jaap van Zweden returns to the New York Philharmonic.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
A storm of swords: Jaap van Zweden rallies the troops at the New York Philharmonic.
Photo by Chris Lee © 2019 The New York Philharmonic.
We are at the halfway point of the New York Philharmonic's first year with music director Jaap van Zweden on the podium. Friday's morning concert could be taken as a microcosm of what that year has been so far: a marriage of sophisticated players to a conductor steeped in the European podium tradition: solid craftsmanship and a conservative-leaning musical mentality that (the orchestra hopes) will keep the seats filled at David Geffen Hall.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Recording Review: The Complications of a Family Business

Jaap van Zweden leads Siegfried in Hong Kong.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
SImon O'Neill, shown here as Siegmund in Die Walküre, sings the title role of Siegfried in Jaap van Zweden's new Hong Kong recording of the opera. Photo © The Metropolitan Opera.
Richard Wagner intended Siegfriedto be a romp. Certainly, there is a fairy-tale quality to this recording, the third installment of Jaap van Zweden's Ring, recorded in Hong Kong in 2016 with that city's Philharmonic Orchestra and an international cast. But does it do enough to help the reputation of this, the least known and least-loved of the four operas that make up this massive mythological cycle?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Don Giovanni

Mozart's libertine nobleman returns to add to his catalogue.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Peter Mattei returns to the role of Don Giovanni at the Met this year.
Photo by Marty Sohl © 2019 The Metropolitan Opera.
Some evils never die, and some productions keep getting revived. Such is the case with the Metropolitan Opera's Michael Grandage staging of Don Giovanni. It's back, and it's going down in flames. Good thing then that it's one of the best operas ever written.

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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.