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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 © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Year in Reviews Part I: Opera

Our wrap-up of The Year We Made Blog Posts.

This was an exciting year for classical music lovers. There were some exceptional orchestral concerts, some great operas, and even a few new productions worth noting. So let's take a look back with some links back at the year in music.

Honk if you loved The Nose. Photo by Ken Howard © 2010 The Metropolitan Opera
We start with opera. This was a year of highs and lows. It included great performances by smaller opera companies, some epic evenings at the Met, and the continued survival of the New York City Opera. Also, the Opera Orchestra of New York returned to Carnegie Hall, staging an engaging double-bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and La Navarraise.

The list below is by no means definitive--and there were plenty of performances considered. Here's Part I of the Best of 2010

Best Opera Performance: L'Incoronazione d'Poppea at Juilliard.
"The student cast met the opera's decadence with a lush performance that caressed the ears for three hours."

Best New Production: The Nose at the Met.
"From the strident opening chords (which sound suspiciously like "Ah-choo!") the work lurches forward in a kaleidoscopic style...."

Worst New Production: Attila at the Met.
"The chorus are relegated to a Nibelheim-like "pit of despair" below the main level of the stage."

Best Revival: Intermezzo at New York City Opera.
"All ends happily as husband and wife sing a twenty-five minute duet in which they work out all their problems in full Straussian sound."

Best Star Turn: Anna Netrebko as Norina in Don Pasquale at the Met.
"Ms. Netrebko acted out every opera house manager's worst backstage nightmare to great comic effect."

Opera Singer of the Year: Elīna Garanča
For her performances in Carmen at the Met and La Navarraise at Carnegie Hall.
"The highlight of her performance was the "Card Song," sung with intelligence and resonant low notes from the chest."

Opera Conductor of the Year: Sir Simon Rattle leading Pelléas et Mélisande at the Met.
"Sir Simon Rattle stretched the textures of this work to their Wagnerian breaking point, taking very slow tempos at the outset."

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