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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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

No Roads Lead to Rome

Sir Bryn Terfel pulls out of the new Met Tosca.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Sir Bryn Terfel (center) has exited the Met's troubled new Tosca, opening Dec. 31.
Photo by Cory Weaver © 2010 The Metropolitan Opera.
First they lost their leading lady. Then the conductor. The Cavaradossi quit. And then the second conductor. Now, Sir Bryn Terfel has become the latest artist to pull out of the Metropolitan Opera's increasingly troubled new production of Puccini's Tosca.

Concert Review: The Hetaera and the Philosophers

The Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Photo © 2017 The Berlin Philharmonic.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has always occupied an important place among orchestras that visit New York. They are near neighbors, and their regular appearances at Carnegie Hall are a linchpin of that august venue's concert programming. In recent years, the announcement that Philadelphia's music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin would be assuming that same post at the Metropolitan Opera has only served to raise the profile of these concerts.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Hansel and Gretel

Cannibalism repurposed as holiday entertainment.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
A delightful time for the whole family. Photo courtesy the Metropolitan Opera.
The Met revives Humperdinck's fairy tale (in English) in this fractured production by director Richard Jones. More cake?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Concert Review: Conducting Well is the Best Revenge

Alan Gilbert returns the New York Philharmonic.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
He's back: Alan Gilbert returned to the New York Philharmonic last week.
Photo by Chris Lee © 2017 The New York Philharmonic.
The New York Philharmonic celebrated the 175th year of its existence this week with a traditional, decidedly 19th century program of Weber, Mozart and Beethoven. The choices on the program were clearly meant to echo those early Philharmonic days, when Uri Corelli Hill led the ensemble in concerts at the Apollo Rooms down on Broadway. Leading this pleasant but most conservative concert: former favorite son and former music director Alan Gilbert, who ended his tenure at the helm of America's oldest orchestra earlier this year.

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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.