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 © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Concert Review: Songs from a Hockey Arena

Billy Joel rocks Madison Square Garden...again.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Big Shot: Billy Joel at the piano for your dining and dancing pleasure.
Photo © 2017 LiveNation.
OK. Maybe you're waking up, opening my blog page or getting your daily e-mail and going...."Alright. That Pelkonen kid has lost it again. First that Dream Theater review. Then those guys with the three drummers...and now...Billy Joel? The piano man?" Well yes. I saw Mr. Joel's show last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden and enjoyed it thoroughly, and decided to write about it. So settle down, Beavis, pour yourself a glass from a bottle of red or a bottle of white, and let me do my thing.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Metropolitan Opera Preview: The Magic Flute

Mozart's family-friendly fable returns, this time in English.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Jazz flute solo? No it's Charles Castronovo as Prince Tamino in The Magic Flute at the Met.
Photo © Richard Termine courtesy the Metropolitan Opera.
This is the first of two holiday productions at the Met this winter: a shorter English-language version of Mozart's The Magic Flute. Apparently, some opera journalists have jokingly dubbed this version of the opera The Magic Piccolo.  Who writes this stuff? (Oh wait, I do.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Obituary: Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1962-2017)

The great baritone succumbs to cancer.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
His last bow: Dmitri Hvorostovsky on the Met stage in the 2017 50th Anniversary Gala.
Photo by Ken Howard © 2017 The Metropolitan Opera.
There is heartbreaking news in the opera world this morning. It has been announced that Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the leonine baritone whose smooth voice and good looks made him an international superstar has died at the age of 55. An announcement appeared on his Facebook page this morning. It is reproduced here:

“On behalf of the Hvorostovsky family, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dmitri Hvorostovsky – beloved operatic baritone, husband, father, son, and friend – at age 55. After a two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer, he died peacefully this morning, November 22, surrounded by family near his home in London, UK. May the warmth of his voice and his spirit always be with us.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Concert Review: The Return of the Smooth Kriminals

King Crimson strip the paint off the Beacon Theater.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Starless and Bible Black and white: The men of King Crimson prepare to take the stage at the Beacon Theater
Photo by Dave Salt from TonyLevin.com 
[Ed. Note: Those of you who read Superconductor regularly know that three weeks ago, we dedicated a column  to King Crimson, the seminal and long-running progressive rock band, currently on tour in support of its Radical Action live boxed set. Well, the tour came to New York's Beacon Theater and we are happy to report that we snagged tickets. So here's another review, hopefully for your enjoyment.]

King Crimson stand alone among the long-lived, still-active rock bands that rose up in the first wave of what is referred today as so-called "progressive" or "prog" rock. The band is not so much a steady working unit as a collection of committed musicians, who form themselves around the guitar wizardry of 71-year old Robert Fripp. Mr. Fripp remains a pioneer of both his chosen instrument and electronic effects. He still plays seated, and still makes more noise than a New York City garbage truck at 6 a.m.

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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.