April 8, 10, 11, and 13, Nicholas McGegan leads Philharmonia Baroque in Handel’s great opera, Orlando (one of the first operas I ever saw!).
Berkeley Opera offers Copland’s The Tender Land on April 10, 16, and 18.
As always San Francisco Performances has a lot of exciting stuff going on: On April 2, Alice Coote, recently announced as the replacement Charlotte in San Francisco Opera’s upcoming Werther, gives a recital. I was looking forward to hearing Garanca, whom I’ve never heard, but frankly I think Coote, whom I have heard, is going to give the audience a more interesting evening. On April 6, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Lera Auerbach perform Shostokovich’s 24 Preludes for Piano (arranged for cello and piano by Auerbach) and Auerbach’s own 24 Preludes for Cello and Piano. The brilliant young pianist Yuja Wang gives a recital on April 22 featuring Schumann, Schubert, and Prokofiev. Alex Ross and Ethan Iverson read and perform from The Rest Is Noise on Saturday morning, April 24, and Yevgeny Sudbin performs Chopin, Stevenson, Liszt, and Ravel on April 25.
The Aurora Theater offers a rare chance to see Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman. I’m already thrilled with this one – not only did my Tuesday night ticket cost me less than $40, but the play starts at the more rational weekday hour of 7:00, and not the standard 8:00. It can be a little tricky to call the box office, which has limited hours, but it’s worth it because the Aurora’s on-line system uses that horrible “best seat” system. I’ve decided I’ll only buy tickets on-line if the system shows me exactly which seats are available. I’ll decide which is the best seat available, thank you.
April 23-25 Magnificat performs Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (in a different location each day).
At the San Francisco Symphony, Edwin Outwater leads an interesting program April 7-11, featuring music from Whisper House, a new composition by Duncan Shiek (of Spring Awakening, which I haven’t seen or heard). Shiek’s piece replaces the previously announced Five Shakespeare Sonnets by Rufus Wainwright, which will allegedly happen next season. The program also offers Zipangu by Claude Vivier (I’ve heard a lot about the late composer and am very eager to hear this) as well as Gounod’s ballet music from Faust and Poulenc’s Suite from Les Biches. The wonderful Symphony Chorus gives its annual concert on Sunday April 11. On April 15-16 the symphony accompanies Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece The Gold Rush. Me, I’d happily stay at home and watch the DVD, but if you don’t have the DVD and a big screen TV and can stand to watch movies in a crowd, then go and have a wonderful time. This is probably my favorite Chaplin film, though my favorite Chaplin moment remains the last scene in City Lights, which I can’t even describe because I break down and sob helplessly. Since the symphony is accompanying the film, I assume this is the original 1925 silent version, and not the inferior version Chaplin released in 1942 with some cuts and his overly fey narration replacing the intertitles. April 29-May 1, Christoph Eschenbach conducts Schumann’s Fourth and Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, with wonderful soloists in Christine Schafer and Matthias Goerne, and that brings us into May.