02 November 2010

fun stuff I may or may not get to: November

This is a chockfull month, and that’s not even counting roasting the turkey on the fourth Thursday. . . . Good luck getting to even half of this list. I don’t know when I’m going to get the laundry done or the pies baked.

American Bach Soloists begin a collaboration with choreographer Todd Eckert November 5-7 at Dance Mission Theater, where he will premiere Sinfonia (to ABS recordings), the first part of a three-part piece that will culminate in live performances next July. The November performances also include works by Nol Simonse. The program details are here.

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players open their 40th season with music by Glass, Cage, Combier, and Vanoni (the latter will be there in person) on Monday, November 8, at Herbst Theater.

Cutting Ball opens its season with a three-person chamber arrangement of The Tempest.

Volti opens its season November 5-7 with another enticing collection of new pieces, in a different location each of the three nights. Unfortunately for me, none of the locations (click here) is convenient for an East Bay nondriver. Geez, what’s up, guys? Was it because I refused to sing along?

ACT offers Marcus or The Secret of Sweet, the third part of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays. The first two parts were at the Marin Theater Company and the Magic Theater (in keeping with this month’s theme of inaccessibility to East Bay nondrivers, I’d like to note that the former is completely inaccessible and the second requires a major effort). I have been told that the plays can also be seen separately, though the experience is enriched if you see them all.

ACT is also collaborating with Nicole Paiement’s group, Blueprint, to present the Tom Stoppard/Andre Previn work for orchestra and actors, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, at the Conservatory of Music on November 20, with performances at 7:00 and 9:00. Call 415-503-6275 for tickets.

San Francisco Performances presents Measha Brueggergosman and Justus Zeyen on November 10, as well as the return of Japanese butoh dance troupe Sankai Juku on November 11-14.

Cal Performances presents the Zenshinza Theatre Company in two different programs: on November 13, Narukami, an eighteenth-century kabuki play, and on November 14, Honen and Shinran, an contemporary play in kabuki style. And I will probably not be able to resist a ticket to Ensemble Zellig’s afternoon of new music on November 7.

Shotgun Players has extended its run of Mark Jackson’s adaptation of Schiller’s Mary Stuart through November 14.

Philharmonia Baroque offers Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, along with contemporary works by Corelli, Pergolesi, Durante, and Zavateri on November 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10, in several different locations (click here for details).

The Paul Dresher Ensemble presents “new music and invented instruments” by Ryan Brown, Paul Dresher, and Bruce Pennycock on November 12 and 13 at the ODC Theater.

San Francisco Opera presents the great Placido Domingo in Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as this season’s most eagerly anticipated opera (at least by me), The Makropulos Case with Karita Mattila.

Berkeley/West Edge Opera presents Handel’s great Xerxes, conducted by baroque specialist Alan Curtis and starring Paula Rasmussen, on November 13, 19, and 21.

The San Francisco Symphony presents a solid line-up of soloists (Nicholas Phan, Keith Phares, and Joelle Harvey) in Carmina Burana, along with works by Schnittke and Haydn, on November 3, 4, 5, and 8. The week after that, Rufus Wainwright is scheduled to appear for the premiere of Five Shakespeare Sonnets which was postponed from last season, along with Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major (per SFMike's comment below, this has been switched to Milhaud's Creation du Monde) and Weill’s Symphony No. 2. On November 17, 19, 20, and 21, you can hear Elza van den Heever singing Strauss’s Four Last Songs, along with Schubert’s always delightful Music from Rosamunde and a perhaps less delightful traversal once again of Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.

Chora Nova presents an all-Haydn concert on November 20 at First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley (right by the Unit 3 dorms, my old home).

The New Century Chamber Orchestra features the Goldberg Variations (arranged by Sitkovetsky) and three pieces by composer and violinist Mark O’Conner, November 18-21 in four different locations (click here for info).

And a late addition . . . Feldman's Rothko Chapel will be performed at the Berkeley Art Museum this Friday, November 5, at 7:30, along with works by Ashley, Mitchell, and Harrison.


sfmike said...

The Ravel Piano Concerto has been replaced by Milhaud's "Creation du Monde," which I've always wanted to hear. It seems the original conductor, Kahane, is having medical problems so they've called in a young gun replacement.

pjwv said...

Thanks for the update. Best wishes to Kahane. I'm glad to hear of the switch, because I have the impression they've been doing that Ravel piece quite often lately.

Sibyl said...

Just got back from Cyrano (yes, I am working in a classroom with 7 children between 1.5 and 2.5 years of age tomorrow, and yes I am planning to do it on 5 hours sleep. One suffers for one's art.)

In regard to Cyrano, here's something I jotted down during Act III in your honor:
Vanity project
Dismally false as the schnozz.
Don't waste your money.

Now we can just look forward to Makropoulous. Yay!

Sibyl said...

Apparently commenting a vaguely scurrilous haiku late at night is the middle-aged equivalent of drunk-dialing. I apologize sincerely.

pjwv said...

No need to apologize! You were there last night? So was I! My thoughts will be coming shortly, though I'm afraid in far less concise form. I too am suffering for my art, having had five or fewer hours of sleep. I just get to work with adults who act like children. Then I have Measha Brueggergosman tonight. Makropolus is next Tuesday for me.

Sibyl said...

We were there, up with the gods. I don't have negative things to say about the singers, but the opera itself, Holy Cats! My favorite thing was: "Your friends are coming to discuss the philosophy of love;" bad guy with the Rodolfo Lasspari wig shows up with his retinue of clowns (and where were those clowns in the battle scene, huh? Don't get me started on the trials of finding reliable clown help these days), exit Lasspari wig; enter coterie of lady supers to whom Roxanne gives the high sign and says, in effect, "too bad we didn't get to talk about all that philosophy of love stuff." What? WHAT?

I guess the experience really annoyed me because it's only the second time I've had the opportunity to see Domingo in my lifetime of opera madness, and the second time it was almost farcically frustrating. I saw him in a final dress rehearsal in Tosca in LA in the early '90's. We knew there might be marking, but he did "Recondita" flat out and spectacularly. "YAY, what a treat lies ahead," we think. But no, Maria Ewing comes out sort of marking, and I swear to you it turned into a marking competition. By "E Lucevan" he was nearly whispering and Ewing might actually have been mouthing the words. Seriously.

I am SO glad to read from SFMike that Makropulous is good, because apparently I am still really bitter about the Cyrano.

pjwv said...

I too was only hearing Domingo live for the second time in decades of opera-going -- you can decide whether Massenet's Herodiade is a better or worse choice than a marked Tosca.

You know, I've just been assuming that Makropulos would be great, but it's nice to have it confirmed.

Sibyl said...

You win; at least I got to hear a great "Recondita."

I suppose I have to hate SFMike for 10 minutes because he has all those memorable Domingo performances on his life list ;>.