30 October 2012

fun stuff I may or may not get to: November 2012

October was jam-packed, as you may remember. I got sick halfway through (physically, I mean, not just the usual ennui; I thought it was allergies, then a cold, then realized it was, however mildly, the flu) and had to cancel some things and needless to say fell ever and even further behind. Here's November, because listing things takes less energy than doing them, and I'm still feeling low-energy. Dive in before it all turns to tinsel and sugarplums next month.

The Aurora Theater presents Wilder Times, an evening of four short plays by Thornton Wilder, directed by Barbara Oliver. (The plays specifically are: The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, The Long Christmas Dinner, and Infancy and Childhood from the Ages of Man series.) 2 November to 9 December.

Wild Rumpus New Music Collective performs fresh new works by D. Edward Davis, Charles Halka, Andrea La Rose, Elizabeth Lim, and Nicole Murphy on 10 November at the Community Music Cente, 544 Capp Street, San Francisco.

Euouae performs works by Ockeghem, Brumel, Du Caurroy, and Josquin on 2 and 4 November at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in North Beach, San Francisco. It looks as if tickets are only available in advance. Check here for more details.

Emanuel Ax on the fortepiano joins Philharmonia Baroque for an all-Beethoven program featuring the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Twelve Contradanses for Orchestra, and the Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major. 8-11 November in the usual locations.

San Francisco Performances has the usual tasty line-up: Jean-Yves Thibaudet in an all-Debussy program, 4 November; Quatuor Ebene with Richard Hery on drums in a more jazz-inflected program than their concert last season (which was fantastic), 8 November*; Kate Royal and Malcolm Martineau giving us A Lesson in Love, 10 November; the awesome Pavel Haas Quartet returns with Brahms, Janacek, and Beethoven, 13 November; and Marc-Andre Hamelin joins the Takacs Quartet in Schubert, Britten, and Shostakovich, 18 November.

* If you buy a ticket to Quatuor Ebene on-line between now and 5:00 PM Pacific on Friday 2 November, you can get 50% off by using the promo code SFP5EB.

Here are some highlights from another busy Cal Performances month: author/provocateur Dan Savage is speaking on 3 November; Emanuel Ax performs Beethoven and Schubert on 13 November; and then there are two concert series of particular interest: a centennial celebration of Conlon Nancarrow in conjunction with Other Minds from 2-4 November (further information here); and Esa-Pekka Salonen in residency with the Philharmonia Orchestra from 9-11 November (check here for individual programs, each one of astounding awesomeness); there is also a "Composer Portrait" concert featuring Salonen on 8 November.

San Francisco Opera finishes up its run of Lohengrin and then presents dueling Toscas, Racette or Gheorghiu, take your pick here. Personally I would go for Racette, whom I've always found a deeply committed performer; Gheorghiu always strikes me as someone play-acting at being a diva, though I've heard from very reliable sources that she's excellent as Tosca, so as usual the proof will be in the pudding, though of course speculating about uneaten and possibly uneatable (though sometimes quite delicious) puddings is a major preoccupation of some opera fans.

In addition, the annual Adler Fellows concert is 30 November at 7:30 (in Herbst Theater, next door to the Opera House).

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music's awesome new music ensemble, BluePrint, continues its Latin American season under conductor Nicole Paiement on 17 November with a program called Danzas Breves. Check out the line-up here. This program was originally called Saudades do Brasil; I wonder why they changed it. Maybe the word saudade was considered too obscure and foreign. It's a Portuguese word meaning a yearning so intense for the missing, the lost, the past, the possibly non-existent, that the absence becomes an emotional presence. That's one of the few Portuguese words I know. I can also say "I am offended" and "You are shameful" and believe me, you can have a full rich life among the Portuguese with just those terms.

The Berkeley Playhouse presents The Sound of Music, 27 October to 2 December, at the Julia Morgan Theater.

Berkeley Rep features Mary Zimmerman's White Snake from 9 November to 23 December.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a Jasper Johns retrospective from 3 November to 3 February 2013.

Shotgun Players closes out its year and brings us into the holiday season with Woyzeck, music and lyrics by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, directed by Mark Jackson after the concept by Robert Wilson, 29 November to 13 January 2013.

Old First Concerts always has an interesting line-up, but they tend to perform mostly on Fridays at 8:00, and I decided almost a year ago that my always tenuous sense of contentment would increase if I just didn't bother with anything on Friday that doesn't even start until 8:00 - at the depressed exhausting end of a work week, why waste all those precious hours between the end of work and the start of the concert? Obviously with a schedule like that the presenters don't much care whether an office drone like me attends or not. Nonetheless I am strongly tempted by Vladimir in Butterfly Country on 16 November.


Michael Strickland said...

Wow, quite a roundup, though not a single thing interests me on paper/pixels, particularly since My Official Fatwa on all things related to the overperformed Tosca for the rest of my life still stands.

Menachem Pressler, the 2-foot, 105-year-old pianist from the Beaux Arts Trio, will be making another appearance at the SF Conservatory playing chamber music with faculty and students on November 15th and that's the only must-see performance this month as far as I'm concerned. He's god.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Well, you're kept quite busy keeping track of all your fatwas, so of course your time is limited.

THANK YOU for the reminder on Menachem Pressler: I meant to include that but must have mislaid the printout of the press release, and if it's not in my stack of paper it doesn't get included.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Also, I too don't feel much urgency around attending another Tosca, though "fatwa" is a little strong for what I'm feeling

Michael Strickland said...

It takes me no time at all keeping track of my Personal Fatwas. Puccini has been on the list before, but after a long enough sabbatical, he went back onto the live listening rotation until my original antipathy had returned. Now there's no going back, and Tosca is a Victim all over again. Who cares if she jumps off that damned tower or not? Not me.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Avanti a Deo, Michael!