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.