the BART warning
Again we open with a warning about BART, our ineptly run but essential public transportation system: the tracks between Fruitvale and Lake Merritt Stations need to be rebuilt and therefore for several weekends into July trains will not run between the two stations; instead there will be a (free) bus bridge between them. Expect major delays throughout the system (and a ripple effect on traffic in general). And be sure to check the BART website for updates; just today* they announced that the semi-shutdown planned for 29 - 30 April was being moved to 6 - 7 May due to a possible Warriors playoff game this Sunday. In addition to 6 - 7 May, the current plan is for semi-shutdowns on 13 - 14 May and 27 - 29 May – yes, Memorial Day weekend, because why would anyone need public transportation then. BART! They're just so awful.
* Two days before the weekend in question.
Shotgun Players presents The Events, written by David Greig and directed by Susannah Martin, from 4 to 28 May.
At the San Francisco Playhouse, Noises Off continues until 13 May, and then The Roommate, written by Jen Silverman and directed by Wolff, runs from 23 May to 1 July.
The Oakland Symphony is presenting Frank Loesser's Guys & Dolls in concert at the Paramount Theater on 19 May.
Opera Parallèle presents Les Enfants Terrible, one of Philip Glass's Cocteau adaptations, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 26 to 28 May. Brian Staufenbiel directs, Nicole Paiement conducts, and les enfants are sung by baritone Hadleigh Adams and soprano Rachel Schutz.
New Century Chamber Orchestra bids a fond farewell to departing Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with a special three-concert festival: Concert #1, on 16 May, celebrates Salerno-Sonnenberg's Featured Composer Program by playing some of the new works produced during these residencies by an exciting line-up of composers including Derek Bermel, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Jennifer Higdon, William Bolcom, Clarice Assad, Mark O'Connor, Michael Daugherty, and Lera Auerbach; Concert #2, on 18 May, is a salute to Salerno-Sonnenberg, featuring her in Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Piazzolla's Seasons of Buenos Aires; and Concert #3, on 20 May, celebrates the 25th anniversary of NCCO with an all-Gershwin program, including pianist Anne Marie-McDermott as soloist in the theater orchestra version of Rhapsody in Blue and vocal selections by soprano Melody Moore and baritone Efraín Solís. All concerts are at Herbst Theater in San Francisco.
The two big draws at the San Francisco Symphony are at the beginning and the end of the month: the Berlioz Requiem conducted by Charles Dutoit with soloist Paul Groves on 4 - 6 May, and Matthias Goerne in the Shostakovich Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti, conducted by Manfred Honeck (along with the Tchaikovsky 5), from 25 - 27 May. But there's also some interesting stuff in between, like Dutoit conducting the Sibelius Karelia Suite, Falla's Three Dances from the Three-Cornered Hat, and Debussy's La Mer, along with Emanuel Ax in the Mozart Piano Concerto 22, from 10 - 13 May, and Roberto Abbado conducting the Schumann Violin Concerto with soloist Veronika Eberle, along with Busoni's Music from Turandot Suite (this is Busoni's Turandot, not Puccini's) and Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony, on 17 and 19 - 21 May.
The Berkeley Symphony closes its season with Shostakovich's Babi Yar Symphony, a setting of Yevtushenko's poem commemorating a massacre of Jews in Kiev during World War II, conducted by Christian Reif with bass soloist Denis Sedov, on 4 May in Zellerbach Hall.
The Golden Gate Symphony will be playing Mahler's Resurrection Symphony in Herbst Theater on 21 May.
Early / Baroque Music
Jeffrey Thomas leads the American Bach Soloists in Handel's glittering oratorio La Resurrezione, with soloists Nola Richardson (soprano), Mary Wilson (soprano), Meg Bragle (mezzo-soprano), Kyle Stegall (tenor), and Jesse Blumberg (baritone). Performances are 5 May at St Stephen's in Belvedere, 6 May at First Presbyterian in Berkeley, 7 May at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, and 8 May at the Davis Community Church in Davis.
Volti closes its current season with Wie ein Kind by Per N rd, Consent by Ted Hearne, From Ivory Depths by Tonia Ko, Like a Strange Sigh by Jack Hughes, and Santiago, another movement from Joby Talbot's Path of Miracles, which Volti is planning to present in its entirety next season. There are two performances: 20 May at First Presbyterian in Berkeley and 21 May at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco.
The International Orange Chorale of San Francisco presents Freshly Squeezed: New Music by and for IOCSF, a free concert featuring works by David Avshalomov, Salvatore LoCascio, Bryan Lin, Elliott Encarnación, Elizabeth Kimble, Ivo Antognini, Joseph Gregorio, Frank LaRocca, and Josh Saulle; you can hear this abundance on 29 April at St Paul's Episcopal (114 Montecito in Oakland) and 13 May at St Matthew's Lutheran in San Francisco (3281 16th Street).
Lacuna Arts presents madrigals by Monteverdi, Orlando di Lasso, and Morten Lauridsen on 19 May at 544 Capp Street in San Francisco and 21 May at 1924 Cedar Street in Berkeley.
Paul Flight leads Chora Nova in sacred choral music by Rameau, Lully, and Delalande on 27 May at First Presbyterian in Berkeley.
Modern / New Music
Wild Rumpus presents a concert they're calling Four Kings for Lou Harrison, featuring works by Lou Harrison, John Luther Adams, Carolina Heredia, and Brian Baumbusch (with puppetry by Niki Ulehla). That's 5 May at St John's Episcopal in San Francisco. You can never have enough Lou Harrison in your musical life.
Earplay closes out its season with works by Kyle Bruckmann, Cindy Cox, John Liberatore, Eric Moe, and Toru Takemitsu; that's 15 May at the ODC Theater in San Francisco.
Other Minds continues its Lou Harrison centennial celebration with a concert on 20 May at Mission Dolores Basilica; Nicole Paiement will be leading La Koro Sutra and other gamelan-inspired works by Harrison.
The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble closes its season with Francophilia, a concert celebrating French music and its influence on (some) American music; the program includes works by Debussy, Copland, Kurt Rohde (a world premiere, based on texts from Michel Foucault), Ravel, Dutilleux, Ned Rorem, and André Caplet, and that's 30 May at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music or 1 June at the Berkeley Piano Club.
Check out the calendar at the Center for New Music as well; some things there that catch my eye are pianist Thomas Moore playing Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories on 3 May; Modern Composers Celebrating Shakespeare on 6 May; pianist Sarah Cahill playing Lou Harrison on 7 May; the Refuse Project on 13 May; and Lou Harrison's Cinna as a shadow play on 18 May.
San Francisco Performances presents soprano Carolyn Sampson and pianist Joseph Middleton in a flower-themed recital featuring works by Purcell, Britten, Schumann, Schubert, Poulenc, Hahn, Debussy, and others; that's 17 May at Herbst Theater.
Javier Perianes makes his Bay Area recital debut at Herbst Theater, presented by San Francisco Performances. He will be performing Schubert, Falla, Debussy, and Albéniz on 6 May.
Cal Performances presents RIOULT Dance NY in a Bach-inspired program in Zellerbach Playhouse; some of the performances are sold out but tickets are still available for the matinee on 6 May and the evening of 7 May. (I'm not sure why RIOULT is all caps in the company name, as it is the last name of company choreographer Pascal Rioult.)
Cal Performances presents the Scottish Ballet in A Streetcar Named Desire, with choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and music by Peter Salem. That's 10 - 12 May in Zellerbach Hall.