09 December 2019

29 November 2019

Friday Photo 2019/48


on Market Street, San Francisco, November 2019

(I don't know what this building used to be, but currently it's a Walgreen's)

27 November 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: December 2019

It's the end of another calendar year, but the mid-point for the performing arts calendar, though as usual in December most of the interesting items are jammed into the first week or ten days and then we're off to Sugarplum land. As usual I have omitted many of the more familiar holiday productions, on the grounds that if going to Nutcracker or Christmas Carol is your unalterable tradition then you already know when and where it's happening. As ever, thanks and gratitude to anyone who visits here and health, peace, and happiness in the new year.

Theatrical
42nd Street Moon revives Scrooge in Love, the story of what happens after the famous visitation from three ghosts, from 4 to 22 December at the Gateway Theater. The show is directed by Dyan McBride, with music by Larry Grossman, lyrics by Kellen Blair, and book by Duane Poole.

For a non-traditional take on the beloved tale, go to Theatre of Yugen's revival of A Noh Christmas Carol, directed by Nick Ishimaru, running from 6 to 29 December.

New Conservatory Theater revives Head Over Heels, the musical based on Sir Philip Sidney's The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with songs by the Go-Go's, directed by Ed Decker, from 6 December to 12 January 2020.

Shotgun Players continues its season of something offbeat for the holidays with Caryl Churchill's Vinegar Tom, directed by Ariel Craft with original music by Diana Lawrence, from 6 December to 5 January 2020.

Berkeley Rep has the world premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Becky Nurse of Salem, directed by Anne Kauffman, from 12 December to 26 January 2020.

Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Christmas comes to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on 14 December.

The African-American Shakespeare Company revives its popular holiday show, Cinderella, directed by Sherri Young; you can catch it at Herbst Theater from 20 to 22 December.

Operatic
The Future Is Now, the annual finale for the latest SF Opera Adler Fellows, will take place on 6 December.

Vocalists
San Francisco Performances presents awesome mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton with pianist Kathleen Kelly in a recital featuring works by Elinor Remick Warren, Lili Boulanger, Amy Beach, Nadia Boulanger, Haydn, Libby Larsen, Ravel, Duparc, and Richard Strauss on 11 December in Herbst Theater.

Broadway star Sutton Foster will help you get through New Year's Eve in a special concert at the Geary Theater, presented by Feinstein's at the Nikko.

Choral
Sacred & Profane offers Winterlude: Songs of Sleep and Repose, with pieces ranging from the English Renaissance to contemporary composers like Lera Auerbach and Jack Curtis Dubowsky, on 7 December at St Mark's Episcopal in Berkeley and 8 December at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco.

Chanticleer offers its annual and beloved Christmas concerts at a wide variety of venues throughout the Bay Area from 10 to 23 December.

Old First Concerts ramps up the holiday choral offerings this month: Women's vocal collective Musae visits on 6 December to wander through The Bleak Midwinter, a program featuring contemporary works by Eric Barnum and Carson Cooman along with traditional carols; the Young Women's Chorus of San Francisco sings carols by candlelight on 15 December, in a program that includes works by Hildegard von Bingen, Arvo Pärt, Maurice Duruflé, and others; and Kitka sings Wintersongs on 22 December.

Ragazzi Boys Chorus presents Stories of Our Immigrant Heritage (with a holiday-season slant) at Old First Concerts on 8 December.

On 16 December at Davies Hall, Valérie Sainte-Agathe leads the San Francisco Girls Chorus, with Bridget Kibbey on harp, Clerestory, and The Living Earth Show  in A Ceremony of Carols, a seasonal celebration that includes not only the eponymous Britten work but also songs and settings by Thomas Adès, Ysaÿe Maria Barnwell, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Robert Johnson, as well as traditional carols.

Early / Baroque Music
The Cantata Collective continues its series of free performances, this time of BWV 93 and BWV 85, on 1 December at St Mary Magdalen in Berkeley. Soloists are soprano Tonia D'Amelio, alto Heidi Waterman, tenor Derek Chester, and bass Harrison Hintzsche.

Nicholas McGegan leads the forces of Philharmonia Baroque in Handel's Judas Maccabeus, with tenor Nicholas Phan, and you can hear the results on 5 December at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, on 6 December at First United Methodist in Palo Alto, and 7 - 8 December at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Bob Geary leads the San Francisco Choral Society in an all-Bach concert, featuring the Magnificat and the second half of the Christmas Oratorio, on 6 December at St Ignatius in San Francisco.

Jeffrey Thomas leads the American Bach Soloists in their annual performances (11 - 13 December) of Messiah at Grace Cathedral; this year the soloists are soprano Hélène Brunet, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Powers, tenor Steven Brennfleck, and baritone Hadleigh Adams. ABS returns to Herbst Theater on New Year's Eve with a baroque program featuring mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit and baritone Hadleigh Adams.

The California Bach Society, led by Paul Flight, performs its annual concert of baroque music from North and South America on 13 December at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, 14 December at St Mark's Episcopal in Palo Alto, and 15 December at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Ragnar Bohlin leads the San Francisco Symphony in Messiah on 13 - 14 December, with soloists Lauren Snouffer (soprano), Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (countertenor), Ben Bliss (tenor), and Adam Lau (Bass).

The San Francisco Early Music Society brings the Academy of Ancient Music to First Congregational in Berkeley on 13 December, to play pieces by Clarke, Handel, Corelli, Tonelli, Handel and Purcell.

Modern / Contemporary Music
Eighth Blackbird visits Cal Performances on 14 December in Zellerbach Playhouse with a program (including five Bay Area premieres) of music by Nina Shekhar, Viet Cuong, Fjóla Evans, Hollly Harrison, Andy Akiho, Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Pamela Z.

Hank Dutt, violist of the Kronos Quartet, makes a solo appearance at Old First Concerts on 14 December in a contemporary program including works by Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Leonid Desyatnikov, Toru Takemitsu, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Hanna Kulenty, and the west coast premiere of John Harbison's Sonata for Viola and Piano (with pianist Hadley McCarroll, and we are told Harbison will be in attendance).

Organist Jonathan Dimmock gives his annual performance of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland on 17 December; admission is free but donations are accepted.

The Center for New Music as usual has a calendar full of interesting things; some items that catch my eye in the current month are: Mark Helias and Ben Goldberg offering an evening of "schemes, diatribes, unholy postmortems, and fractured analysis" for bass and clarinet on 5 December; the world premiere of Larry Polansky's five songs for kate and vanessa along with works by Henry Cowell, Mark Applebaum, Salina Fisher, and Terry Longshore on 11 December; Global Arts Bridges: Inception Part II on 14 December; acoustic guitarist Charlie Rauh on 15 December; and The Unquiet Grave (Randall Krieger, guitar and vocals; Elise Ebbinghaus vocals/bodhrán) along with Roberto Granados (guitar and ukulele) on 20 December.

Orchestral
On 13 December Joseph Young leads the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra in the Tchaikovsky 1, Julia Perry's A Short Piece for Small Orchestra, and Visions of a Flaxen Sea by Nicholas Denton-Protsack, 2019 winner of SFCM's Highsmith Competition.

One Found Sound plays music by Poulenc, Janáček, and Stravinsky on 14 December at Monument SF (140 9th Street).

Daniel Stewart conducts the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with narrator Dulce Sloan on 15 December in Davies Hall.

New Century Chamber Orchestra offers Christmas with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter on 18 December at First United Methodist in Palo Alto, 19 December at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, and 20 December at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Chamber Music
The San Francisco Symphony offers two chamber music concerts this month; weirdly, and this is not the first time this has happened, they are on the same day at the same time, though in different locations so there goes your Charles-Ivesian mash-up. At the Gunn Theater in the Legion of Honor you can hear Debussy, Poulenc, and Fauré, and in the vast reaches of Davies Hall you can hear Ravel, Bottesini, Loeffler, and Muczynski.

San Francisco Performances presents the Brentano Quartet at Herbst Theater on 4 December, when they will play works by Mozart, Respighi, and the Schoenberg String Quartet 2 with soprano soloist Dawn Upshaw.

Cal Performances presents cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason (brother and sister) in a program of Beethoven, Lutosławski , Barber, and Rachmaninoff in the unfortunate venue of cavernous Zellerbach Hall on 4 December.

Cal Performances presents the Takács Quartet playing the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók over two concerts, 7 and 8 December, in Hertz Hall.

Golden Bough celebrates 40 years of celebrating the winter solstice at Old First Concerts on 21 December.

Keyboards & Strings
San Francisco Performances presents guitarist Xuefei Yang on 7 December at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, where she will play works by Debussy, de Falla, Rodrigo, Lui & Mao, Xu Chan Jun, Wang Jian Zhong, Yi Chen, Albéniz, Granados, Ricardo, and Peña.

Old First Concerts presents guitarists Lawrence Ferrara and Matthew Grasso with singer Tatyana Hall in a holiday concert ranging from Dowland, Vivaldi, and Handel to Tchaikovsky on 7 December.

On December 15 in Hertz Hall Jonathan Biss continues his season-long, seven-concert traversal for Cal Performances of the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven.

Cinematic
7 December is this year's Day of Silents for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival; once again the Castro Theater will host a wide-ranging display of early cinema (all with live musical accompaniment), from shorts by Alice Guy-Blaché to grand romantic spectacles like Phantom of the Opera (though if I could only see one of these films, I'd go for Lubitsch's witty The Marriage Circle).

The Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive starts the series Agnès Varda: An Irresistible Force on 20 December with her final film, Varda by Agnès; the series runs until 28 February 2020.

On 28 December the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive presents The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Lotte Reiniger's enchanting silhouette film fantasia from 1926 on some tales from The Arabian Nights, with Judith Rosenberg accompanying on piano; I believe it is currently considered the world's earliest, or at least earliest surviving, feature-length animated film. If you've never seen it, or even if you have, give yourself a year-end treat.

18 November 2019

Museum Monday 2019/46


Cow Suckling a Calf, from Madhya or Uttar Pradesh in India, now in the Art Institute of Chicago – occasionally I'm really struck by the age of an object in a museum, as I was this time when I read on the label that this sandstone sculpture is dated to "about" the 9th century

11 November 2019

Museum Monday 2019/45


a tin-glazed earthenware dish from about 1880, designed by William Frend De Morgan and made by William De Morgan pottery in Chelsea, London: at the Art Institute of Chicago

28 October 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: November 2019

It seems unsuitable to categorize Surrealism, so I'm sticking this here: Seek refuge from, contemplate, or challenge the strange times we live in with Inside the Magnetic Fields: Surrealism at 100, an exploration sponsored by City Lights Bookstore running from 5 through 24 November in Berkeley and San Francisco; find out more here.

Theatrical
This year the Tenth Annual SF Olympians Festival expands its reach to Celtic mythology with You've Got Gaul from 6 to 23 November at the Exit Stage Left; this year's festival includes 38 plays (from shorts to evening-length) by 36 writers.

Hayward's Douglass Morrisson Theatre presents the Jerry Herman musical Hello Dolly, directed by Sue Ellen Nelsen, from 7 to 24 November. Then on 30 November you can get a jump on your holiday theater-going with The Jewelry Box: A Genuine Christmas Story, a solo show by Brian Copeland about being a six-year-old in Oakland in the 1970s trying to buy his mother the perfect Christmas gift.

Aurora Theater presents the Bay Area premiere of Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner, directed by Dawn Monique Williams, from 8 November to 8 December; the play is based on letters by Mary Woolley, who became president of Mount Holyoke in 1901, as she tried to promote real education for the young women at the college while maintaining her long-term partnership with teacher Jeannette Marks.

As part of Full, their series of events scheduled around the full moon, the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive on 12 November offers Noh and Kunqu Opera, programmed by Graeme Vanderstoel, in which Jubilith Moore and Sabrina Hou will perform excerpts exploring women's roles in respectively the Japanese Noh and Chinese Kunqu traditions.

Custom Made Theater presents Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9, directed by Allie Moss, from 15 November to 15 December.

The Ubuntu Theater Project presents Mahabharata, Geetha Reddy's new one-person (in this case, J Jha) exploration of the ancient and massive Indian epic, from 15 November to 8 December.

Theatre of Yugen presents two Kyogen plays, The Snail (Kagyu) and The Thundergod (Kaminari), directed by Lluis Valls, on 16 and 17 November.

San Francisco Playhouse starts the holiday season early with Groundhog Day the Musical (music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin, directed by Susi Damilano with music direction by Dave Dobrusky) from 20 November through 18 January.

Operatic
Simon Williams will lecture on The French Wagnerians to the Wagner Society of Northern California at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco on 2 November.

At San Francisco Opera, Nicola Luisotti returns to conduct Puccini's Manon Lescaut, with Lianna Haroutounian and Brian Jagde, from 8 to 26 November, and Christopher Franklin conducts Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel, with Sasha Cooke and Heidi Stober, from 15 November to 7 December.

Simone Young visits the San Francisco Symphony from 14 to 16 November to lead Act 1 of Die Walküre, with soprano Emily Magee, tenor Stuart Skelton, and Bass Ain Anger; the program also includes Richard Strauss's moving Metamorphosen.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music presents Mozart's The Impresario and the Prologue to Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, directed by Heather Mathews and conducted by Curt Pajer, on 21 - 22 November; performances are free but reservations are recommended.

Ars Minerva, the invaluable local group headed by Céline Ricci dedicated to reviving forgotten operas of the baroque, returns from 22 to 24 November at the ODC Theater with Domenico Freschi's Ermelinda, last heard in 1680. Ars Minerva productions are generally a highlight of the season, so I've been eagerly awaiting this for months.

Vocal
Lieder Alive! presents soprano Esther Rayo and pianist Peter Grünberg performing works by Korngold, Wolf, Obradors, Montsalvatge, Granadoes, and De Falla at the Noe Valley Ministry on 10 November.

Soprano Deborah Voigt offers a Master Class at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on 15 November.

Talking
Writer David Sedaris returns to Zellerbach Hall courtesy of Cal Performances on 9 November.

City Arts & Lectures has some interesting speakers lined up this month, all at the Sydney Goldstein Theater: novelists André Aciman and Andrew Sean Greer are in conversation with Steven Winn on 6 November; comedian and newscaster Mo Rocca is in conversation with Adam Savage on 18 November, and poet and novelist Ben Lerner is in conversation with Maggie Nelson on 21 November.

Choral
Ensemble Basiani returns to First Congregational in Berkeley for Cal Performances on 15 November to perform the traditional and ancient polyphony of Georgia (the one by the Black Sea, not the one in the American South).

Ragnar Bohlin leads his Cappella SF ensemble in French music, including works by Josquin, Debussy, Poulenc, Couperin, Duruflé, Fauré, and Messiaen, on 23 November at the Church of Santa Maria in Orinda (where they will be joined by guest chorus WomenSing) and 24 November at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco.

Paul Flight leads Chora Nova in Handel's Dettingen Te Deum, Dettingen Anthem, and Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened on 23 November at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Orchestral
Guest Conductor Norman Gamboa leads the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony in Barber's Essay No 1, Kyle Kindred's Flute Concerto (with soloist Linda Watkins), and Manuel de Falla's Three-Cornered Hat on 9 November at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Urs Leonhardt Steiner leads the Golden Gate Symphony in the world premiere of Richard Aldag's Symphony 1, along with Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture and the Beethoven 9 (with soprano Chelsea Hollow, mezzo-soprano Silvie Jensen, tenor William Wiggins, bass Igor Vieira, and bass Ryan Bradford) on 10 November at Herbst Theater in San Francisco and 17 November at Benicia Clock Tower in Benicia.

Jeannette Sorrell conducts Philharmonia Baroque in a program of Mozart and Grétry on 13 November at Bing Concert Hall at Stanford, 15 November at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and 16 - 17 November at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Michael Morgan leads the Oakland Symphony in Notes from Korea on 15 November at the Paramount Theater, featuring Fauré's Pavane in F sharp minor, Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor (with soloist ChangYong Shin), Texu Kim by Dub-Sanjo, The Woven Silk for haegeum and orchestra by Jean Ahn (with Soo Yeon Lyuh on haegeum), and Blow, Fly, Pop!! by Texu Kim.

The Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, led by Omid Zoufonoun, appears at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts on 17 November playing the Brahms Hungarian Dances 5 and 6, Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Chabrier's España: Rhapsody for Orchestra, John Adams's The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra), Anatol Liadov's The Enchanted Lake, and Sibelius's Finlandia.

At the San Francisco Symphony from 22 to 24 November, Manfred Honeck leads the orchestra in the Bruckner 4, the Romantic, as well as the Mozart Piano Concerto 22 with soloist Leif Ove Andsnes

Chamber Music
The San Francisco Symphony Chamber Players perform works by Mozart, Shostakovich, and Beethoven in Davies Hall on 3 November.

Quinteto La Moderna, dedicated to traditional Cuban charanga music, will play at Old First Concerts on 8 November.

One Found Sound plays Beethoven's Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco on 9 November.

The Danish String Quartet return to Hertz Hall and Cal Performances on 10 November with a program including works by Bach, Beethoven, and Schnittke.

On November 10 at Old First Concerts you can hear Ali Paris on the qanun along with assorted friends exploring Arabic and flamenco music.

Old First Concerts presents the Circadian String Quartet on 15 November with guest Hamid Taghavi on the santour; together they will play works by Sahba Aminikia, Reza Vali, David Ryther, and newly commissioned works by Hamid Taghavi and Amin Assadi.

Cal Performances presents cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han at Hertz Hall on 24 November in a program of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, and Franck.

Keyboards & Strings
Old First Concerts with the Helia Music Collective presents violinist Robert Simonds playing contemporary works for solo violin by Missy Mazzoli, Molly Joyce, Alexis Bacon, Sylvia Mancuso, Patricia Van Ness, Elizabeth Kennedy Bayer, TJ Cole, Cindy Cox, and Melody Eötvös on 1 November.

The San Francisco Symphony presents the excellent young violinist Ray Chen, joined by pianist Julio Elizalde, in Davies Hall on 3 November, when they will play works by Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Bach, Debussy, and Ravel.

Pianist Utsav Lal will play his own compositions, which draw on western classical and jazz traditions as well as north Indian ragas, for Old First Concerts on 3 November.

The San Francisco Symphony presents pianist Chick Corea in Davies Hall on 10 November for a performance of his solo work From Mozart to Monk.

Modern / Contemporary Music
There's a new new-music ensemble in town! Wild Rumpus and Composers Inc have joined together as Ninth Planet New Music, and their inaugural concert on 2 November at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music will feature works by Eve Beglarian, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Ursula Kwong-Brown, Kaija Saariaho, and Dan VanHassel.

The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble continues its season with Air from Other Planets, featuring Mozart's "Dissonance" Quartet, Schoenberg's String Quartet #2, and world premieres from John Schott and Jamie Leigh Sampson; and that's 2 November at the Berkeley Hillside Club and 4 November at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. (The Ensemble is also performing a free preview on 9 November of their upcoming concert of contemporary music as ensemble-in-residence at the 2nd Wunsch New Music Festival; see the listing below under the Center for New Music.)

The calendar for the Center for New Music is frequently updated, so remember to check it frequently; some things that catch my eye in the current listing for this month are: pianist Kathleen Supové on 2 November, presented by Common Sense Composers' Collective and featuring world and California premieres from Belinda Reynolds, Dan Becker, and Randall Woolf, as well as works by John King and Supové herself; Ensemble PHASE performing new music on traditional Korean instruments on 4 November; The Marrow, led by Oud player Gordon Grdina, bringing together "Arabic Maqam and Persian Dastgah with western improvised music" on 5 November; PGLRG performs BarbedWire and Map Score (Saint Petersburg) (I have no idea what this is, but it sounds wild) on 6 November; the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble on 9 November performing music by Mei-Fang Lin, Jennifer Higdon, Kurt Rohde, Sheila Silver, Christopher Stark, and Melinda Wagner as a preview of their upcoming ensemble-in-residence concert at the 2nd Wunsch New Music Festival; Soundwave guest curator Christo Oropeza presenting Nochtlaca: Todos, todos, todos, with vocalist San Cha, instrument inventor Guillermo Galindo, and drag queen Persia on 14 November; the Wooden Fish Ensemble with special guest Yuki Endo on shinobue playing new music by Hyo-Shin Na, as well as traditional Japanese and Korean folk songs on 16 November; and pianist Nicholas Phillips on 22 November playing #45Miniatures, a collection of short musical responses by over 50 composers to various loathsome aspects of our despicable current President.

Jazz
The Joshua Redman Quartet (with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, and Gregory Hutchinson) plays the SF Jazz Center from 14 to 17 November.

Early / Baroque Music
This could also go under Modern / Contemporary Music, as fabulous countertenor Iestyn Davies and Fretwork are splitting the program for their 3 November recital at Hertz Hall for Cal Performances between Michael Nyman and Henry Purcell.

The Cantata Collective continues its series of free performances of the Bach cantatas, this time featuring BWV 55 and BWV 22, with soprano Morgan Balfour, alto Paul Flight, tenor Kyle Stegall, and bass Ben Kazez; in addition to a 3 November performance at their usual venue, St Mary Magdalen in Berkeley, there is a 2 November outing at All Saints Episcopal in Palo Alto.

Ton Koopman comes to the San Francisco Symphony from 7 to 9 November to lead them in Rebel's Chaos from Les Élémens, the Haydn 100 (the Military), and Bach's Orchestral Suite 4 and his Violin Concerto 1 (the latter with soloist Alexander Barantschik).

Simone Dinnerstein leads the New Century Chamber Orchestra in an all-Bach program on 7 November at First Congregational in Berkeley, 8 November at First United Methodist in Palo Alto, 9 November at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and 10 November at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael.

Nicholas McGegan leads the Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players and members of Juilliard415 in music by Bach, Vivaldi, and Rameau on 10 November at the ODC Theater in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Early Music Society presents Tres Hermanicas and Aquila in a joint concert titled Roses & Almonds, combining Sephardic music and medieval Cantigas; you can hear the results 22 November at First Presbyterian in Palo Alto, 23 November at St John's Presbyterian in Berkeley, and 24 November at Church of the Advent in San Francisco.

Visual Arts
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983 opens at the de Young Museum on 9 November and runs until 15 March 2020.

Over at the Legion of HonorCurious & Wonderful: Selections from the Achenbach Vault, including many rarely exhibited prints, opens on 16 November and runs until 15 March 2020.

Surrealist Sylvia Fein has a solo show at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive starting on 13 November and running until 1 March 2020.

The Asian Art Museum opens two exhibits towards the end of the month: Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks opens 26 November and runs until 22 March 2020, and twentieth-century Chinese painter Chang Dai-Chien will receive a solo show for his 120th birth year – Chang Dai-Chien: Painting from Heart to Hand will open 26 November and run until 26 April 2020.

Dance
Farruquito dances flamenco at Zellerbach Hall on 4 November, thanks to Cal Performances.

Those colorful tumblers The Peking Acrobats return to Cal Performances from 29 November to 1 December.

Cinematic
On 2 and 10 November the Roxie will be showing the 25th anniversary 4K restoration of Béla Tarr's 7+ hour Sátántangó, based on the novel by László Krasznahorkai, (There will be two intermissions.)

At the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive, Peter Bagrov will be hosting a lecture / screening series on Soviet Silent Cinema from 6 to 10 November. And in conjunction with their current exhibit Strange, BAM / PFA is presenting Strange: Surrealist Tendencies in Cinema from 6 to 10 November.

And we'll close out the listing with more surrealism: head to the Roxie on 23 November for A Bundle of  Buñuel; the bundle includes Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) from 1929, L'Age d'Or (The Golden Age) from 1930, and Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (Land Without Bread) from 1933.

Museum Monday 2019/43


detail of Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens (possibly with Frans Snyders), seen at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco as part of the Early Rubens exhibit

21 October 2019

Museum Monday 2019/42


detail of The Last Judgment by "Unknown Tyrolean Master" from around 1500 at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco

18 October 2019

Friday Photo 2019/42


statue of Juan Marichal outside the ballpark of the San Francisco Giants, September 2019

07 October 2019

Museum Monday 2019/40



two views of a Loïe Fuller lamp designed by François Raoul Larche in the exhibit Strange at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive

30 September 2019

Museum Monday 2019/39


a maiolica plate from mid-16th century Urbino depicting the expulsion of Adam & Eve from Paradise, from the Legion of Honor in San Francisco

24 September 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: October 2019

Theatrical
Theater of Yugen starts the spooky season off early with Puppets & Poe: Devised Defiance, directed by Shannon R Davis, which combines several of Poe's poems and short stories using puppetry and traditional Japanese theater techniques; you can check it out from 3 October to 2 November.

Z Space presents its second annual Problematic Play Festival on 2 and 4 October, when you can hear readings of the new comedies Three Fat Sisters by Morgan Gould and Mediocre Heterosexual Sex by Madison Wetzell.

The Ubuntu Theater Project presents Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, directed by company Artistic Director Michael Socrates Moran, from 4 to 27 October at the FLAX Building in Oakland (just a short walk from the 12th Street BART Station).

On 5 October the Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Hayward presents Brian Copeland's The Waiting Period: Laughter in the Darkness, a solo show about his struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide.

San Francisco Playhouse presents The Daughters, a look at the past 60 years of lesbian history in San Francisco, written by Patricia Cotter and directed by Jessica Holt, from 9 October to 2 November; performances will be at the Creativity Theater at Yerba Buena, as SF Playhouse's mainstage will be occupied by Clare Barron's Dance Nation until 9 November.

The African-American Shakespeare Company opens its season with Othello, directed by Carl Jordan and starring L Peter Callender, at the Marines' Memorial Theater from 12 to 27 October.

Shotgun Players presents Elevada, written by Sheila Callaghan and directed by Susannah Martin, from 17 October to 17 November.

JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the two-part sequel to her beloved series of novels, opens at the Curran Theater on 23 October.

Ray of Light celebrates Halloween with its fifth annual revival of Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show, this time with new sets, choreography, and direction (though as of this typing I don't see a director listed on the website), running 23 October through 2 November at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco.

ACT presents Kate Attwell's Test Match, a time-travel drama about cricket, directed by Pam MacKinnon, from 24 October to 8 December at the Strand Theater.

Operatic
Ars Minerva Artistic Director and mezzo-soprano Céline Ricci will be joined by mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich, soprano Aurélie Veruni, and harpsichordist Kelly Savage on 5 October at the 906 World Cultural Center (at 906 Broadway in San Francisco) for an evening of music and spoken texts exploring legendary and heroic women of the Mediterranean (women like Cleopatra, Dido, or Ottavia, and music by Monteverdi, Cavalli, Handel, Pietro-Andrea Ziani, and Giovanni Porta).

San Francisco Opera presents the Mozart / da Ponte Le Nozze di Figaro from 11 October to 1 November, and I am delighted that this is a new production, since I loathed the old one.

For some introductory thoughts on one of the fall season's upcoming productions, head to the Wagner Society of Northern California meeting at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on 19 October to hear Brad Wade on the topic What do Hansel and Gretel have to do with Siegmund and Sieglinde?

Choral
Cal Performances presents Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar on 3 October at Zellerbach Hall.

Choir! Choir! Choir! comes to Freight & Salvage on 17 October, and you, the audience member, are the choir and will be taught/led in performance – this sounds like potentially a lot of fun for someone who isn't me.

The San Francisco Girls Chorus opens its season on 19 October at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, with conductor Valérie Sainte-Agathe and soprano and guest curator Nell Snaidas exploring Latin American baroque music and poetry, and in particular the celebrated Mexican nun and poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Vocalists
Huun-Huur-Tu, a quartet of Tuvan throat singers, bring their ancient but ever-new music to Freight & Salvage on 1 October.

Soprano Renée Fleming with pianist Richard Bado returns to Zellerbach Hall on 5 October for a Cal Performances recital that will include works by Schubert, Hahn, Delibes, Liszt, Kevin Puts, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Lehár, André Previn, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Adam Guettel.

Lieder Alive! presents tenor Pene Pati (recent, and universally praised, star of SF Opera's Roméo et Juliette) and pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg on 6 October in a program featuring Tosti and Strauss.

The SF Jazz Center presents Lila Downs  and her celebration of the Día de los Muertos (with the participation of the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company and the Mariachi Feminil-Flores Mexicanas) at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on 12 October.

Tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist-composer Brad Mehldau will perform Schumann's Dichterliebe and a new song cycle by Mehldau, The Folly of Desire, at the SF Jazz Center on 15 October.

Jazz singer Clairdee performs a program called The Thrill Is You on 19 October at the Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley.

On 20 October Old First Concerts presents mezzo-soprano Naama Liany with guitarist Robert Miller in Una Folía, a program about "wild passion and an impossible love" featuring music by Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Federico García Lorca, Joaquín Rodrigo, and Xavier Montsalvatge.

San Francisco Performances presents the eagerly awaited return of baritone Christian Gerhaher with pianist Gerold Huber in an all-Mahler program; that's 22 October at Herbst Theater.

Talking
SHN presents An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson on 14 October at Davies Hall; each ticket includes a copy of Tyson's new book, Letters from an Astrophysicist, redeemable at the talk.

Novelist Zadie Smith visits City Arts & Lectures on 16 October.

Orchestral
It's guest conductor month at the San Francisco Symphony: from 3 to 5 October, Marek Janowski conducts Hindemith's Concert Music for String Orchestra and Brass, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with soloist María Dueñas, and the Mozart 41, the Jupiter; from 17 to 19 October, Cristian Măcelaru leads Lili Boulanger's D'un matin de printemps, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (in the orchestration by Ravel), and the world premiere of SFS commission Losing Earth by Adam Schoenberg, featuring percussionist Jacob Nissly; and from 24 to 26 October Karina Canellakis conducts the Prokofiev Piano Concerto 1 with soloist Alexander Gavrylyuk and the Shostakovich 7, Leningrad.

Edwin Outwater leads the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra in Linda Catlin Smith's Wilderness, the Shostakovich 5, and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (with piano soloist Jung-eun Kim) on 18 October.

Oakland Symphony Music Director Michael Morgan opens the season at the Paramount Theater on 18 October with a program titled Hot as Hell / Cool Jazz; the infernal heat in the first half is supplied by the Prologue to Boito's Mefistofele, featuring bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum, the Oakland Symphony Chorus led by Lynne Morrow, and the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir led by Eric Tuan; the cool jazz comes after intermission courtesy of an imposing selection of music new and old from trumpeter Josiah Woodson and pianist/composer Taylor Eigsti.

At the Berkeley Symphony, new music director Joseph Young opens the season at Zellerbach Hall on 24 October with the late Olly Wilson's Shango Memory (Shango is the Yoruban deity of thunder and lightning), the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major with soloist Conrad Tao, and the Beethoven 5.

The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra will play Emilie Mayer's Faust Overture, along with a lecture-performance of the Beethoven 5, on 25 October at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, 26 October at First United Methodist in Palo Alto, and 27 October at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Chamber
OcTUBAfest comes to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on 6 October; the program is free (no reservations required).

Old First Concerts presents The Ives Collective on 13 October, playing works by Zoltán Kodály, Erich Korngold, and Peteris Vasks.

The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, led by concertmaster Robin Sharp, plays piano quartets by Mozart and Fauré at Freight & Salvage on 14 October.

San Francisco Performances presents the Z.E.N. Trio playing Schubert, Brahms, and Shostakovich at Herbst Theater on 18 October (the Trio's name refers not only to the Japanese concept of Zen but to the players's names: pianist Zhang Zuo, violinist Esther Yoo, and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan).

Starting 19 October and continuing for six other Saturday mornings into May, San Francisco Performances presents the Alexander String Quartet and musicologist Robert Greenberg in a lecture / performance series exploring the Beethoven string quartets.

San Francisco Performances presents the Calidore String Quartet, playing works by Haydn, Caroline Shaw, and Beethoven, at Herbst Theater on 21 October.

The San Francisco Symphony Chamber Players perform works by Bach and Schubert at the Legion of Honor's Gunn Theater on 20 October (matinee).

The Telegraph Quartet will performs works by Haydn, Berg, and Britten on 23 October at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; admission is free but reservations are recommended.

Strings & Keyboards
The SF Jazz Center presents pianist Kenny Barron, joined by pianist Benny Green and guitarist Miles Okazaki, celebrating Thelonius Monk at Herbst Theater on 10 October, which would have been the jazz legend's 102nd birthday.

Jonathan Biss continues his series of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas for Cal Performances at Hertz Hall on 12 and 13 October.

San Francisco Performances presents guitarist Manuel Barrueco at Herbst Theater on 13 October, playing works by Luis de Narváez, Héctor Angulo, Ignacio Cervantes, Julián Orbón, Enrique Granados, Isaac Albéniz, and Francisco Tárrega.

Pianist Neil Rutman visits Old First Concerts on 18 October to play music by Orlando Gibbons, Chopin, Lou Harrison, Frederic Rzewski, Fauré, and Ravel.

Organist Paul Jacobs gives a solo recital of Bach, Mozart, Ives, and Vierne on 20 October at Davies Hall (presented by the San Francisco Symphony).

Pianist Lang Lang returns to Davies Hall on 21 October (one night only), when he will join the San Francisco Symphony led by Ion Marin in the Beethoven Piano Concerto 2; also on the program are Glinka's Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila and the Tchaikovsky 4.

Pianist Martin Katz, one of the celebrated accompanists of our time, will offer a master class at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on 25 October; admission is free but reservations are recommended.

Under the auspices of San Francisco Performances, guitarist Jason Vieaux will play works by Scarlatti, Giuliani, Bach, Frank Martin, Barrios, Jobin, Ellington, and José Luis Merlín at Herbst Theater on 26 October.

I don't usually list "galas" but it looks as if there's an actual concert attached to this one, so here goes: San Francisco Performances presents pianist Richard Goode playing Janáček, Chopin, and Debussy at Herbst Theater on 29 October.


Early / Baroque Music
Paul Flight leads the California Bach Society in its season opener, Bach's Magnificat and Zelenka's Missa Divi Xaverii, on 4 October at St Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco, 5 October at All Saints' Episcopal in Palo Alto, and 6 October at First Congregational in Berkeley.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music celebrates the 400th birthday of Barbara Strozzi with a concert of her vocal music on 26 October; the concert is free but reservations are recommended.

Modern / Contemporary Music
Left Coast Chamber Ensemble opens its season with Changing and Unchanging Things, a concert exploring the intersection between Japanese and western art music (the title comes from the Asian Art Museum's upcoming exhibit about Noguchi and Hasegawa, two visual artists who also played in that liminal field). You can hear the world premiere of Karen Tanaka's chamber piece Wind Whisperer, Debussy's Sonata for flute, viola, and harp, Dai Fujikura's Neo, and the world premiere of Hiroya Miura's Sharaku Unframed, a "micro opera" about the 18th century woodblock artist, on 5 October at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and 6 October at the Berkeley Hillside Club.

InterMusic SF presents the 12th Annual San Francisco Music Day on 6 October, from noon to 7:30, when you can wander among 32 different ensembles performing in the four performance spaces of the Veterans Building (adjacent to the Opera House, and the four spaces are: Herbst Theater, the Green Room, the Atrium Theater, and the Education Studio).

Ensemble for These Times performs Dracula Rising: Ghosts of Hollywood Past on 12 October at the Berkeley Piano Club; the program consists of chamber works and movie arrangements by Polish refugee composers of the 1930s and 1940s as well as Korngold and Castelnuove-Tedesco as well as contemporary works by David Garner, Lennie Moore, and Polish film composer Wojciech Kilar.

Pianist Sarah Cahill will be joined by Gamelan Sari Raras in a performance of the late great Lou Harrison's Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan on 13 October at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive; there are two performances, at 5:30 and 7:30; Gamelan Sari Raras will also perform traditional Javanese music (the performance will be repeated on 8 November at Hertz Hall, when the Javanese music performed by the ensemble will be modern rather than traditional).

Nicolas McGegan's farewell season at the head of Philharmonia Baroque kicks off with a world premiere by Caroline Shaw, The Listeners, a reflection on Carl Sagan's "Golden Record" and humanity's general interest in recording itself for what looks like an increasingly unlikely posterity; also on the program are Handel's Eternal Source of Light Divine and his Suite from Terpsichore; in addition to the orchestra and the chorus led by Bruce Lamott, the soloists are soprano Arwen Myers, contralto Avery Amereau, countertenor Reginald Mobley, and bass-baritone Dashon Burton, and you can hear it all on 17 October at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, 18 October at First United Methodist in Palo Alto, and 19 and 20 October at First Congregational in Berkeley.

Bard Music West explores the world of Polish modernist Grażyna Bacewicz in three concerts over over two days (18 - 19 October) at Noe Valley Ministry.

Old First Concerts presents Orphic Percussion, in a program that includes four world premieres, on 25 October.

The Wooden Fish Ensemble celebrates the music (and birthday) of Hyo-Shin Na at Old First Concerts on 27 October with a concert that includes four world premieres.

Don't forget to check the constantly updated calendar for the Center for New Music; here are some things that strike me for this month in the current listings: Fay Victor and Myra Melford with a free-flowing words and music evening on 3 October; Burton Greene playing solo piano as well as the Dunkelman/Ackley/Fluke-Mogul Trio on 4 October: Slow Wave: New Music for Viola, Clarinet, and Piano on 5 October; the Friction Quartet with bass clarinetist Bruce Belton playing the Bay Area premieres of new quintets by Marc Mellits, Sebastián Tozzola, and Michael Torke on 17 October; Jesse Perlstein and Shinya Sugimoto along with Glenda Bates and Oboetronics on 25 October; and Neil Rolnick's Journey's End, a work for computer and piano inspired by his late wife's struggle with cancer, performed by Kathleen Supové, on 26 October.

Jazz &c
Madeleine Peyroux sings at Freight & Salvage on 3 October.

The Seventh Annual San Francisco International Boogie-Woogie Festival will take place at the SF Jazz Center on 20 October.

The SF Jazz Center presents the flamenco sounds of the Paco de Lucía Project on 23 October at Herbst Theater.

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet will regale you with Cajun music at Freight & Salvage on 24 October.

The Vijay Iyer Trio plays the SF Jazz Center on 26 October.

The Myra Melford Platform at Cal Performances presents the David Virelles Trio featuring Marcus Gilmore and Rashaan Carter, and Spider Web, a piece by Nicole Mitchell and Josh Kun involving spoken word, electronics, musical instruments, and movement, at Hertz Hall on 27 October.

The UC-Berkeley Jazz Ensembles will hold their fall concert at Freight & Salvage on 29 October.

Visual Arts
Starting on 2 October and running until 2 February at the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive, you can see the first US exhibit focusing on Sakaki Hyakusen, the founder of the Nanga school of Japanese painting. By the way, if you haven't been to BAM/PFA lately, check them out! Located an easy block or two from the downtown Berkeley BART station, they offer more consistently interesting and surprising exhibits than any other museum I know of in this area.

The Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley hosts Object Lessons, an exhibit featuring Egyptian artifacts ancient and modern, including items from the Tebtunis Papyri Collection, from 11 October to May 2020.

James Tissot: Fashion and Faith, a rare look at the late-nineteenth-century painter (born in France but also active in England) opens at the Legion of Honor on 12 October and runs until 9 February 2020

There are a couple of interesting exhibits opening this month at the Oakland Museum¡El Movimiento Vivo! Chicano Roots of El Día de los Muertos, exploring the activist roots of the local celebration of El Día de los Muertos, opens on 16 October; and No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, which is self-explanatory, opens on 12 October.

Dance
Tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist Jason Moran create their second commissioned score for a world premiere at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, which will also feature a light installation designed by Jim Campell, and that runs at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from 1 to 6 October.

ODC/Dance and Volti revive KT Nelson's Path of Miracles, their very popular dance version of Joby Talbot's score, at the newly renovated Presidio Theater on 11 October (be aware that the theater is difficult to access without a car).

Renowned butoh troupe Sankai Juku visits Zellerbach Hall for Cal Performances on 12 and 13 October with Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land, a work directed, choreographed, and designed
by Ushio Amagatsu.

Cal Performances presents dance troupe Hālau O Kekuhi performing traditional Hawaiian dances in honor of Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes, at Zellerbach Hall on 20 October.

Dance/movement group MOMIX returns to Cal Performances and Zellerbach Hall on 26 - 27 October, with a sampler of movements from some of their more popular shows.

Cal Performances kicks it up old school with the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra (under artistic director Valery Gergiev) in La Bayadère at Zellerbach Hall from 30 October to 3 November.

Cinematic
The Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive launches some interesting film series this month:
David Thomson puts four films of the British New Wave into their cultural context, and that runs from 2 to 23 October; the Mill Valley Film Festival camps out in Berkeley, with various films scheduled from 5 to 12 October (of particular interest is Varda by Agnès on 12 October, in which the late filmmaker reviews her career); and the opportunity, beginning 3 October and scheduled through 16 November, to see new restorations of works starring or directed by Zheng Junli, dating from the early 1930s to the Cultural Revolution.

The SF Jazz Center presents Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi on 10 October, accompanied by GoGo Penguin in a live performance of their own original score.

On October 19 at the newly renovated Presidio Theater in San Francisco you can see the Silent Film Festival's latest restoration, Jane's Declaration of Independence, a 1915 two-reeler (that's about 30 to 40 minutes) that is the earliest surviving theatrical release actually filmed at the Presidio.

Face of a Stranger, a restored feature from 1977 by filmmaker and musician David Michalak inspired by German Expressionism and the silent films of the 1920s, plays at the Center for New Music in San Francisco on 23 October with a newly recorded score by Thollem McDonas; the showing is preceded by a short set from Bruce Ackley.

The SF Jazz Center celebrates Halloween with a special showing at Grace Cathedral of the 1920 John Barrymore Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, accompanied by organist Dorothy Papadakos. Let the holidays begin!

23 September 2019

20 September 2019

16 September 2019

Museum Monday 2019/37


a piscine detail of Tintoretto's The Creation of the Animals, usually in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice but seen by me as part of the special exhibit Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC

09 September 2019

Museum Monday 2019/36


a detail of Tintoretto's Venus and Mars Surprised by Vulcan, usually in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich but seen by me at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC as part of Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice, a special exhibit honoring the painter's 500th birthday

02 September 2019

30 August 2019

27 August 2019

fun stuff I may or may not get to: September 2019

September is the traditional start of the performing arts season, so there's a lot going on:

Theatrical
The Exit Theater hosts the San Francisco Fringe Festival from 5 to 14 September – check the schedule and take a chance!

42nd Street Moon launches its season with a concert performance of the Peter Stone / Maury Yeston Titanic, directed by Daren AC Carollo and conducted by Daniel Thomas, at the Alcazar Theater on 7 - 8 September, followed by Hot Mikado, David H Bell and Rob Bowman's jazzy adaptation of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic, directed and choreographed by Jeffrey Polk with Dave Dobrusky as music director, at the Gateway Theater from 25 September to 13 October.

Prepare to swashbuckle at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Hayward as they present Ken Ludwig's adaptation of The Three Musketeers from 12 to 29 September.

Crowded Fire Theater presents the west coast premiere of Christina Anderson's Inked Baby, directed by Lisa Marie Rollins, at the Potrero Stage from 12 September to 5 October.

Z Space and Word for Word co-present Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, directed by Delia MacDougall and Jim Cave, from 12 September to 12 October at Z Space in San Francisco.

Berkeley Rep has two plays opening this month: the American premiere of The Great Wave by Francis Turnly, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, runs at the Roda Theatre from 12 September to 27 October; and the west coast premiere of White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Jaki Bradley, runs at Peet's Theatre from 26 September to 10 November – I'll go see anything by Parks, so this is good news for me.

Ray of Light Theater presents Caroline, or Change (music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Tony Kushner), directed by Jenn BeVard with music director David Möschler, at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco from 13 September to 5 October.

Cal Shakes in Orinda (there is a shuttle from the Orinda BART station) presents Macbeth, directed by Victor Malana Maog, from 18 September to 13 October.

Cutting Ball Theater opens its 21st season this month, and the good news is that it is bookended by offerings from talented local writers; the bad news (for me) is that both are doing versions of plays I would very happily never see again in any form – Megan Cohen is adapting Strindberg's Miss Julie and Melissa Skudlarek Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac. (And the really bad news is that Titus Andronicus has dropped off the schedule.) Cohen's offering, Free for All, developed with and directed by Cutting Ball Artistic Director Ariel Craft, stars Stacy Ross and Philip Wong and runs from 19 September to 20 October.

Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, directed by Tamilla Woodard, comes to ACT's Geary Theater from 19 September to 13 October.

At Shotgun Players, Annie Baker's The Flick runs until 22 September, but the Champagne Staged Reading Series takes over on 23 and 24 September, when in conjunction with the Ubuntu Theatre Project they will present good friday by Kristiana Rae Colón.

The Fasting Girls, a new puppet play written by Amanda Jane Shank and directed by Alexis Macnab, plays at Z Space's Z Below from 27 to 29 September.

Custom Made Theater presents Alex Timbers & Michael Friedman's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, directed by Brian Katz and with music direction by Armando Fox, from 27 September to 27 October.

Operatic
The San Francisco Opera opens its fall season with Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, starring Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra and conducted by Yves Abel, on 13, 18, 21, 24, 29 September and 1 October (for that final performance, Pene Pati and Amina Edris will sing the lovers); there is also a performance on 6 September but be forewarned that is Opening Night and should be avoided unless that's your thing. There will be a simulcast of the 21 September performance at the beautiful ballpark of the San Francisco Giants; it's free but registration is strongly advised.

San Francisco Opera also revives Britten's Billy Budd (libretto by E M Forster based on Melville's short novel), with John Chest as Billy making his SF Opera debut along with William Burden as Captain Vere and Christian Van Horn as Claggart; Lawrence Renes conducts. Performances are 7, 12, 15, 17, 20, and 22 September.

Vocalists
Lieder Alive! offers two concerts this month, both at Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco: on 1 September, soprano Sarah Cambidge joins pianist Peter Grünberg in Strauss's Four Last Songs along with works by Wagner, and on 29 September Grünberg teams with baritone Eugene Villanueva for works by Schubert, Mahler, and Tosti.

Pianist Mike Greensill and vocalist Denise Perrier will explore the American Songbook at Old First Concerts on 1 September.

Opera Parallèle presents tenor William Burden and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade (with special guests soprano Christabel Nunoo and dancer Brett Conway) and pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi in recital on 19 September at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Choral
Cappella Romana sings traditional Byzantine chants in Greek and English inspired by Mary at the foot of her son's cross on 14 September at St Ignatius in San Francisco.

Chanticleer sings of Trade Winds in a program that ranges widely, from folk music of the Pacific Islands to contemporary works by Chen Yi and Zhou Tian to early music by Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Victoria, and Filipe de Magalhaes; the chorus will also be ranging widely through the Bay Area from 15 to 19 September with this program, with one San Francisco performance and others in Sausalito, Santa Clara, San Rafael, Pleasanton, and Sacramento.

Orchestral
Michael Tilson Thomas is entering his final season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, and he's revisiting his favorites throughout the year, starting with the Mahler 6 on 12 - 15 September; other familiar names follow, with the world premiere of I Still Dance by John Adams along with the Schumann 3, the Rhenish, and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 4 with soloist Daniil Trifonov on 19 - 22 September; and the month closes out with the Haydn Cello Concerto 2 with soloist Oliver Herbert along with three Stravinsky pieces (the Canticum Sacrum with tenor Nicholas Phan and the Symphony Chorus, the Symphony of Psalms, and the Symphony in Three Movements) on 26 - 28 September.

Music Director Dawn Harms leads the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony in their fall concert on 14 September at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, featuring Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel Overture, the Amy Beach Piano Concerto with soloist Daniel Glover, and the Shostakovich 10.

One Found Sound has two events this month: an evening of yoga (no prior experience necessary) to live music on 12 September, and a program featuring works by Bach, Ives, and Mendelssohn on 27 September.

New Century Chamber Orchestra kicks off its season under Music Director Daniel Hope with music from the turn of the 19th century by Elgar, Christian Sinding, Massenet, Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, and Chausson (the latter featuring guest violinist and concert master Simos Papanas and pianist Maxim Lando), and that's 26 September at First Congregational in Berkeley, 28 September at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and 29 September at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael (the last performance is a matinee but I am delighted to see that the start times for the two evening concerts have been moved up to 7:30).

Chamber Music
Tangonero (violinist Yuri Kye, pianist Celeste Chiam, double bassist Richard Duke,with Alex Roitman on bandoneon and vocals by Claudio Ortega), will perform Piazzolla's Ausencias at Old First Concerts on 8 September.

The San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music Series kicks off on 29 September with a matinee in Davies Hall featuring works by André Previn, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Ron Minor, and Antonin Dvořák.

Early / Baroque Music
The San Francisco Early Music Society presents the Costanoan Trio (Cynthia Black, violin; Frédéric Rosselet, cello; Derek Tam, fortepiano) in The Harmonious Four, the four in question being Haydn, Mozart, Clementi, and Beethoven; you can hear them 20 September at First Presbyterian in Palo Alto, 21 September at St John's Presbyterian in Berkeley, and 22 September at Church of the Advent in San Francisco.

The Cantata Collective returns to St Mary Magdalen in Berkeley on 29 September with another free performance of Bach cantatas (this time it's BWV 61 and BWV 131), with soprano Christine Brandes, alto Dan Cromeenes, tenor Brian Thorsett, and bass Nikolas Nackley.

Modern / Contemporary Music
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players opens its season with a site-specific work by Bang on a Can founding composer Michael Gordon; the site in question is the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason, looking towards Angel Island, and the work, Oceanic Migrations, takes immigration to the Americas as its theme. The SFCMP is joined by vocal octet Roomful of Teeth and wind quintet Splinter Reeds for this 14 September performance; there is a related installation in the Immigration Station Barracks on Angel Island from 11 - 14 September and if you bring your Angel Island ticket you can get free admission to the concert.

Roomful of Teeth and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players join up again, along with special guests Alicia Hall Moran and Isaiah Robinson, perform Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), a Cal Performances co-commission exploring the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, with music by Bryce Dessner and a libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle (featuring words by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith), directed by Brad Wells, in Zellerbach Hall on 28 September.

On 28 September, as part of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's Kick-Off Weekend, the SFCM's new music ensemble, led by Nicole Paiement, will perform works by Messiaen, Takemitsu, Laura Schwendinger, and John Luther Adams; the concert is free but reservations are recommended.

It's always a good idea to check the Center for New Music's calendar frequently, as it is updated regularly; some things that catch my eye in the current listings for this month are: Animals & Giraffes improvising in response to Annabeth Rosen’s ceramic sculptures (this one is offsite, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where Rosen's pieces are on display) on 19 September; Colin Martin premiering new works on 20 September; dancer Christina Braun performing Deep States with Tom Nunn on original experimental instruments on 21 September; Harutyun Chkolyan playing Armenian music on the duduk on 25 September; and new music collective Dirt and Copper on 27 September; you may also attend CNM's 7th birthday party on 28 September, if you'd like to celebrate them and maybe give them some money so they can keep on keeping on.

Keyboards & Strings
On 13 September at Old First Concerts pianist Omri Shimron will explore the idea of transformation through works by Bach, Philip Glass, Schubert, and Menachem Weisenberg.

ZOFO (pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi) celebrates its 10th anniversary on 15 September at Old First Concerts, when the duo will perform world premieres by Carl Vine, Kurt Rohde, and Erberk Ervilmaz, along with ZOFO commissions by Gabriella Smith and Robert Greenberg and arrangements by ZOFO of works by Frank Martin and Maurice Ravel.

Jonathan Biss comes back to Hertz Hall and Cal Performances on 21 and 22 September with the first two concerts in a seven-concert series covering all of Beethoven's piano sonatas.

On 20 September Old First Concerts presents Cello++ (violinists Liana Bérubé and Yuri Kye, violist Aaron Rosengaus, and cellists Brady Anderson and Michelle Kwon) in works by Schubert and Arensky.

On 22 September pianist Laura Magnani will perform works by Domenico Scarlatti, Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy, Gershwin, and Prokofiev at Old First Concerts.

San Francisco Performances opens its fortieth season with classical pianist Natasha Paremski and jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez combining their approaches to play music by Prokofiev, Ravel, and Balakirev on 27 September in Herbst Theater.

Visual Arts
Elise S Haas: Building a Modern Art Collection, featuring many of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's prized works, opens 24 August at SFMOMA and runs until 27 October.

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) has four shows opening on 4 September: Africa State of Mind (running until 15 November), which is the only US presentation of a touring exhibit exploring the work of young photographers from across Africa who are exploring the idea of Africa; The Sacred Star of Isis and Other Stories (running until 15 November), which features photographs by Adama Delphine Fawundu exploring her family's traditional Mende (from Sierra Leone) beliefs and her life as an American child; Against the End of History (running until 15 November), a solo exhibit by DeShawn Dumas which uses painting, video, and monochromes to explore the lasting effects of slavery (among other issues); and video works by Rashaad Newsome (running until 1 March 2020) exploring Harlem's queer ballroom scene.

Cinematic
At the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive there are several interesting-looking film series: Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace returns, with four showings of each of its four parts, from 1 to 27 September; Alternative Visions, the PFA's annual series of avant-garde and artist-made films, runs from 4 September to 13 November; Out of the Vault: Native American Reelism (which includes among its three programs The Silent Enemy, a silent film made in collaboration with Native American actors), runs from 12 September to 14 November; and No Regrets: A Celebration of Marlon Riggs, runs from 19 September to 25 November;

Dance
The Mark Morris Dance Group returns to Cal Performances with a reprise of Mozart Dances on 20-22 September in Zellerbach Hall.