24 April 2013

fun stuff I may or may not get to: May 2013 (with a little bit of April)

As noted here and elsewhere, the last weekend in April has quite the abundance of performance possibilities; nonetheless, here are a few more, before we move on to May:

The Jack Curtis Dubowsky Ensemble presents Current Events, new live music and "electro-acoustic structured improvisation" to "motion picture montages exploring the Flight AF447 disaster, drone warfare, Futurist Cities, Polar Ice Caps, and the Desert." That's Sunday 28 April at the Berkeley Arts Festival. Jack & Co. will also be back in the area on 23 May, at the Luggage Store Gallery (which does not sell luggage).

And over at the San Francisco Symphony, Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Dvorak New World Symphony on a program that also features Matthias Goerne in a couple of Wagner selections: Die Frist is um from Dutchman and Wotan's Farewell from Walkure; that's 25 - 27 April. On 28 April Goerne and Eschenbach return for Schubert's great song cycle Winterreise. It's too bad this is in the barn that is Davies Hall, but, still, I wouldn't want to miss this. And normally I'm not all rah-rah Bay Area but Cal Performances announced its new season yesterday, and it includes Gerald Finley and Julius Drake performing Winterreise (on 2 February 2014), and I just have to say I feel very fortunate to live in an area in which, in the span of a few months, I can hear two great artists like Goerne and Finley sing Winterreise.

The Symphony also has a lot going on in May, including Michael Tilson Thomas leading a festival focusing on early Beethoven; Tilson Thomas conducting the Beethoven Missa Solemnis with soloists Laura Claycomb, Sasha Cooke, Michael Fabiano, and Shenyang; and, at last, some Elliott Carter at Davies Hall: his Variations for Orchestra are on a program with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Ravels' La Valse and his Piano Concerto in D Major the Left Hand; that's 22 - 25 May, conducted by David Robertson with Marc-Andre Hamelin as soloist. There's other great stuff too, so check out their full May calendar here.

Continuing with the symphonic:

The Oakland/East Bay Symphony closes its season with a program called Saints & Sinners, conducted by Michael Morgan, featuring the Magnificat by Bach; Piano Concerto No 5, the "Emperor," by Beethoven; Le Chasseur Maudit by Cesar Franck; and Mysterium by Daniel Ritter. Terrence Wilson is the soloist in the Beethoven. The Bach features soprano Shawnette Sulker, countertenor William Sauerland, tenor Trey Costerisan, and baritone Nikolas Nackley, along with the Pacific Boychoir. That's 3 May at the Paramount in Oakland.

And from the combo platter presenters:

Cal Performances presents Canadian nouveau circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main, 3 - 5 May; the Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg in Rodin, 10 - 12 May; and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, conducted by Nicola Luisotti, performing the Brahms 3 and orchestral works by Puccini and Nino Rota, 17 May.

San Francisco Performances closes its season with soprano Jessica Rivera and Gabriela Lena Frank at the piano on 1 May (that's part of their Salon at the Rex series, so it's 6:30 at the Rex Hotel), the Paul Taylor Dance Company in three different programs, 1 - 5 May at Yerba Buena, and a celebration of Philip Glass at 75 with the Philip Glass Ensemble accompanying Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, 23 - 25 May at Yerba Buena, and Koyaanisqatsi, 26 May, at Davies Hall.

For fans of the baroque:

American Bach Soloists presents baritone Mischa Bouvier and soprano Mary Wilson in a program of arias for bass by Bach, Silete venti by Handel, and Apollo & Dafne, also by Handel, with Jeffrey Thomas conducting; that's 3 - 6 May in various venues.

Chamber music and chamber orchestras:

New Century Chamber Orchestra closes its season with the world premiere of Lera Auerbach's Sinfonia for Strings (Memoria de la luz), birthday boy Richard Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, and (appropriately enough) Haydn's Symphony 45, the "Farewell"; that's 23 - 26 May in their usual various locations.

Earplay closes its season on 20 May at the ODC Theater with chamber music by Alexander Elliott Miller, Richard Festinger, Ton-That Tiet, Patricia Allesandrini, and Arnold Schoenberg.

Some opera and some Lisztomania:

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music presents, among other things, Adamo's Little Women, 3 May.

Also at the Conservatory is a three-day festival of Franz Liszt, also featuring works by Wagner and Verdi (the theme is "Anniversaries and Connections"), with a full line-up of lectures and recitals; that's 30 May to 1 June, co-hosted by the American Liszt Society and the Wagner Society of Northern California. More information may be found here.


The San Francisco Ballet closes its season with the US premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's setting of Cinderella (music by Prokofiev), 3 - 12 May.

On the stage:

Cutting Ball Theater has the world premiere of Andrew Saito's Krispy Kritters in The Scarlett Night, directed by Artistic Director Rob Melrose, 17 May to 16 June.

Shotgun Players has extended Stoppard's Shipwreck, directed by Artistic Director Patrick Dooley, to 5 May (this is the second part of his Coast of Utopia trilogy, and it is not to be missed) and then opens Lauren Gunderson's By and By, directed by Mina Morita, which runs from 22 May to 23 June.

If you want more Stoppard, and why wouldn't you, ACT has Arcadia, directed by Carey Perloff, 16 May to 9 June.

Berkeley Rep continues Pericles, Prince of Tyre, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, through 26 May, and incidentally its running time, previously listed on the site as 90 minutes, no intermission, is now 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission. This month they also open Dear Elizabeth, by Sarah Ruhl based on the correspondence of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, directed by Les Waters, 24 May to 7 July.

The Playground Festival of New Works, which features new short films and full-length plays from local authors, runs 1 - 26 May; check here for more information.


Highlights at the SF Jazz Center include Regina Carter on 11 May, the Carolina Chocolate Drops on 12 May, and Dianne Reeves on 24 - 25 May, but check out their whole schedule here.

Visual arts:

At the DeYoung Museum, Vermeer's famous Girl with a Pearl Earring and other Dutch paintings from the Mauritshuis are on display until 2 June.

And the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will be closing on 3 June for approximately three years, when it will re-open in expanded form, so this is the month to pay them a visit if you have any favorites you'll miss seeing. There's a new and very nicely done three gallery exhibit on the second floor highlighting the gifts of Elise Haas, including my favorite work from their collection, Matisse's iconic Femme au Chapeau.

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