28 June 2019

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

Cal Shakes in Orinda presents Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan (translated by Wendy Arons and adapted by Tony Kushner), directed by Eric Ting, from 3 to 21 July.

Shotgun Players presents Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames, directed by Darryl V Jones, from 5 July to 4 August at the Ashby Stage. In their Champagne Staged Reading Series, they present Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric, adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs and directed by Elizabeth Carter, on 29 - 30 July.

The African-American Shakespeare Company presents Macbeth, in the "modern verse translation" prepared by Migdalia Cruz for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, from 13 to 28 July at the Taube Atrium Theater.

San Francisco Opera's Merola Young Artists Program kicks off its public events with the Schwabacher Summer Concert on 11 and 13 July at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, when the young artists will perform scenes (staged by Jose Maria Condemi, with the orchestra led by Craig Kier) from Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Trovatore, Faust, Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman), and La Rondine.

Festival Opera presents Carlisle Floyd's Susanna, directed by Mark Foehringer and conducted by Bryan Nies, with Shana Blake Hill (Susannah), Alex Boyer (Sam Polk), Philip Skinner (the Reverend Olin Blitch), Robert Norman (Little Bat McLean), and Eugene Brancoveanu (Elder McLean) at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek on 12 and 14 July.

Pocket Opera presents their version of Rossini's Barber of Seville, with stage direction by Elly Lichenstein and music direction by Mary Chun, and a cast including Igor Vieira, Maya Kherani, and Sergio Gonzalez, on 14 July at the Hillside Club in Berkeley, 21 July at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, and 28 July at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Patti Lupone appears at Davies Hall with members of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus on 12 July (the concert is sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony but they will not be playing; no word currently on who the accompanist(s) will be).

Leslie Odom Jr appears with the San Francisco Symphony (conducted by Damon Gupton) at Davies Hall on 20 - 21 July; no word yet on the program.

Soprano Chelsea Hollow and pianist Sophie Xuefei Zhang come to Old First Concerts on 26 July with Voice for the Voiceless: Women, a program of world premieres (by Zhang, Margaret Martin, and Niloufar Nourbankhsh) and selected twentieth century art and cabaret songs exploring the lives of women.

Sweet Honey in the Rock visits Freight & Salvage on 24 July.

The San Francisco Symphony has a few concerts of interest: Brett Mitchell conducts the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (with soloist Blake Pouliot) along with Berlioz's Hungarian March from the Damnation of Faust and the Symphonie fantastique on 18 July and Nimrod David Pfeffer leads an all-Beethoven concert – the Egmont Overture, the Piano Concerto 5, the Emperor (with soloist Rodolfo Leone), and the Fifth Symphony – on 25 July.

Chamber Music
The Midsummer Mozart Festival opens on 11 July at Freight & Salvage with a piano recital by Daniel Glover (joined after intermission by special guest pianist Thomas Hansen) and continues through 14 July with events at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco as well as San Jose and Sonoma; check the full schedule here.

Strings & Keyboards
You can get a preview of Bard Music West's upcoming (October) Grazyna Bacewicz festival when pianist Allegra Chapman comes to Old First Concerts on 28 July to explore music by Bacewicz in relation to pieces by Maria Szymanowska, Thomas Adès, Beethoven, Chopin, and Agata Zubel.

Columbian jazz group Monsieur Periné visits the SF Jazz Center from 11 to 14 July.

Tod Dickow joins Charged Particles at Old First Concerts on 12 July to perform Coltrane's A Love Supreme.

StringQuake comes to Old First Concerts on 14 July.

SonoMusette celebrates Bastille Day (14 July) French jazz-style at Freight & Salvage.

Modern / Contemporary Music
Check out the Center for New Music's complete calendar here; it is updated frequently, but some things that catch my eye this month are: Panoramic Dissonances with Laetitia Sonami, John Davis, and Heejin Jang, on 6 July; Jon Raskin performing Steve Lacy's Practitioners Book W saxophone solos on 11 July; and Sameer Gupta on 19 July.

The 41st Annual Ethnic Dance Festival takes place 6 - 7 and 13 - 14 July (in association with Cal Performances) at Zellerbach Hall.

Visual Arts
At the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive, Meditation in Motion: Zen Calligraphy from the Stuart Katz Collection opens on 17 July and runs until 20 October. You can also see the Zen-inspired art of Helen Mirra and Sean Thackrey in No Horizon, a show opening 3 July and running until 25 August.

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival runs from 18 July to 4 August; they have a very full schedule (and if their website has the same set-up as last year's, you're best off just downloading the brochure and leafing through it that way), but two things that jump out at me are Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (about the musical Fiddler on the Roof) and What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (about the late movie critic for The New Yorker).

The Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive is starting some enticing film series this month: celebrate 75 years of Jean-Pierre Léaud starting with Truffaut's 400 Blows on 4 July; explore the work of women cinematographers with View Finders, with films scheduled from 12 July to 21 November; and check out Against Authority: The Cinema of Masaki Kobayashi, starting 20 July with films scheduled to 18 August.

SFMOMA has an interesting series coming up in their Modern Cinema series: Haunted! Gothic Tales by Women begins on 18 July with the mother of them all, Frankenstein, and ends on 31 August with Rebecca, exploring some interesting byways in between (To Kill a Mockingbird as gothic fiction? maybe I'll finally watch it!)

Friday Photo 2019/26

San Francisco, May 2019

24 June 2019

Museum Monday 2019/25

Man Ray, Le Chevalier Rouge (The Red Knight) at the Kreeger Museum in Washington DC (architecture by Philip Johnson)

21 June 2019

Friday Photo 2019/25

four birds, but only three can fly away (a temperance fountain in Washington DC)

16 June 2019

Hungry man is an angry man

His heart astir he pushed in the door of the Burton restaurant. Stink gripped his trembling breath : pungent meatjuice, slop of greens. See the animals feed.

Men, men, men.

Perched on high stools by the bar, hats shoved back, at the tables calling for more bread no charge, swilling, wolfing gobfuls of sloppy food, their eyes bulging, wiping wetted moustaches. A pallid suetfaced young man polished his tumbler knife fork and spoon with his napkin. New set of microbes. A man with an infant's saucestained napkin tucked round him shoveled gurgling soup down his gullet. A man spitting back on his plate : halfmasticated gristle: no teeth to chewchewchew it. Chump chomp from the grill. Bolting to get it over. Sad booser's eyes. Bitten off more than he can chew. Am I like that? See ourselves as others see us. Hungry man is an angry man. Working tooth and jaw. Don't! O! A bone! That last pagan king of Ireland Cormac in the schoolpoem choked himself at Sletty southward of the Boyne. Wonder what he was eating. Something galoptious. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity. Couldn't swallow it all however.

– Roast beef and cabbage.

– One stew.

Smells of men. His gorge rose. Spaton sawdust, sweetish warmish cigarette smoke, reek of plug, spilt beer, men's beery piss, the stale of ferment.

Couldn't eat a morsel here. Fellow sharpening knife and fork, to eat all before him, old chap picking his tootles. Slight spasm, full, chewing the cud. Before and after. Grace after meals. Look on this picture then on that. Scoffing up stewgravy with sopping sippets of bread. Lick it off the plate, man! Get out of this.

Once more a very happy Bloomsday to my mountain flowers.

10 June 2019

Museum Monday 2019/23

detail of Procris & the Unicorn from Bernardino Luini's fresco cycle Story of Cephalus & Procris in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (this is the only Italian Renaissance fresco series in the United States)

07 June 2019

Friday Photo 2019/23

a bird on a fountain outside the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC

03 June 2019