San Francisco Playhouse opens new season with Sandbox Series World Premiere

Charisse Loriaux, Cassidy Brown, Jomar Tagatac and Katie Rubin in ‘You Mean to Do Me Harm’ at San Francisco Playhouse

The 2018-19 season at San Francisco Playhouse opens this week, with a play which had its World Premiere last season in the Playhouse Sandbox Series – its new works program. Christopher Chen’s You Mean To Do Me Harm proved during this run that it had what it takes to move to Mainstage at the Playhouse, delivering the Bay Area playwright’s dream of having a play produced there.   Read more ….

San Francisco Opera’s Fall Season continues with Donizetti’s ‘Roberto Devereux’

A scene from Donizetti’s ‘Roberto Devereux’ – Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera goes back to the Tudor period in history for the second production of the Fall Season – Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. It opened on Saturday evening, and continues its run on Tuesday, September 11th.  Roberto Devereux is the third in what’s known as Donizetti’s ‘Tudor Trilogy’ – preceded by Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda  – although the operas were apparently not designed as such.   Read more …

 

San Francisco Opera’s Weekend of Celebrations

Laura Krumm as Lola, Roberto Aronica as Turiddu and Ekaterina Semenchuk as Santuzza in Mascagni’s ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ – Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

The launch of the San Francisco Opera Season is always a grand affair – three consecutive days of festivities starting with the annual Opera Ball and the opening production of the Fall Season on Friday, another first night on Saturday, and the annual free Opera in the Park on Sunday, featuring some of the conductors and soloists who’ll be seen throughout the Season.   Read more ….

 

SFJAZZ launches 2018-19 Season with

Cécile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner

Cécile McLorin Salvant

At SFJAZZ they don’t do anything by halves, and to prove the point, the opening performance of their 2018-19 Season features the fabulous artistry of Cécile McLorin Salvant – lauded as one of the most distinctive and gifted jazz vocalists of her time – and piano virtuoso Sullivan Fortner, considered one of the top jazz pianists of his generation.   Read more ….

Gala Concert opens San Francisco Symphony’s

2018-19 Season

Michael Tilson Thomas & the San Francisco Symphony © Stefan Cohen

With three season openings on three consecutive nights – at San Francisco Symphony, SFJAZZ and San Francisco Opera – the City by the Bay is definitely the place to be next week!   Read more ….

Former San Francisco Ballet soloist honored with Princess Grace Award

Dana Genshaft in Ratmansky’s ‘From Foreign Lands’ (© Erik Tomasson)

San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet School have recently received some exciting news. Dana Genshaft – a former soloist with the Company, and now a faculty member of the Ballet School – has been honored with a Princess Grace Award in Choreography.   Read more …..

 

Cuba’s greatest living pianists at SFJAZZ

Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Photo courtesy SFJAZZ

This week in San Francisco, lovers of Cuban jazz have a rare opportunity to see two of the greatest living pianists which that country has produced – Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba – on stage together, at SFJAZZRead more ….

 

San Francisco Playhouse spends

‘Sunday in the Park with George’

John Bambery in the title role in ‘Sunday in the Park with George’

Staging Sunday in the Park with George is certainly a challenging and ambitious undertaking. The concept is brilliant, the piece of theatre masterly (it has a Pulitzer Prize and 10 Tony Awards to its credit), but without consummate performing talent, and the technical artistry to produce a simply awe-inspiring set of back-drops, it would be impossible to convey to the audience the depth of emotion of a story so imbued with passion. If anyone can deliver a stunning success despite rigorous demands such as these, though, it’s the San Francisco Playhouse.   Read more ….

 

Philip Glass Residency at SFJAZZ

Philip Glass – Photo © Steve Pyke – courtesy SFJAZZ

As the SFJAZZ Summer Sessions continue to sizzle, this week brings to San Francisco a particularly interesting residency – that of Philip Glass – the first composer with a repertoire which has spanned the opera house, the concert hall and the jazz scene, as well as the worlds of film and dance – simultaneously.   Read more ….

 

A blast of young talent hits

the San Francisco Symphony

Two startlingly gifted and brilliant young musicians are in performance at Davies Symphony Hall this week, as the San Francisco Symphony hosts a conductor and soloist, both in their mid-twenties – neither of whom is settling for an easy ride.  Read more ….

 

David Gockley awarded San Francisco Opera’s

Highest Honor

David Gockley (center) – General Director Emeritus, San Francisco Opera – with Donald Runnicles (left) – conductor of the ‘Ring’ cycle – and current General Director Matthew Shilvock © Drew Altizer Photography

At the end of an almost completely sold-out program of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, San Francisco Opera celebrated further, by awarding David Gockley, General Director Emeritus, the company’s highest honor – the San Francisco Opera Medal.   Read more …..

 

Elegant, passionate and sumptuous –

MTT & SF Symphony release Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathétique’

Following the beautiful recording of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony in 2015 – together with his lovely Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture – we could be sure that the Sixth wouldn’t be too far behind.  The Pathétique is now about to be released – and it’s every bit as gorgeous as the previous Tchaikovsky album.  Read more ….

Daniil Trifonov set to wow San Francisco –

with MTT and the SF Symphony

Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov appears with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony – Photo: © www.daniiltrifonov.com

In their penultimate program of the 2017-18 season, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony are joined by the sensational young Grammy-winning pianist, Daniil Trifonov, who closes his season-long residency with the Symphony in true Russian style – with the magnificent Piano Concerto No 3 by Sergei Rachmaninoff.   Read more ….

 

 

MTT & San Francisco Symphony present concert version of Mussorgsky’s ‘Boris Godunov’

June is the month for impressive productions in San Francisco, and this week sees Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony mount a concert version of Modest Mussorgsky’s dramatic opera, Boris GodunovRead more ….

 

Cast of renowned Wagnerian artists for

San Francisco Opera’s Ring cycle

San Francisco Opera has gathered a cast of internationally renowned Wagnerian artists for its momentous production of Der Ring des Nibelungen which opens at the War Memorial Opera House next week. Directed by Francesca Zambello, this ambitious staging of all four operas in Wagner’s Ring cycle once again has Donald Runnicles leading the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.   Read more …..

 

San Francisco Opera presents

Wagner’s epic ‘Ring’ cycle

A scene from ‘Das Rheingold’, the first opera in Wagner’s ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ cycle – © Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera undertakes a production of epic proportions this month – the complete set of four operas which comprise Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. This dramatic co-production with Washington National Opera, which premiered at the War Memorial Opera House in June 2011, is staged by internationally acclaimed director Francesca Zambello.   Read more …

 

Ahmad Jamal opens the SFJAZZ

36th Annual Jazz Festival

Legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal – © Jean Marc Lubrano

If it’s June at SFJAZZ, it’s Festival time – and this year no less a celebrity than Ahmad Jamal will be on stage at Davies Symphony Hall to launch the celebrations.   Read more …..

 

San Francisco Symphony hosts Semyon Bychkov &

the Labèque Sisters

Katia and Marielle Labèque © Umberto Nicoletti – courtesy San Francisco Symphony

There’s a triple treat in store for San Francisco music lovers this week, as guest conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the San Francisco Symphony and the dynamic piano duo, Katia and Marielle Labèque, in a program of music by Taneyev, Bruch and Tchaikovsky.   Read more …..

 

SFJAZZ celebrates the music of Miles Davis

Chano Domínguez plays Miles Davis with a twist of flamenco at SFJAZZ this week – photo courtesy SFJAZZ

It’s Miles Davis all the way at SFJAZZ this week – a celebration of the music of one of the most highly acclaimed and influential artists in the world of jazz. The JAZZ Center pays tribute to this legendary trumpeter, bandleader and composer in four different programs – featuring the Miles Electric Band, pianists Chano Domínguez and Robert Glasper, and a group of Davis collaborators and Indian musicians who are recreating the Miles from India compilation.   Read more

 

Great Performers – Perlman, Izotov and the

San Francisco Symphony

Conductor and violinist Itzak Perlman – photo courtesy San Francisco Symphony

Usually appearing with the San Francisco Symphony as a guest soloist, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman fulfills the dual role of conductor and guest artist this week, in a program in which he’s joined by another soloist, the Symphony’s superb Principal Oboe, Eugene Izotov, in a performance of the Concerto for Oboe and Violin by J S BachRead more ….

 

Mating rituals under the microscope at

San Francisco Playhouse

Jeff (Lucas Verbrugghe) and Betty (Lori Prince) are two scientists studying insects at the Museum of Natural Science in New York

If An Entomologist’s Love Story sounds an unusual title, try the play itself!  The world premiere of a new work by Melissa Ross has just opened at the San Francisco Playhouse, and delivers an intriguing combination of comedy, cynicism, bravado and snappy put-downs – with a touch of poignancy thrown in for good measure.   Read more ….

 

San Francisco Symphony –

Mediterranean idyll

Gautier Capuçon appears with the San Francisco Symphony – © Nicolas Brodard

There’s a lot that’s French about this week’s San Francisco Symphony concert – although not everything, for whilst we have a French conductor, Stéphane Denève, a French guest soloist, Gautier Capuçon, and a program of mostly French music, there’s also a touch of other Mediterranean destinations among the chosen works as well.  Read more …

 

San Francisco Opera and KDFC team up for

The Opera Hour

Martina Serafin in the title role of a 2017 production of Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ – Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

The traditional slot on Classical KDFC occupied by San Francisco Opera – on the first Sunday in the month – is about to undergo a change. Instead of featuring a recording of a full-length work from the archives of San Francisco Opera, the company’s General Director Matthew Shilvock will join Bill Lueth, KDFC President, for an hour-long showcase of this art form loved by so many.   Read more ….

 

New release from SFJAZZ Collective

The SFJAZZ Collective has plenty to shout about at the moment. The ensemble has released a new album in the past month, welcomed two new members to the group, announced the theme of its 2018-19 season and given details of its 2018 European Fall Tour.   Read more ….

 

Valčuha and Chen guest with

San Francisco Symphony

Violinist Ray Chen guests with the San Francisco Symphony – photo courtesy San Francisco Symphony

Slovak conductor Juraj Valčuha – now a regular and popular guest with the San Francisco Symphony – makes his fourth appearance with the orchestra this week, leading a program featuring the Brahms Violin Concerto – with guest artist Ray Chen – Prokofiev’s Third Symphony, and Andrew Norman’s Unstuck.   Read more ….

 

San Francisco Ballet wraps up ‘Unbound: A Festival of New Works’

Sofiane Sylve and Tiit Helimets in Liang’s ‘The Infinite Ocean’ © Erik Tomasson

Bringing to an end San Francisco Ballet’s amazingly innovative festival of contemporary works are choreographers Edwaard Liang, Dwight Rhoden and Arthur Pita, with a program of three works written specifically for Unbound.   Read more ….

 

 

San Francisco Ballet’s Festival of New Works – creativity given free rein

This third program of San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound festival features works by Stanton Welch, Trey McIntyre and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa – who have taken inspiration for their creations from an eclectic range of sources.  Read more …

 

Three more world premieres from

San Francisco Ballet’s ‘Unbound’ festival

San Francisco Ballet swings into the second program of its Unbound festival with three more very individual world premieres, by three very different choreographers – the company’s own Myles Thatcher, and two British choreographers, Cathy Marston and David Dawson.   Read more ….

 

San Francisco Ballet presents

Unbound: A Festival of New Works

Never a company to be left behind when descriptives like “entrepreneurial” and “enterprising” are being used, San Francisco Ballet embarks on a completely new initiative this week – 12 new ballets, created by 12 contemporary choreographers, specifically for the company, in a program entitled Unbound: A Festival of New Works.   Read more ….

 

San Francisco Symphony plays Debussy & Ravel with Tortelier & Graham

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham sings Ravel’s ‘Shéhérazade’ with Yan Pascal Tortelier and the San Francisco Symphony – Photo © Dario Acosta

The San Francisco Symphony celebrates the musical heritage of France this week, paying homage to two of the country’s finest 20th century composers – Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.  Read more ….

 

Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet celebrates 35th Anniversary

LINES Ballet’s Shuaib Elhassar with Zakir Hussain – © R J Muna

Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet celebrates it 35th Anniversary this year, with a range of highly creative and unusual presentations including a World Premiere in collaboration with tabla master Zakir HussainRead more ….

 

The National Ballet of Canada presents

John Neumeier’s ‘Nijinsky’

Guillaume Côté in Neumeier’s ‘Nijinsky’ – © Bruce Zinger

Vaslav Nijinsky was one of the greatest – and most fascinating – dancers that the world has known, and this coming week, San Francisco Ballet hosts the National Ballet of Canada in a series of performances of John Neumeier’s memorable and haunting portrayal of this complex artist’s tragic descent into insanity.   Read more …..

 

‘The Effect’ at San Francisco Playhouse – absorbing, moving and compelling

Joe Estlack as Tristan and Ayelet Firstenberg as Connie in the San Francisco Playhouse production of ‘The Effect’ – Photo: Jessica Palipoli

Clinical trials are held to test the effect of new drugs on human volunteers, to see whether the drugs should be approved for wider use in the general population – and this is the pivot around which the action revolves in the latest  San Francisco Playhouse production, The Effect.   Read more ….

 

San Francisco Ballet celebrates Jerome Robbins

Jerome Robbins – © Jesse Gerstein – courtesy the Jerome Robbins Foundation

The year 1918 was a particularly special one for American music and dance, for it produced two exceptional talents – Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins. Individually they left their mark – not only on the American cultural scene, but internationally as well – and together they produced a partnership which was to become one of the most illustrious of the 20th century.   Read more ….

 

Behzod Abduraimov debuts with MTT

& San Francisco Symphony

Behzod Abduraimov – © Nissor-Abdourazakov – courtesy San Francisco Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas is back on the podium at Davies Symphony Hall this week to lead the San Francisco Symphony in a program featuring the SF Symphony debut of Ukranian pianist Behzod Abduraimov, in a performance of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 3.   Read more ….

 

Lavay Smith, Red Baraat and Buddy Guy –

SFJAZZ has them all

Lavay Smith – © Berkeley Agency

Continuing its celebration of Women’s History Month, SFJAZZ this week presents a series of performances by Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Starting on Thursday, March 15th, this glamorous San Francisco-based artist will take over the Joe Henderson Lab with a succession of concerts covering a range of themes which includes great performers, styles of jazz and memorable places in the US.   Read more ….

 

‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with Trpčeski, Gardner &

San Francisco Symphony

Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski – © Lube Saveski

British conductor Edward Gardner leads the San Francisco Symphony this week in a program of music by Sir Michael Tippet, George Gershwin and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The guest soloist is Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski.   Read more ….

 

Another opportunity to see San Francisco Ballet’s ‘Frankenstein’

San Francisco Ballet presents Liam Scarlett’s ‘Frankenstein’ – © Erik Tomasson

One of the successes of San Francisco Ballet’s 2017 season was the North American premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein, and those who were fascinated by his adaptation of Mary Shelly’s 1813 Gothic novel will no doubt be keen to have another opportunity to see this production when it opens at the War Memorial Opera House tomorrow evening.   Read more …

Wide-ranging program from Heras-Casado & San Francisco Symphony

Pablo Heras-Casado – © Renske Vrolijk

his evening the San Francisco Symphony welcomes Pablo Heras-Casado back to Davies Symphony Hall, to lead a program of music by Esa-Peka Salonen, Shostakovich and Brahms. The program features Salonen’s Helix, the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 2 and Brahm’s First Symphony. The soloist in the violin concerto is the Symphony’s own Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik.   Read more ….

 

At a glance ……

Snarky Puppy at SFJAZZ – Photo courtesy SFJAZZ

A look at what’s on in San Francisco this week.   Read more ….

 

Boreyko & Gluzman celebrate Bernstein with

San Francisco Symphony

Leonard Bernstein – © Library of Congress

In the final concert marking this season’s Bernstein Centennial, the San Francisco Symphony is led by Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko.   Read more …

 

Tailor-made for San Francisco Ballet

Maria Kochetkova in Tomasson’s ‘On a Theme of Paganini’ – © Erik Tomasson

The second San Francisco Ballet program to open this week takes the title Distinctly SF Ballet – ‘Distinctly’ being the operative word. Not only were these ballets created for the company – by three Bay Area choreographers – but each is decidedly different in character and style from the others.   Read more ….

San Francisco Ballet’s

‘Bright Fast Cool Blue’ triple bill

Sofiane Sylve in Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’ (Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust; Photo © Erik Tomasson)

Happy is the ballet company that has such a wealth of works in its repertoire that it can schedule six triple bills and a four-ballet program in one season. San Francisco Ballet enjoys this status – and is in the unique position of  including in this total  12 world premieres which have been written specifically for the Company.   Read more ….

 

KDFC airs ‘Arabella’- from San Francisco Opera archives

Kiri Te Kanawa sings the title role in Strauss’ ‘Arabella’

From the archives of San Francisco Opera comes a performance of Richard Strauss’ romantic opera Arabella – which premiered at the War Memorial Opera House on October 29th, 1980. It’s to be broadcast tomorrow evening, February 4th, by Classical KDFC.   Read more ….

 

Another winner for San Francisco Playhouse

Millie Brooks (as Billie Dawn) and Jason Kapoor (as Paul Verrall) in the San Francisco Playhouse production of ‘Born Yesterday’

The world has certainly not moved on much in the past 70 years, it seems. Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday, currently running at the San Francisco Playhouse, is set and written in the febrile political world of 1946, and clearly shows that money talked then, as we know it still does today.  Read more ….

 

SFJAZZ Pays Tribute to Preservation Hall

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – courtesy SFJAZZ

There’s a grand celebration taking place in San Francisco on Thursday, as SFJAZZ pays tribute to Preservation Hall with the presentation of the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award.   Read more ….

 

The Royal Philharmonic comes to town

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall – Photo courtesy San Francisco Symphony

This weekend, in its Great Performers series, the San Francisco Symphony hosts conductor Thierry Fischer, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and two fabulous French guest artists – cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.   Read more …..

 

At a glance ……

Goldberg (Scott Wentworth) and Meg (Judith Ivey) play blind man’s bluff, in Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Party’, playing at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater

A quick look at some of the productions taking place in San Francisco this week.  Read more ….

 

San Francisco Ballet opens new season with a Tchaikovsky classic

There must be many lovers of ballet in the Bay Area who are delighted that San Francisco Ballet is reviving its production of The Sleeping Beauty this season – a work which embodies all that’s wonderful about ballet.  Watch the video and read more ….

 

Concert version of Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ from MTT & SF Symphony

Leonard Bernstein – courtesy San Francisco Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony certainly have form when it comes to presenting successful concert versions of stage productions …… so in this centennial year of the remarkable Leonard Bernstein, what better than a concert version of his comic operetta CandideRead more ….

 

San Francisco Ballet’s ‘Celestial’ opening to the new season

For this year’s Opening Night Gala, San Francisco Ballet takes the theme Celestial, which brings to mind images of glittering stars, twinkling lights and heavenly performances.   Watch the video and read more on this link

 

Emanuel Ax goes for diversity with MTT & San Francisco Symphony

Emanuel Ax plays with the San Francisco Symphony – Photo: Lisa Marie Mazzucco

There’s an interesting concert at Davies Symphony Hall this week. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony are joined by guest artist Emanuel Ax who plays not one, but two, piano concertos.   Read more ….

 

Chris Botti returns to SFJAZZ

Chris Botti – courtesy SFJAZZ

Trumpeter extraordinaire Chris Botti makes a very welcome return visit to SFJAZZ this week, playing in the Miner Auditorium for nine performances – four of which are nearly sold out.  Read more ….

 

A momentous year for MTT

& San Francisco Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony – © Bill Swerbenski

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony say farewell to 2017 on a high note.  Read more ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SFJAZZ celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thelonius Monk this week with three fabulous peformers – Danilo Pérez, Jason Moran and John Beasley. Read more ….

 

World Ballet Day LIVE streams online October 4-5

 

Trailer courtesy San Francisco Ballet

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