Saturday, November 4, 2017

Choices for November 18 and 19, 2017

Choices for the third weekend in November will go back to options on Saturday and Sunday as follows:

[added 11/9, 7:10 a.m.:

Saturday, November 18, 3 p.m., Noe Valley Ministry: Following up on their November 5 recital in the Old First Concerts series, the Minsky Duo of violinist Nato and pianist Monica Chew will contribute to a free chamber music recital under the auspices of the San Francisco Civic Music Association (SFCMA). They will give a reprise performance of Aaron Copland's violin sonata and John Adams' “Road Movies.” SFCMA players will begin the program with a performance of the first of Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 59 (“Rasumovsky”) string quartets.

The Noe Valley Ministry is located at 3021 Sanchez Strteet. Admission is free. There is an RSVP hyperlink on the SFCMA event page for this concert, but using it is not required. Seating is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. Donations are gratefully accepted, with a $10 donation suggested for each person.]

Saturday, November 18, 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: As has already been mentioned, the eleventh season of the New Esterházy Quartet (NEQ) has been planned as a survey of the early history of the string quartet. Each concert is associated with a specific year in that history. Thus, the season began in September with the year 1766, which was the time of the first professional string quartet performance.

The title for the second program in the series is Vienna, 1784: Quartet Party at Storace. “Storace” is Stephen Storace, who hosted an elaborate dinner party at which the meal was preceded by music. The musicians were four friends who had been playing together as a string quartet for several years. According to the memoirs of the Irish tenor Michael Kelly (who sang the roles of both Don Basilio and Don Curzio in the Vienna premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro), the members of the quartet were Joseph Haydn (first violin), Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (second violin), Mozart (viola), and Johann Baptist Wanhal (cello). (Other sources about this group suggest that Haydn and Dittersdorf alternated in their respective violin chairs.)

The program itself will consist of one quartet composed by each of the players. The opening selection will be Haydn’s Hoboken III/40 in B-flat major, the fourth of the six quartets published as Opus 33. This will be followed by Dittersdorf’s 1788 quartet in C major. The second half will begin with Wanhal’s 1786 quartet in G major and conclude with Mozart’s k. 387 quartet in G major.

St. Mark’s is located at 1111 O’Farrell Street, just west of the corner of Franklin Street. General admission is $30. Seniors, the disabled, and members of the San Francisco Early Music Society will be admitted for $25; and there is a $10 rate for students with valid identification. A Web page on the NEQ Web site has been set up for all ticket purchases.

Saturday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., Eristavi Winery: Nomad Session is an octet that combines four woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon) with four brass instruments (horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba). It is the first ensemble of its kind in the Bay Area; and, to add to its uniqueness, the kazoo has figured in some of the group’s performances. As the name suggests, the group first began by giving pop-up concerts. They are now ready to launch their first concert series, which is called Cool Grey City for its association with the city of San Francisco.

The title of the series is also that of a newly commissioned work by Nicolas Benavides. This is a multi-movement composition, each of whose movements has been inspired by one of the hidden spaces of San Francisco. The concert series has been organized to present a different movement of the piece at each performance. The final concert of the season will then offer the work in its entirety. Thus, this month’s concert will introduce Benavides’ first movement.

Eristavi Winery is located at 1300 Potrero Avenue in the Mission on the southwest corner of 25th Street. All tickets will be $15, and wine will be served beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through an Eventbrite event page.

Saturday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., War Memorial Opera House: This will be the first performance by the second cast for the San Francisco Opera (SFO) production of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot. Bass Solomon Howard will make his SFO debut in the role of Timur, and the title role will be sung by soprano Nina Stemme. The other major change will see the return of soprano Leah Crocetto in the role of Liù. Tenor Brian Jagde will continue to sing the role of Calaf. The conductor will be Christopher Franklin, who will also be making his SFO debut. There will be five additional performances taking place at 7:30 p.m. on November 25, and 28 and December 6 and 9 and at 2 p.m. on December 3.

All performances will take place at the War Memorial Opera House at 301 Van Ness Avenue, on the northwest corner of Grove Street. Single tickets are priced from $26 to $398. Tickets may be purchased online through an event page on the SFO Web site. Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office in the outer lobby of the Opera House. The Box Office may also be reached by telephoning 415-864-3330. Standing room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance. They are sold for $10, cash only.

This is also a good time to prepare for the remaining SFO events for the calendar year. This will include the final opera of the season, which will be a world premiere production and three concerts. Specifics are as follows:
  • Tuesday, November 21: This will be the world premiere performance of Girls of the Golden West, composed by John Adams with a libretto by Peter Sellars. The opera is set in historic mining sites in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the time of the California Gold Rush, and Sellars drew upon a variety of original source documents in the course of creating his libretto. Commissioning and production have been shared with the Dallas Opera and the Dutch National Opera. Vocalists will include Julia Bullock, Hye Jung Lee, J’Nai Bridges, Paul Appleby, Davóne Tines, Elliot Madore, and Ryan McKinney. Dancer Lorena Feijóo will also perform in the role of Lola Montez. Grant Gershon will lead the SFO Orchestra. In addition to the 7:30 p.m. opening night, additional performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on November 24 and 29 and December 2, 5, and 7, and at 2 p.m. on November 26 and December 10. Tickets may be purchased online through an event page. There will also be an Insight Panel for this opera, which will be taking place this coming Thursday, November 9. General Director Matthew Shilvock will moderate a panel whose members will include Sellars, Gershon, Bullock, Bridges, Appleby, and Madore. This event will take place in Herbst Theatre in the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue, adjacent to the War Memorial Opera House. Like the other events in this series, the discussion will be free to Opera Guild members, SFO subscribers, and students. General admission for others is $5. An Eventbrite event page has been created for preregistration, including for those to be admitted without charge.
  • Thursday, November 30: The SFO Chorus will give a concert led by Chorus Director Ian Robertson. Associate Chorus Master Fabrizio Corona will accompany at the piano. The program will, for the most part, provide a departure from the usual operatic repertoire with a diversity of sacred and secular offerings. Selections will date back to the early counterpoint of Orlande de Lassus and extend into the present with contemporary composers, such as Tarik O’Regan. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. and take place in the Diane and Tad Taube Atrium Theater on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building. All tickets will be sold for $35, and an event page has been created for online purchase, at which the need for wheelchair accessibility can be recorded.
  • Friday, December 1: The New Zealand Trio Sol3 Mio will make its continental United States debut. This is a Samoan trio of brothers Pene and Amitai Pati, both tenors and both Adler Fellows, along with their cousin baritone Moses Mackay. The program will combine operatic selections with holiday favorites, crossover hits, and songs from the South Pacific. The performance will take place on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House, and Robert Mollicone, a former Adler Fellow, will make his main-stage debut conducting the SFO Orchestra. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is expected to run for two hours with one intermission. Ticket prices range from $20 to $100, and an event page has been created for online purchase, again allowing for wheelchair accessibility.
  • Friday December 8: This will be the annual concert showcasing all of the current Adler Fellows. As always, the title of the concert is The Future is Now. This performance will also begin at 7:30 p.m. in the War Memorial Opera House. James Gaffigan will make his SFO debut conducting the SFO Orchestra. Scenes will be staged by first-year Adler Fellow Aria Umezawa. Ticket prices range from $30 to $80 and may be purchased online through an event page.

Sunday, November 19, 2 p.m., War Memorial Opera House: This will be the only matinee performance of the new production of Jules Massenet’s Manon by SFO, details of which were previously announced.

[added 11/8, 3:25 p.m.:

Sunday, November 19, 2 p.m., The Nunnery: Tom Nunn will use his garage space as the venue for the latest incarnation of a T.D. Skatchit & Company concert. This concerts involve Nunn and David Michalak jamming on Nunn's invented instruments that he calls skatchboxes. On this particular occasion the "company" will consist of vocalist Lorin Benedict and composer Tom Bickley, another vocalist who also plays recorders and works with electronics. The program will begin with a series of four duos, first T.D. Skatchit, then Benedict and Bickley joining the pair, each in a separate set. Next Benedict and Bickley will do a duo improvisation of their own. Finally, there will be a quartet improvisation involving all four musicians.  The Nunnery is located in the Mission at 3016 25th Street. There is no charge for admission, but donations will be collected. The preferred amount is usually $10.

Sunday, November 19, 2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall: Christian Reif will conduct the first performance in the 35th anniversary season of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO). Pianist Leyla Kabuli, winner of the SFSYO Concerto Competition, will be featured in a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Opus 18 (second) piano concerto in C minor. The second half of the program will be devoted to Edward Elgar's "Enigma" variations; and the program will begin with Detlev Glanert's first "American" prelude.

Ticket prices are $55 for reserved seats in the Loge and Side Boxes and $15 for general admission. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. There are also a hyperlinks for sound clips from the Rachmaninoff and Elgar selections. Both of these hyperlinks require Flash for listening. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.]

Sunday, November 19, 3 p.m., Taube Atrium Theatre: Symphony Parnassus will open its 2017–18 season as the next ensemble to perform in the Taube Atrium Theatre space. The soloist will be fourteen-year-old violinist Pierce Wang, playing the seldom-heard E minor concerto by Julius Conus. The program will also include the world premiere of “What Wondrous Love” by Bay Area composer Preben Artonsen, The second half of the program will be devoted to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 47 (fifth) symphony in D minor. Ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students and those under the age of 26. Tickets may be purchased in advance online from a Brown Paper Tickets event page.

Sunday, November 19, 4 p.m., Noe Valley Ministry: Noe Valley Chamber Music will continue its 25th anniversary season with a recital by this season’s ensemble of emerging artists. The group is the Lazuli String Quartet, whose members are violinists Clare Armenante and Joseph Christianson, violist Justine Preston, and cellist Evan Khan. The group was formed in 2015 by four students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

They have prepared an imaginative program structured around the work of the composer Benjamin Britten. They will conclude with his second quartet in C major and begin with his arrangement of Henry Purcell’s “Chacony” in G minor. They will also play the three pieces called “Idylls” by Britten’s teacher, Frank Bridge. The remaining work on the program will be Rebecca Clarke’s “Poem.”

The Noe Valley Ministry is located in Noe Valley at 1021 Sanchez Street. Tickets are $30 at the door with a $25 rate for seniors and a $15 rate for students. (Those over the age of eighteen will be required to show valid identification as confirmation of full-time status.) Children younger than thirteen will be admitted for free. If purchased in advance through a Brown Paper Tickets event page, general admission will be discounted to $25. Tickets may also be purchased in advance by calling NVCM at 415-648-5236.

Sunday, November 19, 4 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church: The second concert of the weekend to take place at St. Mark’s will be the second program in the 2017–18 season of the San Francisco Early Music Society will be entitled 1517–German Music Before and After the Reformation. By now most readers probably know that this year is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Los Angeles-based Ciaramella ensemble has prepared a program that will survey different approaches to instrumental music-making, both sacred and secular, that were taking place 500 years ago.

Ticket prices range from $45 down to $15. Tickets may be ordered by calling 510-528-1725. They may also be ordered online through an event page that allows selection from a seating chart. Discounts of up to 25% are applicable for memberships and subscriptions for three or more concerts.

[added 11/12, 9:40 a.m.:

Sunday, November 19, 4 p.m., Church of the Advent of Christ the King:  The next Third Sunday Concert will be a visit from the professional alumni ensemble of the Oakland-based Pacific Boychoir Academy. They will present a program entitled Harmony in Times of Conflict. The selections will draw upon music as early as the Renaissance and as recent as contemporary pop. There will also be a variety of folk sources, including not only folk songs but also hymns, glees, spirituals, and shanties.

The Church of the Advent of Christ the King is located at 261 Fell Street, between Franklin Street and Gough Street. The entry is diagonally across the street from the SFJAZZ Center. Those driving will be able to use the parking lot adjacent to the church whose entrance is on Hickory Street. These concerts are free, but a donation of $20 is suggested. A festive reception will follow the performance.

Sunday, November 19, 7:30 p.m., Musicians Union Hall: The next concert to be offered by Outsound Presents in the Static Illusion Methodical Madness (SIMM) Series will consist of two sets of inventive composition work. The first set will present the duo of drummer Tim DeCillis and guitarist Karl Evangelista. They will be followed by guitarist James Freeman, performing with violinist Yehudit. This will be a celebration of Jassical, their latest recording on Edgetone Records. The Musicians Union Hall is located at 116 9th Street, near the corner of Mission Street. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $10 and $20.]

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