Orion has enormous antlers, but Polaris’ much smaller ones are of particular scientific interest.
The two Arctic reindeer, or caribou, are in residence at the California Academy of Sciences’ East Garden during the museum’s celebration of the winter holidays. Read More
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “Pal Joey” is an unusual 1940 musical with an antihero who changes not a whit and a quiet, inconclusive ending featuring protagonist Joey alone onstage, quite lost.
Unlike many shows presented by San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon — whose mission is to revive forgotten Broadway productions — “Pal Joey” has a recognizable title and well-known song, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” Read More
Grand spectaculars of opera and musical theater are on tap for the San Francisco Opera’s 2013-14
General director David Gockley announced Monday that the season will open Sept. 6 with Arrigo Boito’s 1868 mighty, ultra-romantic, Wagner-scale “Mefistofele” in Robert Carsen’s sensational production last seen here in 1994.
The work fits well into 2013’s Verdi-Wagner bicentennial in that it was composed by Verdi librettist Boito and admired by Verdi. Read More
High-definition live transmissions beamed from New York’s Metropolitan Opera and other major houses to movie theaters across the country are becoming the new normal for enjoying the genre.
The seventh season of “Met: Live in HD” is showing in 1,900 theaters in 60 countries. In the Bay Area, presentations are being held at select Cinemark, Regal and AMC theaters, with live showings at 9:55 a.m. Saturdays for most operas. Encore presentations are on Wednesdays, typically several weeks after the live openings. Read More
Giacomo Puccini's 1900 "Tosca," one of world's most popular operas, has love, jealousy, political oppression, an evil tyrant, torture, murder, execution, a suicide leap... and great music.
But when San Francisco Opera's double-cast run of 12 performances opened Thursday, there was more: the diva took ill, the understudy stepped in, and a star was born. The young local favorite received an ovation that shook the walls of the War Memorial Opera House. Read More
An ensemble of young, acclaimed Czech musicians returns to the Herbst Theatre tonight with the intent to keep conquering San Francisco Performances audiences.
Prague’s Pavel Haas String Quartet — featuring violist Pavel Nikl, violinist Veronika Jarušková, cellist Peter Jarušek and violinist Marek Zwiebel — made a big splash here last year at its local debut. Read More
Describing a partly staged performance of Alban Berg’s opera “Wozzeck” in London, British classical music critic Gavin Dixon asked: “How do Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia achieve such superhuman levels of searing intensity? And ... how do they sustain it, without significant interruption, for the duration of an entire concert?”
The London-based Philharmonia Orchestra, one of the world’s most distinguished groups, will play the 90-minute piece — which Dixon called “a truly exhilarating, emotionally draining, experience” — on Saturday in Berkeley. Read More
One of the best things about “A Late Quartet” is that director Yaron Zilberman (and his cinematographers and audio engineers) makes the audience believe that actors Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir are seasoned professional musicians.
Yet it’s the Brentano Quartet gloriously playing the piece referenced in the film’s title: Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C Minor, Op. 131, an apex of chamber music written just a year before the composer’s death. Read More
Oboist Liam Boisset, featured soloist in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra’s opening concert this weekend, could be a poster child for the group.
The 17-year-old from Pleasant Hill, winner of the youth orchestra’s 2012 concerto competition, will display his passion and technique in a performance of Mozart’s 1777 Oboe Concerto in C Major on Sunday. Read More
“Lohengrin,” Richard Wagner’s ultra-romantic 1850 work, has returned to the War Memorial Opera House with a production that illustrates the very idea of “grand opera.”
At Saturday’s premiere, an outstanding cast, Nicola Luisotti’s orchestra and Ian Robertson’s chorus filled the big hall with music of the kind of intensity usually experienced at rock concerts. Read More
San Francisco composer Jake Heggie's 2010 “Moby-Dick” arrived in the War Memorial Opera House Wednesday in a San Francisco Opera production after scoring well in Dallas and elsewhere.
Suffused with gorgeous harmonies and melodic music, there are few contemporary operas like it; it certainly will stay in the international repertory for a long time.
Heggie's work – with Gene Scheer's libretto based on Herman Melville's universally-known, rarely read book – is his biggest and best.
With the presidential election just days away, San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon hits the jackpot with its 20th season opener “Of Thee I Sing.”
George and Ira Gershwin’s 1931 gem, a semi-forgotten glory of American musical theater, is hilarious, supremely melodic and particularly timely: It’s about the cockeyed adventures of a political campaign. Read More
Ensemble Galilei isn’t your average chamber music group.
The musicians — playing fiddle, viola, recorder, oboe, percussion, Celtic harp and viola da gamba — take listeners on visual as well as aural journeys, in adventurous multimedia programs featuring large-screen projections, historical and anthropological themes, classic imagery and high-profile narrators. Read More
Calligraphy, admired as the ultimate art form by China’s educated elite for more than 2,000 years, has evolved with a complex set of rules and conventions that affect every aspect of the calligrapher’s practice.
That history is on view in “Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy,” an exhibit curated by Michael Knight opening Friday at the Asian Art Museum in The City.
Knight, the museum’s senior curator of Chinese art, and Joseph Chang, senior research fellow at the museum’s Research Institute for Asian Art, have put together an unprecedented exhibition of 40 masterpi Read More
"Romeo and Juliet" without Shakespeare – it’s a seemingly impossible prospect. Yet that's what San Francisco Opera is serving up in "The Capulets and the Montagues," a messy production that surprisingly turns into a rare musical treat featuring vocal brilliance.
Vincenzo Bellini and his hapless librettist discarded Shakespeare and came up with their own static, nonsensical version of the story in the 1830 opera. Read More