Classical Music

John Chest, right, pictured with Brenton Ryan, sings the title role in San Francisco Opera’s “Billy Budd.” (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

SF Opera stages commanding ‘Billy Budd’

All male cast dazzles in Britten opera about good vs. evil

John Chest, right, pictured with Brenton Ryan, sings the title role in San Francisco Opera’s “Billy Budd.” (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony played on an in-the-round rotating set in S&M2, which opened Chase Center arena on Friday. (Leslie Katz/S.F. Examiner)

S&M2 opens Chase Center with grandeur

Metallica, San Francisco Symphony reunite in big show

Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony played on an in-the-round rotating set in S&M2, which opened Chase Center arena on Friday. (Leslie Katz/S.F. Examiner)
Pene Pati sings Romeo and Nadine Sierra is Juliet, and James Creswell is Friar Lawrence in San Francisco Opera’s production of Charles Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

SF Opera begins 97th season with stirring ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Pene Pati, Nadine Sierra shine in titular role debuts

Pene Pati sings Romeo and Nadine Sierra is Juliet, and James Creswell is Friar Lawrence in San Francisco Opera’s production of Charles Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
San Francisco Symphony’s gala concert concluded with a sing-along featuring, from left, “Beach Blanket Babylon’s” Jennifer Morrison, music director Michael Tilson Thomas, Joshua Robison and gala co-chairs Nicole Lacob and Rachael Bowman. (Courtesy Drew Altizer)

MTT leads final SF Symphony opening as music director

Extra festive concert includes tributes, great singing

San Francisco Symphony’s gala concert concluded with a sing-along featuring, from left, “Beach Blanket Babylon’s” Jennifer Morrison, music director Michael Tilson Thomas, Joshua Robison and gala co-chairs Nicole Lacob and Rachael Bowman. (Courtesy Drew Altizer)
Benjamin Britten’s “Billy Budd” is the second production of San Francisco Opera’s 2019 fall season. (Courtesy Alastair Muir/Glyndebourne Festival)

Enjoy San Francisco Opera on a budget

2019 fall season offers nicely priced performances

Benjamin Britten’s “Billy Budd” is the second production of San Francisco Opera’s 2019 fall season. (Courtesy Alastair Muir/Glyndebourne Festival)
Michael Tilson Thomas is pictured in 1993, when he was San Francisco Symphony’s music director designate. (Courtesy San Francisco Symphony)

SF Symphony super sizes MTT’s farewell season

Beloved music director leads big shows in 25th year with orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas is pictured in 1993, when he was San Francisco Symphony’s music director designate. (Courtesy San Francisco Symphony)
San Francisco Opera opens its season with Gonoud’s “Romeo and Juliet.” (Courtesy Alain Hanel)

Fall 2019 Arts Preview: Classical

Concerts showcase chamber, choral, operatic and orchestral artists

San Francisco Opera opens its season with Gonoud’s “Romeo and Juliet.” (Courtesy Alain Hanel)
Timothy Murray and Alice Chung performed a scene from “Hamlet” in the Merola Opera Program’s finale on Aug. 17 at the War Memorial Opera House. (Courtesy Kristen Loken)

Up-and-coming Merola singers fill Opera House stage

Powerful students sound like professionals in program finale

Timothy Murray and Alice Chung performed a scene from “Hamlet” in the Merola Opera Program’s finale on Aug. 17 at the War Memorial Opera House. (Courtesy Kristen Loken)
Placido Domingo will not be performing in a San Francisco Opera concert in October. (Courtesy photo)

San Francisco Opera cancels Plácido Domingo concert

Move comes in wake of news reports of sexual harassment

Placido Domingo will not be performing in a San Francisco Opera concert in October. (Courtesy photo)
David Lang’s new piece is on the program of San Francisco Choral Society concerts this weekend at Davies Hall. (Courtesy Peter Serling)

SF Choral Society premieres Pulitzer winner David Lang’s ‘Teach Your Children’

Composer reflects on youngsters in the news in commissioned work

David Lang’s new piece is on the program of San Francisco Choral Society concerts this weekend at Davies Hall. (Courtesy Peter Serling)
Esther Tonea, left, and Cara Collins sing in the Pearl cast of Merola Opera Program’s premiere of “If I Were You” at the Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Kristen Loken)

Up-and-coming opera singers dazzle in devilish premiere

Merola scores with Heggie, Scheer commission ‘If I Were You’

Esther Tonea, left, and Cara Collins sing in the Pearl cast of Merola Opera Program’s premiere of “If I Were You” at the Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Kristen Loken)
Esther Tonea is among the Merola Opera Program singers appearing in “If I Were You” in Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Merola Opera Program)

Merola premieres a Faustian sci-fi opera

Training program stages Jake Heggie’s ‘If I Were You’

Esther Tonea is among the Merola Opera Program singers appearing in “If I Were You” in Herbst Theatre. (Courtesy Merola Opera Program)
Midsummer Mozart Festival music director Paul Schrage conducts the orchestra. (Courtesy Midsummer Mozart Festival)

Midsummer Mozart Festival focuses on love

Words, wine add to music in SF program

Midsummer Mozart Festival music director Paul Schrage conducts the orchestra. (Courtesy Midsummer Mozart Festival)
Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Kristinn Sigmundsson sing in San Francisco Opera’s “Rusalka.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

SF Opera bewitches with ‘Rusalka’

Outstanding singers soar in principal roles

Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Kristinn Sigmundsson sing in San Francisco Opera’s “Rusalka.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Composer Brian Baumbusch is pictured with instruments used in Other Minds’ new work, “The Pressure.” (Credit: Myles Boisen)

Other Minds’ other take on ‘Twilight Zone’ music

Group premieres adventurous ‘tale of gothic horror’

Composer Brian Baumbusch is pictured with instruments used in Other Minds’ new work, “The Pressure.” (Credit: Myles Boisen)
Sasha Cooke, second from left, sings the title role and Christian Van Horn, far right, is Zoroastro in San Francisco Opera’s production of “Orlando.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

‘Orlando’ makes victorious return to War Memorial Opera House

Five principals shine in SF Opera production of Baroque gem

Sasha Cooke, second from left, sings the title role and Christian Van Horn, far right, is Zoroastro in San Francisco Opera’s production of “Orlando.” (Courtesy Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo and J’Nai Bridges in the title role are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen.” (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo and J’Nai Bridges in the title role are excellent in San Francisco Opera’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen.” (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)
Michael Tilson Thomas won’t be conducting this summer so he can undergo treatment for his heart. (Courtesy Spencer Lowell)

MTT cancels summer duties to undergo medical treatment

SF Sympony music director slated for cardiac procedure in Cleveland

Michael Tilson Thomas won’t be conducting this summer so he can undergo treatment for his heart. (Courtesy Spencer Lowell)
J’Nai Bridges and Drogen the horse rehearse for San Francisco Opera’s “Carmen.” (Courtesy J’Nai Bridges)

Mezzo J’Nai Bridges prepares to score in ‘Carmen’

Singer uses basketball training to ready for role debut with S.F. Opera

J’Nai Bridges and Drogen the horse rehearse for San Francisco Opera’s “Carmen.” (Courtesy J’Nai Bridges)
Music Director Nicholas McGegan (at podium), soprano Yulia Van Doren, center, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale perform Handel’s “Saul.” (Courtesy Frank Wing)

Philharmonia Baroque players thrill in ‘Saul’

Handel’s epic oratorio gets heroic treatment

Music Director Nicholas McGegan (at podium), soprano Yulia Van Doren, center, and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale perform Handel’s “Saul.” (Courtesy Frank Wing)