Classical Music

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)
Michael Tilson Thomas will celebrates his final, 25th season at the head of San Francisco Symphony in 2019-20. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc)

New music and more in MTT’s final SF Symphony season

The San Francisco Symphony’s 2019-20 season, its final with music director Michael…

Michael Tilson Thomas will celebrates his final, 25th season at the head of San Francisco Symphony in 2019-20. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc)
Sara Duchovnay and Michael Dailey are excellent in the premiere of the chamber opera “Howards End, America.” (Courtesy Jasmine Van T)

Operatic ‘Howards End, America’ a refreshing stateside spin on classic story

The world premiere of “Howards End, America,” by Bay Area composer Allen…

Sara Duchovnay and Michael Dailey are excellent in the premiere of the chamber opera “Howards End, America.” (Courtesy Jasmine Van T)
San Jose Opera’s revival of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s 2010 “Moby Dick” is a winning epic. (Courtesy Pat Kirk)

San Jose Opera’s ‘Moby Dick’ a whale of a show

When “Moby-Dick” made its world premiere at Dallas Opera in 2010, followed…

San Jose Opera’s revival of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s 2010 “Moby Dick” is a winning epic. (Courtesy Pat Kirk)
Longtime San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conductor Benjamin Simon leads Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” this week. (Courtesy Dona Kopol Bonick)

SF Chamber Orchestra stages free ‘Night at the Opera’

As Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s triumphant revival of Mary Zimmermann’s “Metamorphoses” is being…

Longtime San Francisco Chamber Orchestra conductor Benjamin Simon leads Handel’s “Acis and Galatea” this week. (Courtesy Dona Kopol Bonick)
Daniel Hope solos in “Recomposed,” the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s concert series featuring innovative arrangements. (Courtesy Nate Rabiroff)

New NCCO director Daniel Hope leads with insight, virtuosity

New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Bay Area ensemble presenting classical music in…

Daniel Hope solos in “Recomposed,” the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s concert series featuring innovative arrangements. (Courtesy Nate Rabiroff)
Calefax, an innovative wind quintet from Amsterdam, opens Chamber Music San Francisco’s 2019 season. (Courtesy Marco Borggreve)

Winter 2019 Arts Preview: Classical

Chamber, symphony and choral music fills concert halls throughout region. Here are…

Calefax, an innovative wind quintet from Amsterdam, opens Chamber Music San Francisco’s 2019 season. (Courtesy Marco Borggreve)
Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra sing the leads in Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” opening San Francisco Opera’s 2019-20 season. (Courtesy Alain Hanel)

SF Opera’s 97th season spans centuries

San Francisco Opera is staging eight operas spanning from Baroque through Romantic…

Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra sing the leads in Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” opening San Francisco Opera’s 2019-20 season. (Courtesy Alain Hanel)
Esa-Pekka Salonen wowed the audience in his first appearance conducting the San Francisco Symphony since being named music director designate. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc/ San Francisco Symphony)

Salonen makes powerful SF Symphony debut

Esa-Pekka Salonen, slated to succeed Michael Tilson Thomas as the San Francisco…

Esa-Pekka Salonen wowed the audience in his first appearance conducting the San Francisco Symphony since being named music director designate. (Courtesy Brandon Patoc/ San Francisco Symphony)
Robert Greenberg, center, has worked with the Alexander String Quartet -- from left, Sandy Wilson, Zakarias Grafilo, Paul Yarbrough and Frederick Lifsitz -- since the 1980s.  (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)

Robert Greenberg, Alexander String Quartet cleverly bring classics to the 21st century

Things have changed since the last time Oakland musicologist-composer Robert Greenberg presented…

Robert Greenberg, center, has worked with the Alexander String Quartet -- from left, Sandy Wilson, Zakarias Grafilo, Paul Yarbrough and Frederick Lifsitz -- since the 1980s.  (Courtesy San Francisco Performances)
Esa-Pekka Salonen is coming back to California to head up the San Francisco Symphony. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles)

Esa-Pekka Salonen named San Francisco Symphony director

The San Francisco Symphony’s next music director, its 12th in 107 years,…

Esa-Pekka Salonen is coming back to California to head up the San Francisco Symphony. (Courtesy Andrew Eccles)
Gloria Cheng and Terry Riley play a new piece for four hands at Other Minds' concert Dec. 5 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Courtesy Nick Volpert)

Composer Riley, pianist Cheng open Other Minds’ 25th season

Minimalist music pioneer Terry Riley is pleased to be working with his…

Gloria Cheng and Terry Riley play a new piece for four hands at Other Minds' concert Dec. 5 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Courtesy Nick Volpert)