Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday Photo



Mosaic
NYC subway stop
American Museum of Natural History
June, 2006

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cover of All Roles



Received from the Met:
Yusif Eyvazov will sing Calàf in the October 3, 6mat, 9, and 12mat performances of Puccini’s Turandot, replacing Roberto Aronica, who has withdrawn for personal reasons. Riccardo Massi will sing the role in performances on October 19mat, 23, 26; the singer for the role in the October 31 performance will be announced at a later date.
Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov reprises Calàf, the role in which he made his Met debut in 2015. Eyvazov’s other Met performances include his role debut last season as Dick Johnson in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West; Cavaradossi opposite his wife, Anna Netrebko, in Puccini’s Tosca; and the Met’s 50 Years at Lincoln Center Gala. This season at the Met, he also sings Hermann in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and Cavaradossi and Calàf in the New Year’s Eve Gala. Recent past performances include Hermann and the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlo at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, the title role of Giordano’s Andrea Chénier at the Vienna State Opera, and Don Alvaro in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Other roles this season include Maurizio in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur in concert at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Manrico in Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Vienna State Opera.
Italian tenor Riccardo Massi has previously sung Calàf at the Cologne Opera. He made his Met debut in 2012 as Radamès in Verdi’s Aida, a role that he reprised in 2017. Other recent performances include Pollione in Bellini’s Norma at the Munich Opera Festival, des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi Theatre, Radamès at Opera Australia, and Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca at Washington National Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This season, he sings Manrico in Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Bavarian State Opera, des Grieux at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, and Cavaradossi at the Munich Opera Festival. He has also been seen as a stuntman working in such film and television programs as Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Fox’s Empire, and HBO’s Rome.
The cast for Turandot also includes soprano Christine Goerke in the title role; sopranos Eleonora Buratto and Gabriella Reyes as Liù; and bass-baritone James Morris as Timur. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Marco Armiliato share conducting duties.
Performances of Turandot begin on October 3, 2019, and run through April 25, 2020. Turandot will be transmitted live to cinemas around the world on Saturday, October 12, as part of The Met: Live in HD series.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

More on Simon Woods, Recently Become the Former CEO of the LA Phil


Photo: Lisa Hirsch


A few folks in the blogosphere have comments about what went down at the LA Phil this week.

  • Mr. CKHD, All is Yar
  • Drew McManus, Adaptistration. Another thing you don't see every day is Drew scratching his head about a major event in the field.
  • Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise. Alex goes straight to the point: the problem is a bad decision on the part of the LAPO Board in hiring Woods in the first place.
Some further thoughts: a couple of friends wondered whether there was more here than meets the eye. I am sure there was nothing illegal going on; Woods has been in the business long enough that if he had any history of legally problematic behavior that it would be known, plus, the LAPD was not present at Disney this week. 

Could it have been a developing #MeToo moment? See the previous couple of sentences. One hopes he would not have been hired with a known history of harassment, but ahem see the problems across the street from WDCH.

Jumped/pushed? Especially after reading Alex's blog post, my guess is "mutual agreement," meaning "face-saving resignation after a discussion making it clear that he was leaving one way or the other."


Monday, September 16, 2019

Simon Woods Resigns from LA Phil

I know that Deborah Borda's shoes would be the biggest shoes to try to fill among orchestra CEOs, and yet....Simon Woods has stepped down from his job as CEO of the LA Philharmonic after less than two years. He is an experienced CEO who came from a successful run - as far as I know - at the Seattle Symphony.

The LA Phil had a choice of successors to Borda, including Chad Smith, COO (and now also Artistic Director of Ojai), another strong internal candidate, and presumably external candidates in addition to Woods. I remember nearly fainting with relief that they didn't hire Alison Vulgamore, who was...not successful, to my mind, at Atlanta and Philly. And speaking of Philly, who knows, maybe Matias Tarnopolsky, Vulgamore's successor after a strong run at Cal Performances, was in the running at some point.

So, one wonders what's up here: disagreements with the board? disagreements with staff? Problems of some kind? Inquiring minds, etc.

Here's the whole press release.


SIMON WOODS STEPS DOWN AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
 INTERIM LEADERSHIP FROM BOARD CHAIR JAY RASULO & BOARD CHAIR DESIGNATE THOMAS L. BECKMEN
Los Angeles, September 16, 2019 - On behalf of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Board Chair Jay Rasulo announced today that the Board has accepted Simon Woods' resignation from his position as Chief Executive Officer, David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Office Chair, of the Association, effective immediately.
Simon Woods stated, "The Los Angeles Philharmonic is an extraordinary organization in every respect. It has been my complete honor to lead it for almost two years. However, after a great deal of reflection, I have concluded that my hopes and aspirations lie elsewhere, and as a result, I have tendered my resignation. I wish Gustavo, the musicians, the staff, the Board and everyone associated with this organization all the very best as it commences its second century."
The Board very much appreciates the experience, commitment and passion that Mr. Woods has contributed to the Association since January, 2018, and wishes him all the best for the future.   
In order to ensure continuity going forward, interim leadership will be led by Board Chair Jay Rasulo and Board Chair Designate Thomas L. Beckmen until a new CEO is named. Further information will be forthcoming.

Museum Mondays


Egyptian Torso
Palace of the Legion of Honor
San Francisco, Summer, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

California Bach Society, 2019-20

Cal Bach has a great season coming up; I have already purchased a subscription. Here's the first program of the season, with dates and locations:

October 4-6, 2019
J.S. Bach Magnificat
Zelenka Missa Divi Xaverii
  
Friday, October 4, 8pm, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell at Franklin, San Francisco 

Saturday, October 5, 8pm, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church
555 Waverley at Hamilton, Palo Alto 

Sunday, October 6, 4pm, at First Congregational Church
2345 Channing at Dana, Berkeley 

Doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance.
Tickets: $35 (discounts for advance purchase, seniors, students, and under 30)
650-485-1097  |  http://www.calbach.org  |  info@calbach.org

The World of Grażyna Bacewicz


Grażyna Bacewicz


The intrepid folks at Bard Music West have just announced the details of their upcoming weekend of concerts, The World of Grażyna Bacewicz, which will focus on the great Polish composer, her contemporaries, and her successors. The programming is fantastic, to the point that maybe I will swap my Figaro ticket.

October 18 and 19, 2019
Noe Valley Ministry
1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco

Single tickets $20-$50. Ticket packages also available. www.bardmusicwest.org/tickets

Friday, October 18, 7:30pm 

1: A Rising Star

Grażyna BacewiczString Quartet No. 1
Igor Stravinsky: Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet 
Nadia Boulanger: Vers la vie nouvelle (Toward the new life)
Karol Szymanowski: Mazurkas, Op. 50 (selections)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski: Nocturne in B-flat Major 
Claude Debussy: Études for Piano (selections)
Claudio Monteverdi: Nine Madrigals (selections)
Bacewicz: Piano Quintet No. 1 


Saturday, October 19, 4pm 

2: From War to Warsaw Autumn

Bacewicz: Polish Capriccio 
Mélanie Clapiès: String Trio world premiere of commissioned work
Tadeusz Baird: Suita Liryczna (Lyric Suite) (Julian Tuwim) (selections)
Andrzej Panufnik: Warszawskie dzieci (Children of Warsaw) 
Panufnik: Hommage à Chopin – Five Vocalises for Soprano and Piano (selections)
Grażyna Bacewiczselected songs for soprano and piano 
BacewiczPartita for violin and piano 
Bacewicz: Piano Sonata No. 2 
Bacewicz: String Quartet No. 4


Saturday, October 19, 8pm 

3: Evolution and Persistence – Her Legacy

Witold Lutosławski: Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Piano (selections)
Agata Zubel: Cadenza for solo violin
Alban Berg: Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 5 
Marta Ptaszyńska: Katarynka for glockenspiel
Witold Lutosławski (“Derwid”): I don’t expect anyone today” for soprano and piano (interpretation inspired by Agata Zubel’s improvisation)
Grażyna BacewiczQuartet for Four Cellos
BacewiczString Quartet No. 7 
Hanna Kulenty: Van for Piano Four Hands
Lidia Zielinska: Expandata for Snare Drum and Tape 
Bacewicz: Four Caprices for Violin (arranged for viola) 

Impeachment and All of That

If you've been wondering about the slow speed of any impeachment proceedings in the face of astonishing wrong-doing, lying, obstruction of justice, and self-dealing on the part of that guy in the White House, here's my explanation, in four bullet points:

  • The House Democrats have enough votes to pass articles of impeachment.
  • The Senate Democrats do not have enough votes to convict.
  • There's concern about the electoral effects of a failed trial in the Senate.
  • The ideal scenario for the Democrats is for huge amounts of incriminating material to be made public, through a House impeachment investigation, next summer and early fall.
This is a bad/good scenario. On the bad side, 45 continues to harm the country, the environment, our relations with allies, and pretty much everything he touches. On the other hand, how far do you want to go if you can't actually remove him through impeachment? This might be the best that can be done unless and until the Republicans in Congress decide to put country before party.

Lyric Opera: Andrew Davis Retiring; Enrique Mazzola Succeeds Davis


Anthony Freund, Enrique Mazzola, Sir Andrew Davis


From LOC:

Lyric announced yesterday that after nearly twenty years at the helm of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis will complete his tenure as music director after the 2020/21 Season, formally "passing the baton" to the dynamic Italian conductor, Enrique Mazzola.
General director, president and CEO Anthony Freud led the announcement on Thursday afternoon in the Lyric Opera House with staff, stage crew, orchestra, chorus, artists, subscribers, donors, and community members present. As Davis continues his responsibilities while overseeing the transition, Mazzola looks forward to his role in leading Lyric through the next chapter of the iconic company’s journey. This announcement marks a historical changing of the guard for Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Mazzola is only the third person to serve in the music director role following Davis.
Sir Andrew will take the podium this season for The Barber of Seville, Tchaikovsky’sThe Queen of Spades, and the four operas of our new Ring cycle. Mazzola is also preparing to take the podium for Luisa Miller in October.
We look forward to the next two seasons with Sir Andrew Davis and we hope you will join us in welcoming Enrique Mazzola to Chicago and to Lyric. Read more about the announcement here.

One of These Things is Not Like the Others.




San Francisco Opera: The music director announces his departure in May, 2016. More than three years later, as far as we know, the company is still looking.
San Francisco Symphony: The music director announces his departure in October, 2017. Fourteen months later, with eighteen months left on the outgoing MD's contract, the new music director is announced.
Lyric Opera of Chicago: The music director's retirement and his successor are announced the same day.

Friday Photo



Mosaic
NYC subway stop
American Museum of Natural History
June, 2006

Monday, September 09, 2019

House of Cards

From the Met press office:
Yusif Eyvazov will sing Hermann in the performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades on December 8, 14, and 21, replacing Aleksandrs Antonenko. As scheduled, Antonenko will sing the role on November 29 and December 2 and 5, and Kristian Benedikt will perform the role on December 18.
Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov made his role debut last season as Dick Johnson in the Met’s production of La Fanciulla del West. In 2018, he made a Met role debut as Cavaradossi opposite Anna Netrebko in Puccini’s Tosca. He made his Met debut in 2015 singing Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot and also performed at the Met’s 50 Years at Lincoln Center gala. Recent performances include Hermann and the title role of Don Carlo at the Bolshoi Theatre, the title role of Andrea Chénier at Vienna State Opera, and Don Alvaro in La Forza del Destino at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Upcoming roles include Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur in concert at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Manrico in Il Trovatore at Vienna State Opera, and Cavaradossi and Calàf in the Met’s New Year’s Eva gala.
The cast for The Queen of Spades includes Lise Davidsen in her Met debut as Lisa, Elena Maximova as Pauline, Larissa Diadkova as the Countess, Igor Golovatenko in his Met debut as Yeletsky, and Alexey Markov as Tomsky. Vasily Petrenko conducts in his Met debut.
Performances of The Queen of Spades begin November 29, 2019 and run through December 21, 2019.
One certainly wonders what's up here.

Museum Mondays


Musée national des Monuments Français 
Paris, February, 2019

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Great William Burden



I've raved about William Burden before, and I'm going to do it again, because I want to get this posted ahead of about 2000 words of ranting about Billy Budd.

He was great in last night's San Francisco Opera production of the opera, as Vere, to the extent that I came out of it wanting very little more than to hear him sing the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. He is seriously under-recorded for such a great artist (a great artist with a beautiful voice, too), and the Serenade isn't among the small number of recordings.

Well, we can hope.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Moving In, Moving Around at San Francisco Symphony

The annual email from SFS about personnel changes, as the season opens:
This season, Jessie Fellows joins the San Francisco Symphony as Assistant Principal 2nd Violin. James Lee Wyatt III, Section Percussion since 2001, fills the position of Assistant Principal Timpani/Percussion as a one-year sub. The position became open following Raymond Froehlich’s retirement at the end of last season. Robert Klieger fills the open position of Section Percussion as a one-year sub.
The following orchestra members will have sabbaticals during the 2019–20 season: cellist Barbara Bogatin, September 1–November 30, 2019; bassist William Ritchen, September 8–December 7, 2019; and violinist Cathryn Down, February 3–August 1, 2020.
This season, we also celebrate piccolo player Catherine Payne’s 25-year anniversary as a member of the San Francisco Symphony. Payne was the first musician hired by Michael Tilson Thomas after his appointment as Music Director. Watch Payne’s “Meet the SFS Musicians” video here.
My personal addenda: "Trey" Wyatt filled the principal percussion position between the retirement of Jack van Geem and the appointment of Jacob Nissly; auditions to replace Raymond Froehlich are scheduled for early November (preliminary and semi-final rounds) and February, 2020 (final round).

Whither Bryan Hymel?

Bryan Hymel, who is among the most talented tenors of his generation, is accumulating the kind of cancellation record that nobody wants to see. Here's what I know:

2015 SF Troyens - sang half the performances
2015 SFe Rigoletto - withdraws from half, then all, of the performances (note that the Santa Fe rehearsal period overlapped with Troyens performances in San Francisco)

(can't easily find 2016 & 17 info)

2018 BayStaats Vêpres - cancels  most performances (March, illness)
2018 Met Romeo - cancels (illness) (April)
2018 Paris Huguenots - cancels ten days before opening (illness)
2019 Paris Troyens - withdraws from 4 of 7 (illness), then remaining 3 (family)
2019 Met Rigoletto - withdraws on Feb. 12 from March performances (replaced by three tenors)
2019 SF Romeo - withdraws from entire run of the opera ("personal reasons")

Here's what he has coming up during the 2019-20 season, according to Operabase.com:

I vespri sicilianiPremiere
Arrigo
Opernhaus Zürich
C: Luisi
P: Bieito
Madama Butterfly
Pinkerton
Opera Philadelphia
Academy of Music
C: Rovaris
P: Huffman
La Damnation de Faust
Faust
The Metropolitan Opera, New York
Metropolitan Opera House
C: Gardner
P: Lepage
Don Carlo
Don Carlo
Greek National Opera, Athens
SNFCC
Stavros Niarchos Hall
C: Auguin
P: Vick


Onlookers like me have no idea what's going on here; whether Hymel has an ongoing illness, is very prone to colds and other respiratory problems, or has other issues that keep him from singing. We don't know the state of his voice. But I can only imagine that the Greek National Opera, Met, Opera Philadelphia, and Zürich are looking around for the highest-profile covers they can find, given that tenors who can sing the lead parts in Don Carlo, Damnation, and especially Vespri are not easy to locate.

I'm very sorry about this trend and I wish Mr. Hymel the best of health in the future.

Hymel Out of San Francisco Opera Roméo et Juliette

Back in January, I expressed some....concerns...about the casting for San Francisco Opera's opening work, Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. I heard a couple of weeks back that Bryan Hymel was present, singing, and sounding good; then, last week, the rumors started, and now:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 3, 2019) — San Francisco Opera today announced a cast change for Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet (Roméo et Juliette), which opens the Company’s 97th season on September 6, 2019 and runs for seven performances through October 1 at the War Memorial Opera House. Samoan-born New Zealand tenor Pene Pati, originally scheduled to sing Romeo on October 1, will perform the role in all performances, replacing Bryan Hymel who has withdrawn for personal reasons.
Pati makes his role debut as Romeo, one of the great lyric roles of the French repertory, opposite 2017 Richard Tucker Award-winning soprano Nadine Sierra (who adds Juliet to her gallery of San Francisco Opera heroines, which includes the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor). As previously scheduled, for the final performance on October 1 the role of Juliet will be performed by Egyptian-born New Zealand soprano Amina Edris, marking a rare instance when a husband-wife duo (Pati and Edris) will perform opposite each other in the title roles. The three artists, all making role debuts with this production, are alumni of the Merola Opera Program (Pati 2013; Sierra 2010; Edris 2015) and San Francisco Opera‘s Adler Fellowship Program (Pati 2016, 2017; Sierra 2011, 2012; Edris 2016, 2017).
My personal record with this very talented singer:

  • I heard him at San Francisco Opera in the opening and closing performances of Les Troyens, the Troy scenes of a third, and Cory Bix at a third complete performance.
  • Cancelled Raoul in Les Huguenots in Paris, October, 2018.
  • Cancelled Enée in Les Troyens in Paris, February, 2019.
  • Cancelled Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, San Francisco, September, 2019.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Tomato Time!

I did not get it together to grow tomatoes this year, and, honestly, the last couple of times I tried, in containers, were not very successful.

But I like making sauce from fresh tomatoes, so I ordered 22 pounds of San Marzano tomatoes from our community-supported agriculture (CSA), Full Belly Farm. They arrived earlier this week.


Part of the flat of tomatoes

Here's what I did with them. 

A. Pre-heat the oven to 375.

1. I boiled salted water in the wider of the two pasta pots, with the pasta insert in place. Why salted? Because salted water boils at a higher temperature than unsalted water, and I wanted the water to stay hot.

2. I put a layer of tomatoes in the boiling water. My partner said "boil them for just one minute!", but while this is sufficient for thin-skinned heirloom tomatoes, the San Marzanos turned out to need around 3 minutes in the boiling water for their skins to split.

3. I pulled the insert out, put the tomatoes into a strainer, and dunked them in cool water.


Why, yes, they're upside down, because the water is cooler at the bottom of the sink.

4. I peeled the tomatoes. You just slip the skins off with your hands; if a tomato's skin was very stubborn, I just slit it with a knife, then slipped the skin off.


Bowl of tomato peels, also, there's one unpeeled tomato lurking, but invisible.

5. I sliced the tomatoes and put them in a roasting pan that had a layer of olive oil on the bottom. I periodically drained the cutting board into the pan.

6. I threw some salt and pepper onto the tomatoes.

7. I put some more olive oil in a bowl, peeled some garlic and pressed it into the oil, added some balsamic vinegar, sliced fresh basil, and sliced fresh oregano.

8. I poured all of that over the tomatoes, mixed well, and put the pan in the oven.


9. I'll take them out when the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are....saucy.

UPDATE 9/2/2019

I made two batches of the roasted tomato sauce.

I made two batches of fresh tomato sauce, on the stovetop, the first using a recipe that turned out to be nearly identical to what I usually do to make a fresh tomato sauce. We used some of the fresh sauce today to make shakshuka for lunch. Donna used a few pounds to make gazpacho, which she thinks didn't come out quite right because the San Marzano tomatoes are so sweet.

Here's the current state of the box of tomatoes:



The box is going back to Full Belly Farm later this week.






Museum Mondays


LACMA, exterior photo
March, 2017

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Opera Parallèle Season

Opera Parallèle has a surprisingly sparse season coming up; it's tasty, in more ways than one, but there is only one full-scale opera, a revival of Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie's Harvey Milk. I didn't have a really high opinion of the work when I saw it the first time - back when SF Opera performed it, in the out-of-opera-house season in the 90s - and it'll be interesting to see if I have a higher opinion of it now.

In addition to Harvey Milk, there's a recital, largely with the great William Burden and the great Fredica von Stade (keisuke Nakagoshi, piano); a gala benefit; and Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit, which is a one-act opera starring Julia Child, wait, Catherine Cook as Julia Child. That should be something to see, because as I hope every reader of this blog knows, Cook is a wonderful singer, and hilarious, and will be a fantastic Julia!

Bill and Flicka: Generous SpiritsWilliam Burden, Tenor
Frederica von Stade, Mezzo-Soprano
Guest Christabel Nunoo, Soprano
Keisuke Nakagoshi, Piano

Venue:                  Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at SFCM
Date and Time:      September 19, 2019, 7:30 pm
Tickets:                $35-$150  City Box Office            

Because of You
Annual Benefit Gala
Venue:                           The Green Room, San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center
Date and Time:               October 2, 2019, 5:30 cocktails, 6:30 dinner
Tickets:                          $300, $500 (individual)$5k, $10k, $15k (tables of 10)
Performers:                    Marnie Breckenridge, soprano
                                     Catherine Cook, mezzo soprano     
                                     Bojan Knezevic, baritone
                                     Keisuke Nakagoshi, piano
                 
Bon Appétit!
Music: Lee Hoiby
Libretto: Julia Child and Mark Shulgasser
Venue:                  Hayes Street Grill restaurant, San Francisco
Dates:                  February 16 (Cocktails 5pm, Dinner 6pm)
February 17 (Cocktails 6pm, Dinner 7pm), 2020
Tickets:                $200 (includes cocktails and dinner)
Performers:           Catherine Cook, mezzo-soprano, and Keisuke Nakagoshi, piano
Celebrating its 10th season, Opera Parallèle, in partnership with San Francisco’s legendary Hayes Street Grill restaurant, is pleased to present a two-night-only special event: the one-act opera Bon Appétit!, starring mezzo soprano Catherine Cook as culinary icon Julia Child. Taken from two episodes of Child’s popular TV series, this delightful one-woman opera focuses on the flamboyant master chef making a classic French chocolate cake — Le Gâteau au Chocolat L’Éminence Brune — which is then served to the audience as dessert after a delectable dinner complete with specially-paired wine. The evening includes cocktails and dinner.                          

Harvey Milk
Music: Stewart Wallace
Libretto: Michael Korie

Venue: The Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA
Dates: May 15-17, 2020
Tickets: $35-$120   City Box Office

Harvey Milk: Matthew Worth
Dan White: David Walton         
Scott Smith: Christian Sanders          
George Moscone: Matt Boehler                             
Messenger: Tai Oney               
Dianne Feinstein: Marnie Breckenridge                 
Mama: Catherine Cook             
Anne Kronenberg: Kindra Scharich    


[Color me annoyed at "The Blue Cross  Shield of California Theater at YBCA." I cannot f'ing stand corporate and personal naming rights unless you're Andrew Carnegie. If I had enough money, Avery Fisher David Geffen Hall would go back to Philharmonic Hall or, maybe, it could be named after one of the NYPO's deceased music directors, and I do not mean Masur or Maazel, either.]


Ars Minerva Concert, October 5

I am going to be at a jujitsu event on October 5, so I probably will not be able to attend this fabulous program, but perhaps you can. From Ars Minerva's email:

The Women of the Mediterranean are back!

Céline Ricci with mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich, soprano Aurélie Veruni and harpsichordist Kelly Savage will preform an Ars Minerva Opera featuring vignettes of famous and influential Mediterranean women. Arias from female roles from the operatic repertoire and spoken texts will alternate and lead you in a journey inhabited by legendary women and heroines as Cleopatra, Didone or Ottavia.

Music by: Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli, George-Frideric Handel, Pietro-Andrea Ziani and Giovanni Porta.
Doors open at 7pm; Pre-show talk at 7.30pm; Concert starts at 8pm
Tickets $25 – $45


906 World Cultural Center
906 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Philharmonia Baroque & Nic McGegan's Final Season There

Famed conductor Nic McGegan's last season conducting Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is coming up, and it is a fine one, including a production at Versailles! I heard about this in advance of the announcement, when I visited Versailles in February, but there was an embargo on the information at the time.

Anyway, here is the season; note that Leclair’s Scylla et Glaucus includes many of the same people involved with Le Temple de la Gloire and also the great Veronique Gens.

A Cosmic Notion
October 17–20, 2019
SHAW The Listeners
HANDEL Eternal Source of Light Divine

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Arwen Myers, soprano
Avery Amereau, contralto
Reginald Mobley, countertenor
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director
Thursday October 17 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Friday October 18 @ 7:30 pm | First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto
Saturday October 19 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday October 20 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Mozart’s Musings
November 13–17, 2019
MOZART Overture to La finta semplice, K. 51
GRÉTRY Orchestral suite from Zémire et Azor
MOZART Concerto for Oboe in C major, K. 314
MOZART Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
Jeannette Sorrell, conductor
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, oboe
Wednesday November 13 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Friday November 15 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday November 15 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday November 17 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus
December 5–8, 2019
HANDEL Judas Maccabaeus
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Robin Johannsen, soprano (Israelitish Woman)
Sara Couden, mezzo-soprano (Israelitish Man)
Nicholas Phan, tenor (Judas Maccabaeus)
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director
Thursday December 5 @ 7 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Friday December 6 @ 7:30 pm | First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto
Saturday December 7 @ 7 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday December 8 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo
January 22–February 1, 2020
HANDEL Acis, Galatea e Polifemo
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Lauren Snouffer, soprano (Aci)
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor (Galatea)
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone (Polifemo)
Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players
Christopher Alden, stage direction
Mark Grey, sound & video design
JAX Messenger, lighting design
Terese Wadden, costume design
Paul Tate dePoo III, set design
OPENING NIGHT GALA PERFORMANCE
Wednesday, January 22 @ 8 pm | Diane Wilsey Center for Opera, San Francisco
Friday January 24 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Saturday January 25 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Sunday January 26 @ 3 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Wednesday January 29 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Friday January 31 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Saturday February 1 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
These performances are not part of the regular subscription season and must be purchased separately.

The Well-Caffeinated Clavier
February 7–12, 2020
BACH Harpsichord Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058
BACH Cantata No. 211, Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, BWV 211, “Coffee Cantata”
BACH Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052
BACH Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Richard Egarr, conductor & harpsichord
Nola Richardson, soprano
James Reese, tenor
Cody Quattlebaum, bass-baritone

Romantic Reflections
March 11–15, 2020
CHERUBINI Overture to Démophoon
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944, “The Great”
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Alana Youssefian, violin
Wednesday March 11 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Palo Alto
Friday March 13 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday March 14 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday March 15 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Leclair’s Scylla et Glaucus
April 15–19, 2020
LECLAIR Scylla et Glaucus
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Chantal Santon, soprano (Scylla)
Aaron Sheehan, haute-contre (Glaucus)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Circé)
Judith van Wanroij, soprano (Vénus, Témire, Dorine)
Douglas Williams, baritone (Licas)
New York Baroque Dance Company
Les Chantres de la Maîtrise du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles
Catherine Turocy, stage direction & choreography
Marie Anne Chiment, costume design
Pierre Dupouey, lighting & set design
A co-production of Centre de musique baroque de Versailles and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale
Wednesday April 15 @ 7 pm | Herst Theatre, San Francisco
Friday April 17 @ 7 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday April 18 @ 7 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Sunday April 19 @ 3 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Friday, August 30, 2019

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mario Davidovsky

Composer Mario Davidovsky has died at 85. Here are the two English-language obituaries that I have seen.