Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cal Performances 2010-11 Season

Matias Tarnopolsky, the new director of Cal Performances, put on a press conference this morning to announce the 2010-11 season.


I'm going to outsource the full calendar to Cal Performances itself; you can see everything at a glance, on one page. (Yay, web team!) Here are some of the programs that made me want to stand up and scream; make sure you read all the way to the end.


JONAS KAUFMANN, co-sponsored by San Francisco Opera, which I hope is dangling big bucks under his nose to get him under contract to sing Lohengrin
Bryn Terfel returns!
Dawn Upshaw is on three separate concerts! She is now the music director of a series called Ojai North! That's their exclamation point, not mine.
Jessica Rivera, singing music new and old


Not usually my thing, but there are some must-see dance events.

Ex Machina, Eonnagata, conceived and performed by Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, and Russell Maliphant
Royal Danish Ballet, in what is evidently the company's west coast debut. They've been avoiding us since the company was founded in 1748. Their programs include La Sylphide, choreographed for the Royal Danish Ballet sometime in the mid-19th c.
Merce Cunningham Dance Company's farewell tour

Chamber Music

David Finckel & Wu Han play the Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano
Jerusalem Quartet plays Mozart, Janacek, and Brahms quartets
Kremerata Baltica, with a pretty wild program of new music and Beethoven
Christian Tetzlaff plays the Bach partitas and sonatas for solo violin


Jeremy Denk, Goldberg Variations and the LIGETI ETUDES!!!!
Nicolas Hodges, Hammerklavier sonata and STOCKHAUSEN KLAVIERSTUCK!
Paul Lewis, all-Schubert program
Joyce Yang, various

Early Music

Benjamin Bagby performs Beowulf
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
Tallis Scholars, two Spanish programs called The Victoria Project
Les Violons du Roy, who have Ian Bostridge on board

Everything Else

Silk Road Ensemble
A good jazz lineup
Gamelan Cudamani
Zenshinza Theatre Company
Will Shortz!
Alex Ross! performing a chapter from his forthcoming collection
Circus Oz
Cirque Eloize


The Britten Project: Castleton Festival Opera/Lorin Maazel, The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring, two performances of each

Semyon Bychkov and the VIENNA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA!!!! in three separate programs, one of which is the Mahler 6. Let's just say that the orchestra's sexism won't be keeping me away if I can get my hands on tickets to these programs. I'm not passing up the opportunity to see one of the world's greatest orchestras on my home turf.


Sibyl said...

Thanks for the digest of events. The Royal Danish Ballet coming here and dancing La Sylphide is HUGE. Of course, I could only go if someone were actually to pay me the enormous amount of money it would take to get me to see Albert Herring ever again. That's mostly a joke, but only mostly....

Lisa Hirsch said...

You're welcome. And LOL about Albert Herring!

pjwv said...

No love for Mark Morris and the west coast premiere of his piece to Satie's Socrate?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh....that too. :)

Gavin Plumley said...

The Bychkov Mahler 6 will be amazing... I rate him very highly.

Anonymous said...

The Royal Danish Ballet paid several visits to the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa maybe 20 years ago (my memory is a little shaky). Anyway, I saw La Sylphide, Napoli, and A Folk Tale (the best!). La Sylphide starred Nikolaj Hübbe, just before he decamped to the NYC Ballet. Hot stuff!

Lisa Hirsch said...


There was some contention as to whether or not they had visited the west coast before. Someone in the audience remembered a visit 20-odd years ago, someone else said "That was the STARS of the Royal Danish Ballet, not the full company."

You got me, but I have to see them.

Henry Holland said...

When you posted this last year, didn't someone mock it at the usual suspects doing the usual things in the usual venues, maybe Patrick at the Reverberate Hills? I bet a bunch of those acts show up at UCLA right before/after they play Berkeley.

Nice of the Vienna Philharmonic to ask you pay a bunch of money to subscribe before they tell what they're going to play, though it wouldn't surprise me if it's all Mahler, all the time.

I must defend Albert Herring's honor here, it's a fabulous opera in my view, and very very very gay. I just wish it wasn't Maazel conducting, he's so....dull.

Henry Holland said...

Maybe I should read more carefully instead of giving most of my attention to the hockey game: Schubert, Wagner, Bartok, Brahms, Schumann and Mahler (6th at least). Pass.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ahaha, I was going to say!

Joe Barron said...

If you can, see Benjamin Bagby in Beowulf. He does it in Old English, and he's phenomenal.(I have the DVD.) He was married to the wonderful soprano Barbara Thornton, who died in 1998. I miss her to the point of anguish. Their first Sequentia album remains a favorite.

pjwv said...

Henry -- I wasn't the one mocking Cal Performances for having the usual recitals, chamber groups, Mark Morris, etc. I think that was a commenter on The Opera Tattler. I have to clarify this, because although I've had plenty of complaints about Cal Performances, that one struck me as sort of unfair: it wasn't like complaining that the Opera is always doing La Boheme -- it was like complaining that the Opera is always performing opera. There are certain performers and types of performances that travel frequently, and that's what they present. I think this season is particularly exciting.

Henry Holland said...

What a great memory, it was indeed at the Opera Tattler.

I hope Maazel's Britten project expands beyond the chamber operas, I'd love to see him use his bucks and clout to stage Gloriana and Death in Venice.

doug said...

Hi Everyone. I might be one of the people who is being referred to as a critic of Cal Perfs' programming. I've been attending since 1994 and always find things to attend via the "Choose Your Own" subscription. To be clear, I'm a stunned and delighted by the new season's classical programming. The Britten operas are great news just to name one presenting score. The other stuff is a bit ho-hum, in my opinion. I think there is a ton of very exciting and adventurous programming out there for larger presenters/producers, and I am disappointed that the new leadership seems no more adventurous than the old in this regard with theater and dance. Then again, the new leadership may just be warming up and our future may be bright indeed. Certainly if he brings the diversity and richness to dance and theater that the new season has in classical music, it will be something to behold!

Joe Barron said...

From the schedule of upcoming performances on Benjamin Bagby's website: October 20, 2010: California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA


sfmike said...

Lots of good stuff, but I hate the organization Cal Performances and probably won't be attending anything. Bychkov conducted a pretty awful Sibelius Fifth with the San Francisco Symphony last November, but maybe with another orchestra...And though I love both "Rape of Lucretia" and "Albert Herring," the Zellerbach Barn is way too big for either of them.

Lisa Hirsch said...

What do you dislike about the organization, Mike?

sfmike said...

Their prices, their arrogance, their use of public facilities as if they own them, and their p.r. woman calling me at home and threatening me over some photos I posted at "Civic Center" some years ago of the Alarm Will Sound ensemble at the end of a John Adams concert in Hertz Hall. I'm not crazy about their usual audiences either.

doug said...

Mike, that is one hilarious post and totally fair. I've been going for years and been pretty amazed at how poorly they run their shop and how limited their marketing appears to be. Still, I think they offer some very worthy programming (in those Cal barns they pretend to own), especially for us East Bayers.