ARTS COME ALIVE IN SAN
FRANCISCO BAY AREA!
Classical Music, Theater, Dance
The life of a 'zine is about a minute
---San Francisco Chronicle headline.
But clearly, they weren't talking about the arts-review 'zine artsSF.com!
Welcome to the EIGHTEENTH
good-luck season underway at
www.artsSF.com, the independent, non-commercial observer-critic of
the arts, your best source in the San Francisco Bay Area for reviews.
With weekly reviews on WHAT'S NEW on the arts scene: Modern music (non-commercial), premieres, theater reviews, dance, rarities, and, at times, new-book reviews involving Northern California authors or themes. On occasion, even a review or two from far-off lands. Also some reports from the major symphonic, chamber and operatic concerts, all emphasizing new or modern creativity.
Read the reviews first on artssf.com. Reports are compiled by veteran Bay Area critics Paul Hertelendy, D. Rane Danubian, Carol Benet, V.I. Hambleton, J. Charles, Georgia Rowe, Alix Schwartz, Karl Toepfer et al in a vast (?) staff of good (very good!) collaborators. Then there's our secret-weapon time machine: roving critic Steven Emanuel, who scouts theater, thespians, books and other themes in varied bailiwicks, anticipating hits that may land in Northern California before long.
The 17th season had featured 75 reviews in toto from the above contributors, bringing the grand total to more than 1800 reviews, almost all from the greater S.F. Bay Area. This area remains a bellwether in new works and modern approaches, as stimulating as ever, fed by an audience thirsty for the fresh, novel and profound. Most reviews appear 24 hours after a performance..
CURRENT REVIEWS and news follow, starting with the most recent) :
-- (BALLET) Forgetting toe shoes, the Oakland Ballet is innovating and enkindling small audiences.
-- (OPERA) In a streamlined version, Previn's opera 'Streetcar Named Desire' spotlights a promising new soprano as Blanche.
-- (BALLET) New Yorker Justin Peck enkindles the S.F. Ballet with a world-premiere entertainment.
-- (THEATER) Sarah Treem play explores generational clash of scientists' theories.
-- (THEATER) "Colossal:" A theater of football and dance---without all the concussions.
-- (NEW CONCERT CONCEPTS) Will the new SoundBox concepts save the symphony orchestra? Tests in San Francisco.
-- (SYMPHONY) Conductor Kent Nagano returns home with his sleek Montreal Symphony.
-- (DANCE) ODC Dance Downtown series depicts, and wrestles with, optimism.
-- (NEW SOUNDS) Living composers and a deafening wind ensemble enliven the S.F. Conservatory.
-- (SYMPHONY) Cherubini's Requiem, which even Beethoven admired, and Rokeach's new Piccolo Concerto stimulate Oakland.
-- (THEATER) Rachel Bond's new play about office life, "Swimmers," in Marin.
-- (CHAMBER) In its swan-song season, the Cypress String Quartet premieres yet another Dan Coleman work.
-- (NEW SOUNDS) The unique Other Minds Festival in vocal pieces, including a 9th-century Papal skeleton standing trial.
-- (DANCE) Kathak dance from India in a tribute to Chitresh Das, at Berkeley.
-- (SYMPHONY) Star pianist Yuja Wang, a Russian program, and a Getty world premiere.
-- (BALLET) San Francisco's 'Swan Lake:' Technical perfection, yes, but as frigid as the Polar icecap.
-- (SYMPHONY) The versatile Van-Ahn Vo brings her stimulating Vietnamese world premiere to Oakland.
-- (CHAMBER ORCHESTRA) A tribute to Menuhin, via English violinist-leader Daniel Hope.
-- (SYMPHONY) A podium emergency, a step-in conductor, and bracing
modern work save half the Berkeley Symphony program.
-- (SYMPHONY) Messiaen tramping through our national parks for an ubersized tone poem.
-- (SYMPHONY) The St. Louis Symphony on tour scores with all-modern-music programs, and a Mahler jewel.
-- (BALLET) At S.F. Ballet, William Forsythe has a dance-till-you-drop format---an exhausting challenge.
-- (BALLET) Liam Scarlett's premiere 'Fearful Symmetries' invigorates the S.F. Ballet.
-- (THEATER) 'The Nether' hops in and out of virtual reality. Ulllp!
Earlier reviews include:
-- (THEATER) The black experience a century ago, in 'Gem of the Ocean.'
-- (DANCE) Hi Tech, 3D, postmodern! Oh, and McGregor does dance, too, atomically!
-- (CHORUS) A vibrant young chorus singing Russian in pitch, yet unaccompanied.
-- (CHAMBER) The Farallon Quintet feasts on new music, with the latst including an aviary.
-- (RECITAL) A soulful new chamber song cycle by Jake Heggie lights up a humdrum vocal recital.
-- (CHORUS) The elite male choir Chanticleer's Christmas program gives insights about rising above our mediocrity.
-- (OPERA) Gordon Getty's new opera "Usher House" at SFO: shaking hands with E.A. Poe.
-- (SYMPHONY) Gubaidulina's 'Fachwerk' and accordion making waves in Berkeley.
-- (THEATER) Pulitzer Prize winner two years ago, the taut ethnic clash "Disgraced" hits Berkeley Rep.
-- (OPERA) A rousing, opulent "Meistersinger" at the SFO, with---zounds!---acting too!
LINKS TO SIMILAR SITES AROUND THE
COUNTRY---A consortium of independent sites reviewing live
performances around the country promises painless linkage and free
surfing. Interested? Click
Also, prominent West Coast entertainment writers have their own (rival!) web site now, featuring fresh columns on an almost-daily basis. Check out links.
Stay tuned for more every week!
Feedback time? Send comments to us to firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail (We'd like to use them as appropriate in our column entitled "Reader Ripostes." Label your e-mail "letters to the editor" in the subject space).
Or by mail to: Paul Hertelendy, Coordinator and Webmaster, artssf.com, Box 1010, (note new box number!) Berkeley, CA 94701.
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Home-page illustration by Ann Hertelendy