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!

            Welcome to the EIGHTEENTH good-luck season underway at, 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 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:

  -- (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! 

  -- (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.

       Earlier  reviews include:

  -- (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!

  -- (ORATORIO) A giant-scale world-premiere oratorio by Garrop, brought off by plucky local chorus.

  -- (OPERA) Two short Asian-Indian operas essayed, including Gustav Holst's "Savitri."

  -- (ENSEMBLE) The illustrious Ensemble Intercontemporain from Paris mixes with Berkeley composers, with galactic impact.

  -- (RECITAL) Star violinist Koh, Beethoven, and new perspectives, in four-concert series.

  -- (RECITAL) 'Unplayable' modern rhythms: The hall still resonates from the daring Ades-Cheng Duo-Piano Recital.

  -- (THEATER) New work resonates in A.C.T.'s 'Monstress,' with a Filipino theme. 

  -- (CHAMBER) The Dali String Quartet brings Hispanic music, plus Mozart, joined by clarinetist Ricardo Morales.

  -- (OPERA) Berger's new "My Lai Lullaby" dramatizes darkest moments of the Vietnam War.

  -- (SYMPHONY) Ms. Malkki has a gift for conducting  Sibelius.

  -- (THEATER) 'Dogfight,' a new musical in a post-Bernstein vein.

  -- (SYMPHONY) Saariaho's 'Magic Lantern' is a light show for the ears. in Berkeley.


             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 here!
            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 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,, Box 1010, (note new box number!) Berkeley, CA 94701.
           For dissent with the critics, letters to the editor, the occasional poem, and other variety, check out our Feature Page.
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