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 launch of 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:

  -- (THEATER) Anna D. Smith's one-woman show of interviews interacts with the pen-and-paper-wielding audience.  

  -- (THEATER) Sondheim's inventive musical "Company" offers cross-over delights.  

  -- (CHAMBER) The 13th year is no jinx for Music@Menlo in Atherton, CA, highlighting Schubert. 

  -- (DANCE) A wealth of dance from four continents at the S.F. International Arts Festival.

  -- (OPERA) The epic Berlioz opera about the Trojans invades the S.F. Opera stage. Susan Graham caps a solo cast of more than two dozen.

  -- (OPERA) World War Two atrocities and the triumph of the spirit in the world-premiere Italian opera "Two Women," at S.F. Opera.

  -- (SYMPHONY) A bold new theatrical treatment of Beethoven's great mass at S.F. Symphony: MTT's stunning concept.

  -- (CHAMBER ORCHESTRA) The dazzling New Century players tackle old Schubert, new Bermel.

  -- (SYMPHONY) Despite adultery in the opera, SF Symphony's Spanish program is just watery gazpacho.

  -- (THEATER) Berkeley Rep comedy updates, adapts Goldoni from 17th century.

  -- (THEATER) SFPlayhouse goes Pinteresque in world-premiere "Trouble Cometh."     

  -- (BALLET) The great vitality of Oakland Ballet's golden anniversary concert. But will it launch the next 50?

  -- (CHAMBER MUSIC) Jon Nakamatsu and the Farallon Quintet peruse chamber music over four centuries. 

  -- (SYMPHONY) One of the S.F. Symphony's best nights of all, rendering compelling Bartok and Mozart.

  -- (DANCE) Smuin Ballet explores many genres including some pop culture, following the late Michael Smuin's lead.  

  -- (SYMPHONY) Oakland in a rousing concert version of Bernstein's 'Candide.'

       Earlier  reviews include:
  -- (CHORUS) Pandora of myth takes center stage in Volti's novel choral theater-piece.
  -- (SYMPHONY) Feliciutous pairing & inspired playing of Mahler's Fourth with Bernstein's Second, at S.F. Symphony.
  -- (DANCE) Under Mikko Nissinen, the Boston Ballet is a first-class company.
  -- (SYMPHONY) During the Boston Symphony's interregnum, Bernard Haitink takes the podium.
  -- (SYMPHONY) Monteverdi's 'Orfeo' in semi-staged version on tour from London, with J.E. Gardiner.
  -- (DANCE) The arresting Ailey Co. wrestles with its past and present.

  -- (DANCE) The long, long creative thread of Paul Taylor, back again in San Francisco.
  -- (THEATER) Berkeley Rep stages "Head of Passes."
  -- (THEATER) African-American themes dominate, ACT doing "Let There Be Love."
  -- (BALLET) Possokhov's new "Swimmer" for S.F. Ballet raises the bar in visual-techno-enhancement.
  -- (CHAMBER MUSIC) Can percussion cohabit with a string quartet? Kapucsinski's premiere offers a clever solution.

  -- (BALLET) All-Ratmansky program: A breath-taking new ballet voice resonating coast to coast.
  -- (THEATER) A revised version of "Tartuffe" at center stage at Berkeley Rep.
  -- (SYMPHONY) Composer John Adams' newly premiered dramatic symphony traces new directions in his large oeuvre. (In NYC.)

  -- (SYMPHONY) The Santa Cruz Symphony under new 2nd-year leadership brings off an ambitious multicultural program.
  -- (SYMPHONY) Pass the piroshki! All-Russian program in Santa Rosa, with a pair of concertos.
  -- (SYMPHONY) Symphony Silicon Valley reverberates with all-Shostakovich program (quite saxy!).
  -- (BALLET) Chicago's Joffrey Ballet is ultra-modern, cherry-picking former Bay Area talents.
  -- (CHAMBER MUSIC) String quartets abound in the Bay Area as they play Dvorak and Erwin Schulhoff in a Czech-Bohemian program.
   -- (NEW MUSIC) The new-music series SoundBox continues, with multimedia, videos and turn-away crowds.
   -- (SYMPHONY) The English touch at the S.F. Symphony, with a composer-conductor's brilliantly conceived program.
  -- (SYMPHONY) Struggles with Brahms Violin Concerto: Ms. Mutter possibly indisposed. And those overachieving trumpets! 
  -- (SYMPHONY) Jake Heggie's formidable new song cycle on the sculptor Camille Claudel waxes operatic at Berkeley Symphony.
  -- (BALLET) An amazingly bright exercise in darkness from a precocious new choreographer at the S.F. Ballet.
  -- (NEW MUSIC) Hot and cold new music in Berkeley, capped by Ken Ueno's mini-concerto 'Zetsu.'

                                      #
             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 danubian@earthlink.net 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.
           For dissent with the critics, letters to the editor, the occasional poem, and other variety, check out our Feature Page.
                                                                    #   
        If you liked www.artssf.com, BOOKMARK it! We're open 24 hours a day, give or take a break for doughnuts and Java.
       Home-page illustration by Ann Hertelendy