San Francisco Opera
On Saturday, April 21, the Merola Opera Program's annual benefit was staged at San Francisco's luxurious Four Seasons Hotel on Market Street, benefiting the famed Merola Opera Program. The ball's theme was "A Royal Affair," where guests donned their finest outfits, and tiaras were optional.
Turtle Island String Quartet at Yoshi’s
Called the future of classical music, Turtle Island String Quartet lends a fresh slant to the standard chamber sound. Melding the bright virtuosity of classical with contemporary music styles, Turtle Island Quartet has won two Grammys for Best Classical Crossover Album. They've also been endorsed by Yo-Yo Ma, who calls it “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground - a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”
August 7. Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore Street. Tickets are $28 at 415-655-5600.
San Francisco Opera at Stern Grove
It might be a stretch to say that this summer’s Ring Cycle is the most epic opera event ever - but not by much. Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is widely considered one of the greatest operatic works ever created, featuring four operas worth of gods and heroes, great loves and tragic betrayal, dwarves and those ever-popular rings of power. Widely considered one of the leading producers of the cycle, San Francisco Opera pulls out all the stops with a brilliant roster of singers, one of the world’s most acclaimed Wagner conductors, and the vision of internationally celebrated director Francesca Zambello. Suffice it to say, the Ring Cycle’s singing Norse gods and Valkyries get the best treatment possible.
How many other blogs discuss the challenges of being a singing Nordic god in 15-inch platform boots? Yes, fine, the internet’s a big place. But how many of these bloggers sporting 15-inch platforms are also opera singers? Much less Nordic gods? Exactly.
Wagner’s greatest work and the biggest opera event of the year Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) now has its own blog. Called Notes from Valhalla, you can’t help but picture a horde of Vikings pecking away at laptops while wearing giant horned helmets and sipping cappuccinos.
Giuseppe Verdi’s grandest work—the story of a kidnapped Ethiopian princess who is brought to Egypt and thrust into one of opera’s most emotionally and morally complex love triangles—lends itself to extravagance. However, seasoned operagoers know it takes a rare cast and production team to maintain emotional intimacy and charge amid the pageantry. Fortunately, SF Opera has a reputation for delivering an Aida that’s been heralded as one of the best.
Werther at San Francisco Opera
If you want to hear some truly amazing operatic vocalists, San Francisco Opera’s Werther is your ticket this month. Ramon Vargas, a tenor with a voice that impresses even the most opinionated of critics, plays one of his signature roles, a poet suffering from that nasty unrequited love. Alice Coote brings her world-renowned vocal chops to the stage as his romantic interest, and they bellow their hearts out in this musical tale.
With just one full weekend left before Halloween, it’s time to get down to brass tacks on the costume front. Whether you’re in need of a finishing touch or a head-to-toe look, whether you'd prefer to buy or would just as soon D.I.Y., we offer up this list of the City's best bets to help you in your Halloween costume quest:
This Sunday marks the end of one of our absolute favorite things about San Francisco: Stern Grove Festival season. This year, they're ending on a high note by having the San Francisco Opera perform gratis amidst wine-fuzzy culture aficionados and a seriously magical forest...affirming that it really isn't over until the fat lady sings. So, let's get down to business. What does one wear to such a unique event? It's the opera—generally a high-brow event, but it's in a park and in a city with less than predicable weather. But you're in luck because we think we've found just the thing:
Run! Don't walk, to purchase ducats for the San Francisco Opera production of The Bonesetter's Daughter, based on the best-selling book by beloved local author Amy Tan. That is, if any tickets (through Oct. 3) remain.
"I'm liking this a lot," enthused SF Opera patron Robert Mailer Anderson, with a slice of wry. "Imagine, a modern work. Here, in San Francisco."