The shortest month brings maybe the busiest performance schedule this season:
West Edge Opera (formerly Berkeley Opera) presents Poppea, an adaptation of Monteverdi's great L'incoronazione di Poppea, 1-3 February; they're now out in El Cerrito, but are easily accessible by BART.
The Lamplighters present Princess Ida, 25 January to 17 February, but that run is shorter than it seems since it's only a few days in each location, and since the locations are Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Livermore, and Mountain View, chances are only one weekend is going to work (or not) for you. Anyway, more information here.
Berkeley is the place to be for people who like singers and/or string instruments; Cal Performances presents, among other things, bass-baritone Eric Owens on 10 February, violinist Christian Tetzlaff on 12 February, violinist Leonidas Kavakos on 17 February, guitarist Miloš on 19 February, new-music group the Eco Ensemble on 23 February, and soprano Susanna Phillips on 24 February.
On 19 February you can see the west coast premiere of Green Sneakers, a nineteen-part song cycle (also billed as a "mini-opera") for baritone and string quartet by Ricky Ian Gordon, reflecting on and mourning the death through AIDS of his lover. The performance features Jesse Blumberg as soloist along with the Del Sol Quartet; John de Los Santos stages the piece. Ricky Ian Gordon will discuss the work at a 7:00 pre-concert lecture, and the performance starts at 7:30. Be warned that it's out at Fort Mason's Southside Theater; tickets available here.
The San Francisco Playhouse presents The Motherfucker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis, 29 January to 16 March.
At the Berkeley Symphony, Joana Carneiro conducts the world premiere of Alfama by Andreia Pinto-Correia as well as Lutoslawski's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (with soloist Lynn Harrell) and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances; that's 7 February.
Charles Dutoit returns to the San Francisco Symphony to conduct Poulenc's Stabat Mater and Berlioz's Te Deum, with soloists Erin Wall and Paul Groves, 6-10 February; Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the Prokofiev 5, the Liszt Piano Concerto No 2 (with soloist Stephen Hough), and the west coast premiere of Magnus Lindberg's EXPO, 14-17 February.
Philharmonia Baroque explores the classical style through works by Haydn, Mozart, and Johann Christian Bach; 13-17 February, in their usual various locations.
Opera Parallele, often praised here under their previous name (Ensemble Parallele), presents the local premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar, about the assassination of poet Federico Garcia Lorca, 15-17 February at Yerba Buena.
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents Silent Winter, a one-day festival (the day is 16 February) at the Castro Theater, with an awesome line-up: the 1916 Snow White that inspired Disney's classic film, a series of Buster Keaton shorts (you can't go wrong with Keaton's silents), Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad (speaking of influencing Disney - the artists behind Aladdin clearly took a good look at this movie), Mary Pickford in My Best Girl (I haven't seen this one, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that America's Original Sweetheart is plucky and endearing in it), and Murnau's Faust (you also can't go wrong with Murnau's silents). There is live musical accompaniment to all the films; times and more information in general here.
San Francisco Performances presents Hilary Hahn playing Faure and Bach along with some of the short new works from her recent commissioning project, 9 February; Alek Shrader singing what appears to be a bit of everything, 15 February; and Thomas Hampson singing Schumann, Barber, and the world premiere of Michael Hersch's Domicilium: A song cycle after poems of Thomas Hardy, 26 February.
Old First Concerts presents the Wooden Fish Ensemble in a concert of contemporary and traditional works of a Pacific-Rimmish nature, on 10 February; details here.
The San Francisco Ballet presents The Hamburg Ballet in John Neumeier's Nijinsky, 13-19 February. I really loved Neumeier's Little Mermaid.
The Beethoven Project
2 weeks ago