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A stellar line-up of performances in the Bay Area this week

Sarah Lamb as Princess Aurora and Bennet Gartside as the English Prince in Act I of The Royal Ballet's 'The Sleeping Beauty'
Sarah Lamb as Princess Aurora and Bennet Gartside as the English Prince in Act I of The Royal Ballet's 'The Sleeping Beauty'
Photo: ROH/Johan Persson

Bay Area ballet enthusiasts can enjoy a rare treat this evening, Thursday, March 20 - a cinema screening of The Royal Ballet’s exquisite production of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. This performance opened the Company’s Spring Season at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden last evening and is being shown at numerous cinemas in and around the Bay Area.

Starring Sarah Lamb as Princess Aurora and Steven McRae as Prince Florimund, the production features Marius Petipa’s original choreography, with additional choreography by Anthony Dowell, Frederick Ashton and Christopher Wheeldon. Production is by Monica Mason (former Director of The Royal Ballet) and Christopher Newton, with original designs by Oliver Messel, and additional designs by Peter Farmer.

A location map of all Bay Area cinemas screening this performance can be found on the Royal Opera House website, and The Royal Ballet has also made available an online Digital Guide - containing specially selected films, articles and exclusives about the production - which can be downloaded via this link.

More of Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography can be seen in San Francisco Ballet’s widely acclaimed performance of his production of Cinderella which continues to draw the crowds this week - so much so that, by popular demand, an additional performance has been scheduled for Friday March 21. Playing to packed houses and receiving standing ovations at every performance, it’s a production not to be missed.

To see video clips of Cinderella and for information on tickets, visit the San Francisco Ballet website.

Thursday March 20 also sees a recital at Davies Symphony Hall by Evgeny Kissin. Having made his debut with the Moscow Philharmonic at the age of 13, he is regarded as one of the most remarkably gifted pianists of his generation. Appearing as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, Mr Kissin plays the music of Schubert and Scriabin - Schubert’s Sonata in D major, Scriabin’s Sonata No 2 and Selections from his Twelve Études.

For information on tickets, please visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

SFJAZZ has a wonderful program starting this evening (March 20) as well - Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Billed as “arguably the most famous jazz musician alive”, Marsalis (currently Artistic Director of Jazz at New York’s Lincoln Center) is the recipient of an unrivaled number of awards and accolades - amongst them nine Grammys, and the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Music awarded to a jazz artist. He was also the 2011 NEA Jazz Master, and has led the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra since 1988.

The Orchestra presents five different programs at SFJAZZ this week, featuring the music of Duke Ellington, the music of New Orleans, the music of Count Basie, of Charles Mingus and of Thelonius Monk. All performances are sold out, but it’s worth checking on the day for returns. Dates and details can be found on www.sfjazz.org.

Smuin Ballet’s Bay Area tour continues this week, taking its winter dance series, XXtremes, to the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts - a run which extends until March 23. The Company’s 20th Anniversary Season features Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land - his tribute to choreographer John Cranko - Dear Miss Cline by Choreographer in Residence, Amy Seiwert, and Michael Smuin’s Carmina Burana, set to the 1937 cantata by Carl Orff.

The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck is the featured work in Classical KDFC’s Live from the Met broadcast on Saturday morning.

Conductor James Levine, a long-time champion of this Wozzeck, leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this production of Berg’s tragic story of passion, infidelity, despair and death. Berg's first opera, it was written between 1914 and 1922, and first performed in 1925. Soprano Deborah Voigt as Marie and baritone Thomas Hampson - in the title role - both make their debut performances in this highly emotional work.

The broadcast starts at 10.00 am on Saturday, March 22, on KDFC. For tuning frequencies, or to listen online, visit www.kdfc.com.

The San Francisco Playhouse presents a new production this week - Bauer - by Bay Area playwright Lauren Gunderson, a work which has been in development at the Playhouse since 2011, and the Company’s first World Premiere Commission on the main stage.

Considered by Solomon Guggenheim to be an even greater painter than his contemporary, Kandinsky, Rudolf Bauer sketched on scraps of paper during his imprisonment by the Nazis to satisfy his need to create. He also conducted a long-term and tempestuous love affair with Hilla Rebay, curator of the Guggenheim, but in the 1950s he suddenly stopped painting, and his works were relegated to the basement of the museum. Lauren Gunderson’s play, directed by Bill English, explores the circumstances which led to the disappearance of Bauer’s work from public display.

Bauer opens on March 22 and runs until April 19. For more information and tickets, visit the San Francisco Playhouse website.

Running concurrently with this production is a restrospective of Rudolf Bauer at the Weinstein Gallery in Geary Street. This major exhibition spans five decades of his life, and includes original oil paintings as well as his works on paper - many of which are being exhibited for the first time in 50 years. The exhibition runs until April 30 - for more information, visit www.weinstein.com.

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