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In and around the Bay Area this week - Part II

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In the second part of our round-up of Bay Area events for this week, we highlight productions taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

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Every Saturday morning, during the Metropolitan Opera season, Classical KDFC broadcasts Live from the Met, and this week’s production is Verdi’s Falstaff. Robert Carsen's new production of Falstaff, conducted by Music Director James Levine, stars Ambrogio Maestri in the title role of the production which opened on December 6 to rave reviews.

The KDFC broadcast of Falstaff begins at 11.00 am on Saturday, December 14. For details on tuning, or to listen online, visit the KDFC website.

On Saturday evening, Cal Performances welcomes the return of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra to Zellerbach Hall for what has become a popular holiday season tradition - a glorious performance of Handel's Messiah, conducted by Music director Nicholas McGegan.

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah at Zellerbach Hall on Saturday, December 14. For more information and tickets, please visit the Cal Performances website.

There’s a chance this weekend for ballet enthusiasts in San Francisco and San Rafael to see a screen version of the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker in 3D. Under the leadership of the Mariinsky’s Artistic Director, conductor Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky Theatre was the first ballet company in the world to embrace 3D technology, and this production has been brought to the screen by SpectiCast, an industry leader in the distribution of art films. This production was filmed at the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where the original Nutcracker was first performed over 120 years ago.

The Nutcracker is showing at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco on Saturday, December 14th, and at the Christopher B Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, on Sunday December 15 and also Thursday December 19.

If you don’t yet know about the Salon Series at San Francisco’s Hotel Rex, you’re missing out on book and poetry readings, art shows and cabaret music reminiscent of the 1920s and 30s art and literary salons of 1920s Bohemian Paris. This Salon Series of intimate, drop-in events is designed to encourage conversation and an appreciation of art, literature and music - as well as good food and wine.

Every Saturday evening, Sebastian Boswell III and Adam Sachs (of San Francisco’s Absolute Magic Shows) present Magic at the Rex in the hotel’s Sutter Streetside Cocktail Lounge. Forthcoming events include The Magic Theater play readings, and Society Cabaret Shows in the Salon Room. For information on forthcoming events and updates, see the event schedule at https://www.facebook.com/HotelRex, call 415-433-4334 - or keep an eye on this column. The Hotel Rex is at 562 Sutter Street (between Mason & Powell near Union Square).

On Sunday December 15, Santa Rosa Symphony under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Michael Berkowitz, presents A Very Merry Holiday Pops Concert. Also featuring the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus, the program will feature favourites such as Carol of the Bells, White Christmas, Baby It’s Cold Outside, as well as the beautiful and moving Ave Maria and O Holy Night. Maestro Berkowitz will give a pre-concert talk at 2 pm, and the concert begins at 3.00 pm.

Tickets for the Symphony Pops concerts are available only from the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts Box Office (707) 546-3600 and at their website: wellsfargocenterarts.org.

Not only will The Nutcracker be shown in certain cinemas in the Bay Area this weekend, but the Bolshoi Ballet’s presentation of The Sleeping Beauty will also be screened - in San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa. Yuri Grigorovich’s adaptation of Marius Petipa’s choreography is being brought to the screen by Emerging Pictures, in a production which features David Hallberg as Prince Désirè, and Svetlana Zakharova as Princess Aurora. David Hallberg is the first ever American principal dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet, and this performance was one of the very first performed in the magnificent, newly renovated Bolshoi Theatre.

The Sleeping Beauty will be screened in San Franciso, at the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, December 15, in San Jose on December 15 and 17 at the Camera 3 Cinema, and at the Summerfield Cinemas
in Santa Rosa, also on December 15 and 17.

For information about the show times, and to purchase tickets, please visit the Emerging Pictures website.

Billed as the Bay Area’s most traditional unconventional holiday concert, Let Us Break Bread Together: A Holiday Celebration takes place on Sunday, December 15. Considered by many concert-goers to be the musical highlight of the holiday season, the concert is conducted by Michael Morgan, and features top choirs singing classical favorites and audience sing-alongs. It’s presented by Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Symphony Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Mt Eden High School Choir, Crystal Children’s Choir, klezmer band Kugelplex, Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir, Larry Batiste, and Claytoven Richardson.

Let us Break Bread Together takes place at the Paramount Theatre, Oakland. For more information, please visit http://www.oebs.org/

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