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Operatic theme to Bay Area line-up - Part II

The Mark Morris Dance Group in rehearsal for 'Acis and Galatea'
The Mark Morris Dance Group in rehearsal for 'Acis and Galatea'Photo: Rosalie O'Connor

Cal Performances, Mark Morris Dance Group and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra present the World Premiere of Acis and Galatea at Zellerbach Hall this week. Co-commissioned by Cal Performances, with choreography by Mark Morris, this new production of the epic love story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses is set to Mozart’s arrangement of the score of Handel's pastoral masterpiece, written in 1739.

Acis and Galatea will be performed, in English, by four vocalists - tenors Thomas Cooley and Zach Finkelstein, soprano Sherezade Panthaki, and bass-baritone Douglas Williams - with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale conducted by Nicholas McGegan. Scenic design is by Adrianne Lobel, costumes by Isaac Mizrahi - who previously collaborated with Morris on King Arthur and Platée - and lighting is by Michael Chybowski.

Acis and Galatea takes place at Zellerbach Hall from April 25 to 27. Further information is available on the Cal Performances website.

Classical KDFC’s Live from the Met broadcast this Saturday morning is Mozart’s Così fan tutte - a performance which will also be screened live in HD at cinemas around the world.

Music Director James Levine leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a production by Lesley Koenig, which stars Susanna Phillips and Isabel Leonard as the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella; Matthew Polenzani and Rodion Pogossov as their fiancés, Ferrando and Guglielmo; and Danielle de Niese as their feisty maid Despina. Maurizio Muraro is the cynical Don Alfonso. The broadcast is hosted by Renée Fleming.

Mozart’s opera buffa - with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte - is set in Naples in the 18th century. The title Così fan tutte translates literally as “Thus do all [women]” - more commonly translated as “Women are like that” - and the action revolves around a plot by two young soldiers who disguise their identity in order to test the fidelity of their respective lovers.

This particular production won high praise from The New York Times: “I don't think I have ever heard a more vibrant, masterly and natural performance than this... glowing, crisp and buoyant account of Mozart's...Così Fan Tutte. Lesley Koenig's simple, sunny, and charmingly traditional production from 1996 [features a] winning cast [which] performed like a crack comedic theater troupe.”

Così fan tutte will be broadcast live on Classical KDFC on Saturday, April 26, at 10.00 am. Visit the KDFC website for tuning frequencies, or listen online.

For details on the Live in HD performances, follow this link for cinemas in the US, and this link for international screenings. Check local theaters for dates and times.

Organist Martin Haselböck presents a recital on the mighty Ruffatti organ at Davies Symphony Hall at 3.00 pm on Sunday, April 27. Musical director of Musica Angelica in Santa Monica, and musical director and founder of the Orchester Wiener Akademie, Martin Haselböck is also professor at the University of Vienna.

At Sunday's recital, he plays music by Vivaldi, J S Bach and Liszt, and one of his own compositions, on the 8,264-pipe organ, one of the largest concert hall organs in North America.

For more information, visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

Santa Rosa Symphony’s four Youth Ensembles - the Preparatory and Repertory orchestras -present a joint Spring Concert on Sunday, April 27.

The conductor of the Preparatory Orchestra, Tristan Arnold - himself a graduate of the Santa Rosa Symphony Training Young Musicians program - will lead the ensemble in a selection from Bizet’s Carmen, Siyahamba (a traditional South African tune), Smetana’s The Moldau and Aboriginal Rituals by Del Borgo.

The Repertory Orchestra will be conducted by award-winning music educator, Bobby Rogers, in selections from Les Miserables, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, the Radetzky March by Strauss, and Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens which will feature 13 year-old violin soloist, Amelie Schlager, the Repertory Orchestra concertmaster.

The performances take place at 3.00 pm on April 27, and tickets may be obtained online at www.santarosasymphony.com, by calling (707) 546-8742, or in person at the SRS Patron Services office.

San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program bring to a conclusion the 32nd season of the Schwabacher Debut Recitals on Sunday, April 27. New Zealand tenor Darren Pene Pati and pianist Sun Ha Yoon present a program of recital favorites, which includes works by Richard Strauss, Roger Quilter and Paolo Tosti - as well as a selection of songs from Pati's native Samoa which will be accompanied by the tenor himself, on guitar.

The Schwabacher Debut Recitals have introduced the artistry of internationally acclaimed artists such as Anna Netrebko, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson - and include a wide range of song literature - from Baroque masterpieces and Romantic-era classics to newly commissioned works performed by up-and-coming young singers.

The 2014 Schwabacher Debut Recitals take place at Temple Emanu-El’s Martin Meyer Sanctuary on April 27 at 5.30 pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling the San Francisco Opera Box Office (Mon. 10 am-5 pm, Tues.–Sat. 10 am-6 pm) at (415) 864-3330. Further information is available on the San Francisco Opera website