What would the holidays be without two time honored traditions, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet and Handles Messiah? For those fin the S.F. Bay Area with a passion for one or the other or both, you have ample opportunity to enjoy them this holiday season. I have listed below only a few of the excellent productions of both that are available to Bay Area residents this season. Remember, what you see listed below is only the tip of the iceburg.
Perhaps the most quintessential of all Nutcrackers in and about the Bay is that produced each year by the San Francisco Ballet co. and performed at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. This year the setting is San Francisco, 1915.
Also in San Francisco, The City Ballet School is staging their production at the Palace of Fine Arts, and how’s this for a fun take on the traditional theme? Come join in the fun at The Dance-Along Nutcracker, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Across the Bay at Oakland’s Paramont Theater, the Oakland Balled is offering their production.
Those in the North Bay and The Wine Country have no shortage of options. Marin Ballet will be performing one weekend only in the stunning Marin Center, and how’s this for a clever take on the traditional holiday theme? In Tiburon you may watch all the traditional characters: Clara, the king of mice, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker himself go through their antics through the artistry and ingenuity of The Puppet Company, and get this – IT’S FREE! Talk about a Christmas present!
And further north in the heart of wine country, The Nutcracker is being performed at Rohnert Park’s Spreckes performing Arts Center.
Now, those of you needing to get your annual Messiah fix don’t have to go begging. There’s plenty to go ‘round beginning with The San Francisco Symphony and Chorus at Davies Symphony Hall. The annual and much anticipated, “Sing it yourself Messiah” will be happening at Mission Dolores and at Grace Cathedral, the American Bach Soloists will be performing the Messiah on period instrumets. In Berkeley, Handle’s masterpiece will be presented at Zelllerbach Auditorium.
In The Wine Country you have two oppoetunities. At the Spreckels Performing Arts Center, you have another opportunity to participate in a “Sing Along Mesia,” and just up the road at the incomparable Weill Hall, the Messiah will be performed by The Philharmonia Baroque., and they are asking those who attend this concert to bring conributons in the form of non-perishable food for their Golden Ticket Holiday Food Drive, in exchange for which you will receive an envelope that will contain vouchers for any of a variety of goodies.