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This weekend in the Bay Area

Smuin Ballet in Kirian's 'Return to a Strange Land'
Smuin Ballet in Kirian's 'Return to a Strange Land'
Photo: Keith Sutter

Smuin Ballet's winter dance series, XXtremes, opens its Bay Area tour this week. The Company’s 20th Anniversary Season - featuring a line-up of works highlighting the versatility of its dancers - was launched in San Francisco last fall. Now, audiences in Walnut Creek, Mountain View and Carmel have an opportunity to see Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land - his tribute to choreographer John Cranko, set to four pieces for solo piano by Czech composer Leoš Janáček - Dear Miss Cline by Choreographer in Residence, Amy Seiwert, and Michael Smuin’s Carmina Burana, set to the 1937 cantata by Carl Orff.

This weekend’s performances - on March 14 and 15 - are at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. For tickets, either call the venue on (925) 295-1400, or visit www.smuinballet.org. The Company performs at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts from March 19 to 23, and the Sunset Center in Carmel on March 28 and 29.

There’s more dance on offer this weekend, as San Francisco Performances presents the West Coast premiere of Like Lazarus Did by New York choreographer, Stephen Petronio. Created in collaboration with composer Son Lux and visual artist Janine Antoni, this evening-length work features an original electro-acoustic score, and a live appearance by the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

Like Lazarus Did explores the notions of transformation and rebirth, the score drawing from a range of spiritual music and texts such as American slave songs and meditative drones of Eastern mysticism. Throughout the performance, Janine Antoni meditates, whilst suspended above the stage in what’s described as “a hanging sculpture of her own creation”.

Like Lazarus Did is at the Lam Research Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on March 14 and 15. For tickets, call (415) 978 2787 or visit www.sfperformances.org

The 2013-14 concert series of the San Francisco Early Music Society draws to a close this weekend with a program entitled Amaryllis—Love songs and Consorts from the Courts and Countryside of Renaissance Europe. Featuring the Farallon Recorder Quartet, soprano Jennifer Paulino and lutenist John Lenti, the performances take place in three centers -

First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto on March 14
St John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, on March 15
St Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco, on March 16

For further details, visit www.sfems.org. Tickets can be purchased on this website or by calling (510) 528 1725 (Monday through Thursday, 9am to 11:30am).

This Saturday’s Live from the Met broadcast on KDFC - the Bay Area’s listener-supported classical music radio station - is Massenet’s adaptation of Goethe’s tragic romance, Werther. With libretto by Edouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann, the performance is sung in French, and features tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, with mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch as Charlotte.

This new production is directed and designed by Richard Eyre and Rob Howell (creators of the Met’s recent staging of Carmen), and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus is conducted by rising young maestro Alain Altinoglu.

For tuning frequences in the Bay Area, or to listen online, visit www.kdfc.com.

This production of Werther is to be screened live in HD in cinemas around the world - a list of which can be found on the Met Opera’s Live in HD webpage.

French coloratura soprano, Natalie Dessay, makes her debut at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday, part of a spring tour which includes appearances in Boston, at Carnegie Hall in New York, in Canada, Korea and France. In a recital of French and German art songs, Ms Dessay is accompanied by her long-time collaborator, pianist Philippe Cassard.

Ms Dessay performs songs by Clara Schumann, Brahms, Duparc, Strauss, Fauré, Poulenc and Debussy, at Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday, March 15. For further details and information on tickets, please visit the San Francisco Symphony website.

The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts presents a performance by the Glen Miller Orchestra with the Moonlight Serenaders, on Saturday afternoon. Known as the world’s most popular big band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra tours the globe, in tribute to the illustrious bandleader from which it takes its name. Big band hits from the time of the Second World War include In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade and Chattanooga Choo Choo.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Moonlight Serenaders appear at the Person Theater on Saturday, March 15, at 3.00 pm, with a pre-show discussion at 2.00 pm. For tickets and further information, visit the Wells Fargo Center website.

The Haifa Symphony Orchestra is currently on its first tour of the United States, and appears at Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall on Saturday evening. The Orchestra, under Music Director Noam Sheriff, has become the focal point of musical life in Haifa and Northern Israel, and it’s only recently that it has extended its activities throughout Israel and abroad.

Saturday’s concert opens with Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe, followed by the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 3, and closes with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4. The soloist in the Rachmaninoff concerto is virtuoso pianist, Roman Rabinovich, winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition.

For tickets and further information, visit the Stanford Live website.

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