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Great Upcoming Vocal Music Events

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

By Robyn Greene, VoiceBox Listings Editor

Tickets are selling fast for the American Bach Soloists performance of Bach's St. John Passion. Bach took the genre to new worlds of expression, incorporating the Lutheran tradition of chorales with newer, Italianate operatic elements. The result is a powerful force of rhetoric that tells the Passion story reinforced by personalized illuminations of onlookers. Maestro Thomas, one of the Baroque music world’s most celebrated Evangelists, brings his unique and insightful perspectives to the podium in performances that are as gripping as they are beautiful.

There are four performance locations and dates. The first is at Stephen's Church in Belvedere on February 26th 2010 at 8:00 PM. Other dates and locations include San Francisco on February 27, 7:00PM at St. Mark's Luthern Church, the First Congregational Church in Berkeley, February 27th at 8:00PM, and in Davis, March 1st at the Davis Community Church, also at 8:00PM.

Volti concerts are coming up at the end of this month. You don't want to miss this music, including three world premieres: settings of humorous Buddhist-influenced Billy Collins poems by Yu Hui Chang; a setting of a fragment of the original Greek from Deuteronomy by Jean Ahn; and a suite of pieces for the combined choirs of Volti and Ensemble (from Piedmont Choirs) by Mark Winges. Also on the program are settings of a mystical Nahuatl poem by Felipe Perez-Santiago and "El sonido dulce de tu voz" by Orlando Jacinto Garcia. Bob Geary will moderate a pre-concert discussion with composers starting 30 minutes before each concert.

For tickets, go to http://www.voltisf.org/tickets.html Performance dates and locations are February 26th, 8:00PM St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, February 27, 8:00PM St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, and February 28, 2010, 5:00PM St. John's Episcopal Church, Corner of Lagunitas & Shady Lane, Ross

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music proudly presents the Conservatory Baroque Ensemble in a fully staged production of Handel's operatic masterpiece Giulio Cesare. Considered by many to be Handel’s finest opera, Giulio Cesare stands as a monument of Baroque Italian opera seria. The rich, sumptuous score contains some of Handel’s most exquisite melodies and remains enormously popular with modern audiences. The Conservatory Baroque Ensemble performs music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in orchestral, operatic and chamber settings.

For tickets call the Box Office at 415.503.6275. Performances are Friday, February 19, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 21, 2:00 p.m., Concert Hall, free. Approximate running time is 3½ hours. Visit www.sfcm.edu for information and complete calendar of events.

The Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco serves up jazz and other types of vocal and instrumental performances on a regular basis. Acclaimed jazz singer Paula West sings with the George Mesterhazy Quartet on February 24th and on Fevruary25th, as well as other dates. She's received three New York Nightlife Awards for Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist. In 2008, she was the first singer to play the Rrazz Room. Paula's sound is often compared to Billie Holiday and Lena Horne.

Also at the Rrazz Room, on March 26 and 27 is drag-debutant, Hedda Lettuce. Hedda has established herself as New York City’s premiere queen in classic cabaret venues such as Caroline’s on Broadway, FEZ, and her classic movie night at the Clearview Chelsea. She has worked on such networks as Comedy Central, MTV and HBO, and in a handful of off-broadway plays. Hedda’s comedy projects include her stand-up tour deforce, The Hedda Lettuce Show, The Dixie Chicks with Dicks, the country-singing drag trio, and Lettuce Rejoice, the annual Chelsea Holiday Spectacular. Hedda does her stuff at 10:15PM, both nights.

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