The San Francisco’s Ballet’s production of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker opens Friday and is always a festive treat with its distinctive bow to San Francisco. Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s production is set in San Francisco on Christmas Eve during the 1915 Pan Pacific International Exhibition and the ballet opens with a stunning collage of black and white photos from the actual world’s fair that gradually narrow in on period shop windows until landing at Drosselmeyer’s window and the world of magic and wonder contained therein. ARThound was curious about the music and the challenges it presents and spoke with two Sonoma County musicians who have each played countless Nutcrackers─bassoonist Rufus Olivier, of Sebastopol, and cellist Ruth Lane, of Petaluma─who share what it’s like to participate in this yearly extravaganza and how they keep it fresh. Stay tuned to ARThound for a feature on these Sonoma County musicians.
Details: San Francisco Ballet performs at the historic 1932 War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco. Nutcracker runs December 9 through December 27, 2011.
Tickets: $22 to $275 available (415) 865-2000 or www.sfballet.org/nutcracker
Parking: Civic Center Garage (on McAllister Street between Larkin and Polk); Performing Arts Garage (on Grove between Franklin and Gough streets); Opera Plaza Garage (valet only, 601 Van Ness, enter on Turk).
Arrival Time: Plan to arrive early to enjoy the sumptuous atmosphere and to ensure that you are seated. The theater enforces a no late seating policy and guests will not be seated after the lights have dimmed. Latecomers will be asked to stand until there is a break in the program, and will be seated at management’s discretion.
Run-time: Two hours with a 20-minute intermission.