With live simulcasts of New York operas, London musicals and other productions proving popular at the cineplex, Stanford Live is getting in on the act. Two free opera showings are planned this season (with tickets required).
On Oct. 11, Frost Amphitheater audiences will take in a live simulcast of San Francisco Opera's "Falstaff," starring Bryn Terfel. They'll be sitting outdoors with Verdi, but it'll be almost like being at the War Memorial Opera House. Then, on Feb. 16, Dallas Opera's production of the evening-length opera "Death and the Powers" will be aired at Bing Concert Hall. The new Tod Machover work is about a businessman who wants to transcend corporeal limits.
In dance, the French choreographer and conceptual artist Jerome Bel will make several appearances at Stanford University through Stanford Live. His 2001 work "The Show Must Go On" will be performed by professional dancers and Stanford students, faculty and staff on Nov. 13, followed by a Nov. 18 performance of "Cedric Andrieux," an autobiographical piece created by Bel and Andrieux and performed by Andrieux.
Dance meets film on Dec. 2, when 2005's "Pichet Klunchun and Myself" will be shown with Bel on hand for a Q&A. The film depicts Bel and the classical Thai dancer Klunchun in an "exhange of ideas and movement."
The Brazilian ballet company Grupo Corpo will bring its mix of Afro-Brazilian dance forms and ballet to Stanford Live for performances on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. For details on the Stanford Live events, go to live.stanford.edu or call 650-725-ARTS.
This season's offerings also include a piece by Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian, presented by San Francisco's Smuin Ballet. Rarely seen on the West Coast, the work "Return to a Strange Land" is set to four piano pieces by the choreographer's countryman Leos Janacek. A press release describes it as "a meditation on loss, healing and hope," inspired by the choreographer's mentor, the late John Cranko.
Smuin will perform the piece during its March shows at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, with two other sets of performances planned in December and May. The center is at 500 Castro St. smuinballet.org
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
The CPA has a lot more going on in dance and opera than Smuin Ballet and various "Nutcracker" productions by several groups in November and December. The companies who drop by to take the stage include San Francisco's Lamplighters Music Theatre, who on Nov. 24 will perform "Upside-Downton Abbey," an original "Downton Abbey" parody with most of its music by Arthur Sullivan of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. 500 Castro St., Mountain View. 650-903-6000, mvcpa.com
Oshman Family Jewish Community Center
Dance offerings this season at the JCC include tango dance parties with the Redwood Tango Ensemble, on Jan. 4 and May 17; and the annual benefit performance by Firebird Dance Theatre on April 13. 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 650-799-1854, paloaltojcc.org
San Francisco Opera Guild, Peninsula chapter
Opera scholars often give local preview lectures for San Francisco Opera productions. Oliver Prezant is scheduled to speak on "Show Boat" on May 27. At the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 650-329-1374, sfopera.com
Gilbert & Sullivan are the stars of this long-lasting university group. The Savoyards' 92nd production, "The Mikado," goes up next February. Performances at Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. stanford.edu/group/savoyards
West Bay Opera
The upcoming season features "Tosca," "L'elisir d'amore" and "Die Zauberflote," along with an afternoon of opera classics on Dec. 8. Performances in the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. 650-843-3900, wbopera.org