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Valentines Day Tribute at City Hall


tony-bennett
TONY BENNETT – A Valentine’s Day Tribute at City Hall


Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced plans for a Citywide civic celebration to honor the acclaimed, award winning singer Tony Bennett whose signature song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was recorded 50 years ago. The free public tribute with Tony Bennett will take place on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at noon in the City Hall Rotunda.

“Thanks to Tony Bennett, people have been experiencing the magic of San Francisco for 50 years no matter where they are in the world,” said Mayor Lee. “The song reminds us of why we love our City so much and when we are away, it calls us home. Mr. Bennett’s signature voice is celebrated around the world, and when he comes back to San Francisco, our hearts will surely be lifted.”

“Performing ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel was one of the most fortunate moments of my career, and from that moment on I have been commissioned to sing this beautiful song about one of America’s greatest cities throughout the world,” said Tony Bennett, who celebrated his 85th birthday last year and released a #1 Grammy nominated CD,

“It is a thrill and an honor 50 years later to be recognized by the citizens of San Francisco.”

Mayor Lee and others including Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., and San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Shultz will honor Tony Bennett at the ceremony. The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Choir and Band, the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choruses, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and Beach Blanket Babylon will perform their own versions of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and pay tribute to Tony Bennett’s musical legacy. The ceremony will conclude with a sing along of the famed San Francisco tune.

Every radio station that broadcasts in the City has been asked to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at or near noon. KOIT 96.5FM will preempt the noon news and will play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at exactly noon because of their long-standing relationship with Tony Bennett and his music. At noon, the song will also be played over the public address system in Union Square and at Hallidie Plaza, courtesy of the Union Square Business Improvement District. San Franciscans are encouraged to stop what they are doing and sing along to “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” from office building, parks, sidewalks or where ever they are in the City.

SFMTA will outfit historic cable cars to celebrate Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” which will run all day. In the evening, City Hall will be illuminated in red for the celebration of Tony Bennett on Valentine’s Day.

Tony Bennett first sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in December of 1961, and he returns there on the evening of Valentine’s Day to sing at a sold-out benefit dinner and concert to raise money for heart research at UCSF. He recorded the song in 1962.

San Francisco Travel has also launched an international “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” video contest for people around the world to submit their own video versions of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” to the San Francisco Travel YouTube page.  The winner of the contest receives a deluxe vacation for two including airfare to San Francisco, stay at the Fairmont Hotel and dinner on Valentine’s Day for the Tony Bennett UCSF concert. Click here for more information: “http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/138681304.html?cmp=fb02082012_TonyBUpClose“>

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NICOLA LUISOTTI – Music Director of San Francisco Opera signs with Teatro di San Carlo


sean-martinfield-18-august-2011

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Nicola Luisotti has been appointed Music Director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, effective immediately. The news was announced over the weekend by General Director Rosanna Purchia and the Board of Directors of the Teatro di San Carlo Foundation following a meeting where the unanimous decision was taken. Maestro Luisotti succeeds former Principal Conductor Maurizio Benini and Music Director Jeffrey Tate. Born and raised in Tuscany, the 50-year old Luisotti is currently Music Director of San Francisco Opera and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic.

nicola-luisotti
NICOLA LUISOTTI. Photo, Terrence McCarthy

The oldest theater in Europe and one of Italy’s most prestigious opera houses, Teatro di San Carlo is renowned not only for its beauty but for its legendary acoustics. Founded in 1737, many of opera’s most famous composers spent significant time at the theatre, including Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. In 2010, the theater was re-opened after an important period of restoration where the magnificent five-level horseshoe of boxes which are upholstered in red and decorated in gold leaf, frescoed ceiling and beautifully painted stage curtain were renewed to their original glory.

Full details of the appointment will be announced at an official ceremony and press conference on March 7th when Maestro Luisotti will be at San Carlo to begin rehearsals for Verdi’s I Masnadieri, in a production directed by Gabriele Lavia.

giacomo-puccini-composer-nicola-luisotti-conductor
GIACOMO PUCCINI, Composer – NICOLA LUISOTTI, Conductor

“I have spent a good deal of time abroad in the last ten years of my career. My heart fills with joy at the thought of spending so much more time in my home country with such a prestigious appointment,” said Maestro Luisotti speaking from Philadelphia where he is leading concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. “And the joy is even greater when I think of how deeply this Theatre was influenced, in recent years, by the presence of a man such as Riccardo Muti, with whom I had the honor of working at La Scala.”

General Director Rosanna Purchia commented, “Nicola is young and enthusiastic and has had a bright career that took him to the most important theatres in the world, from Covent Garden to the Met, from La Scala to our San Carlo. In the United States he is recognized as one of the best interpreters of Italian opera. With his appointment, we want the San Carlo to aim higher and higher.”

Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris, the foundation president, expressed his satisfaction: “We chose Luisotti because he is a high profile conductor, young, Italian…and this is a source of great pride for us. We are sure he will contribute to the success of this great theatre both in Italy and the rest of the world.”

“We at San Francisco Opera are thrilled that Nicola Luisotti has been appointed music director of the San Carlo, one of the world’s great lyric theaters,” said San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley. “This announcement is a tribute to his musical talent and leadership.” Nicola Luisotti’s position as San Francisco Opera’s music director began in September 2009 and continues through the 2015-16 season.

la-fanciulla-del-west
LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST
Roberto Frontali, Deborah Voigt, and Salvatore Licitra
Photo, Cory Weaver

Since his international debut in 2002, Conductor Luisotti has garnered enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics throughout the world, especially for his work in Puccini’s Tosca and La Bohème and the rarely performed La fanciulla del West at both San Francisco Opera and the Met. In conjunction with these 100th Anniversary performances Luisotti was awarded the Premio Puccini Award.

Luisotti’s third season at San Francisco Opera’s Music Director of San Francisco Opera continues in June with a new Gabriele Lavia production of Attila, co-produced with Teatro alla Scala. In addition to I Masnadieri and concerts with the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in late March, Maestro Luisotti’s operatic engagements this season include a return visit to La Scala for Turandot in April. Luisotti will also make appearances with six great orchestras this season including his own San Francisco Opera Orchestra presented by Cal Performances, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Madrid’s Orquesta Nacional de España and the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Click here for more information on the 2012/13 Season at: San Francisco Opera

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RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY – Signs Long Term Lease for World Headquarters at 680 Folsom Street


sean-martinfield-18-august-2011

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that Riverbed Technology, the leader in IT performance solutions, has entered into a 167,788 square-foot lease at 680 Folsom Street to house their world headquarters. Riverbed is expected to move into the building in 2014.

Riverbed, currently at 199 Fremont Street, will expand by 65,430 square feet into five floors at 680 Folsom Street with a 10-year lease term. This expansion will allow for Riverbed’s continued successes as they grow their offices here in San Francisco. Currently with 503 employees in San Francisco, representing almost a third of their worldwide workforce, Riverbed continues to see growth. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) estimates that this expansion will allow for Riverbed’s local workforce to grow to 1,157 employees, more than doubling their local presence.

“Riverbed’s long term commitment to keep their worldwide headquarters in San Francisco through 2024 demonstrates once again that we are the location of choice for high tech companies,” said Mayor Lee. “With dynamic leaders like Riverbed’s Jerry Kennelly, we are making San Francisco the ‘Innovation Capitol of the World.’ I want to congratulate Riverbed, TMG and JLL on the completion of this successful real estate transaction that will create jobs and drive innovation in our City.”

mayor-ed-lee
MAYOR ED LEE

“This is yet another example of how we are working with CEOs like Jerry Kennelly,” said Mayor Lee. “It was last fall that we sat down and we knew they were looking, they knew they were growing. Was it going to be here in San Francisco? Or some other place that we would lose them to? Our staff went to work right away. We found a great partner with TMG and Michael Covarrubias. We just came together very well and focused on what we could do to make sure they stayed here. They know there is talent here – that is unquestioned. The question is, are there other things that stabilize their ideas and their interests in working here long-term and staying here and growing here. We want IT companies to start here. We want them to stay and we want them to grow. As a result, we are evolving our policies on a weekly basis to continue attracting companies like Riverbed and making sure they feel comfortable. The end result is a lot more people get employed.”

jerry-kennelly
JERRY KENNELLY, Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO

“Riverbed is proud to have had its headquarters in San Francisco for the past 10 years. We’re making this investment to support our long-term growth and cement our commitment to the City of San Francisco,” said Riverbed Co-Founder and CEO Jerry Kennelly. “Like many prosperous technology companies headquartered in San Francisco, we think the City is the right location to attract the best talent and provide a thriving environment for our current employees. It is about time San Francisco becomes the capital of Silicon Valley and we want to be a part of that.”

“Riverbed is the ideal tenant not only for this space, but to complement the increasing tech growth in San Francisco’s SoMa area,” said TMG Partners Chairman and CEO Michael Covarrubias, the developer for 680 Folsom Street. “It’s very exciting to be a part of this renewed vitality here in the City and we believe it not only indicates the strengthening of our local economy, but indicative of the positive trending in both the residential and commercial space within this area of the City.”

Riverbed was represented in the transaction by the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. “The Riverbed real estate team was excellent throughout this entire process and took a very strategic approach to their future real estate requirements. By being proactive, they executed a headquarters strategy and netted a superb block of quality space which will be the finest development in San Francisco in the last decade,” said Jones Lang LaSalle’s HQ practice leader and International Director David Churton.

With construction now underway at 680 Folsom Street, the building will be fully renovated in time for Riverbed’s occupation. The new headquarters will feature a clear glass wall skin replacing the current concrete façade, a new public plaza and is pursuing LEED Gold certification.

About Riverbed
Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance. By giving enterprises the platform they need to understand, optimize and consolidate their IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast, fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns with the business needs of the organization. For more information about Riverbed, go to: Riverbed.com

About TMG Partners
TMG Partners, founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Francisco, is a full-service real estate development and management company. TMG has developed more than 18 million square feet of property throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Emeryville, Marin City, Novato, Palo Alto, San Bruno, San Jose and San Francisco. One of the most active developers in this area in the last decade, the company has developed a variety of office, retail, residential and industrial properties, ranging from office campus and multi-story properties in urban, infill locations to mixed-use retail and single-story suburban buildings. For more information, go to:
tmgpartners.com

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If Corporations are People, Why not Whales?

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A California federal court is to decide for the first time in US history whether amusement park animals are protected by the same constitutional rights as humans.

The issue arises from a lawsuit filed by rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a San Diego court on behalf of five orcas named Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises.

The whales perform water acrobatics at the SeaWorld amusement parks in San Diego and in Orlando, Florida.

PETA argues that continuing the whales’ “employment” at SeaWorld violates the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery.

District Judge Jeffrey Miller heard arguments in the complaint Monday and reviewed the response from SeaWorld, which asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. His ruling is expected to come later.

The suit, filed in October 2011, asked that the court declare that the orcas are “held in slavery and/or involuntary servitude by defendants in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

“It’s a new frontier in civil rights,” said Jeff Kerr, PETA general counsel, who described the hearing as a “historic day.”

“Slavery does not depend on the species of the slave any more than it depends on race, gender or ethnicity,” he argued. “Coercion, degradation and subjugation characterize slavery and these orcas have endured all three.”

The complaint says the five killer whales are represented by their “friends” at PETA, which include three former killer whale trainers, a marine biologist and the founder of an organization that seeks to protect orcas.

The complaint demands that the court “appoint a legal guardian to effectuate plaintiffs’ transfer from defendants’ facilities to a suitable habitat in accordance with each plaintiff’s individual needs and best interests.”

SeaWorld’s motion to dismiss argues that, the aendment “only protects people, not animals, from slavery and involuntary servitude.”

The courts lack authority to extend the amendment to animals, which could “open a veritable Pandora’s Box of inescapable problems and absurd consequences,” SeaWorld argued in motion to dismiss last year.

The case is unprecedented not because no laws cover the issue but because PETA’s claims “are so baseless that no party has ever wasted the time, energy and expense of any court in making such claims in a lawsuit,” SeaWorld argued.

In 2010, Tilikum drowned a trainer after a show in Orlando and was kept in “complete isolation” in a small concrete tank afterward, PETA said.

SeaWorld denied any implications of cruelty to animals, instead accusing PETA of trying to get attention for itself with its lawsuit.

“While PETA continued to engage in this publicity stunt, SeaWorld San Diego was returning four rescued and rehabilitated sea lions to the wild,” SeaWorld said in its response.

(From RawStory.com)

“SeaWorld remains the standard for zoological stewardship of marine animals and we reject any challenge to the conditions and quality of care for these remarkable animals,” SeaWorld said.

“The welfare of our whales is enshrined in numerous federal and state laws, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act.”

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Falling From Grace X 2

February 5 (Posted on SF Gate)After a weekend during which Occupy Oakland protests turned violent and led to injuries and more than 400 arrests, regional support for the movement is waning, a new poll finds.

Twenty-six percent of Bay Area residents surveyed for the poll said they used to support the Occupy movement but have now changed their minds, a KPIX-sponsored SurveyUSA pollfound.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they have backed Occupy from the start and still do, 32 percent said they have opposed it from the start and still do, and 3 percent said they used to oppose it but have now signed on, the poll said. Eight percent were not sure.

Occupy Oakland’s attempted takeover of the long-closed Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center over the weekend was even less popular. Only 21 percent of respondents said they supported Occupy efforts to seize empty buildings for headquarters, while 71 percent said they opposed them and the rest were unsure, the poll said.

When it comes to police response during protests, survey respondents were almost evenly split: Twenty-eight percent said police have been too harsh, 33 percent said they haven’t been harsh enough, and 35 percent said the response has been just about right. Four percent weren’t sure.

The survey polled 500 adults in the Bay Area on Monday by telephone and electronic device. The  margin of error was 4.1 to 4.5 percentage points.

WE HOPE THAT OCCUPY CLEANS RANKS AND DELIVERS A CLEAR CUT MESSAGE.   DESTROYING PROPERTY MAY FEEL GOOD, BUT IT WON’T INCREASE YOUR SUPPORTER BASE.


komen1

February 5 (Posted on Seattle PI website) Last week’s nationwide flap, including a protest letter signed by 26 U.S. Senators — Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., helped organize it — registered on 82 percent of those surveyed Friday and Saturday by Public Policy Polling.

“Do you support or oppose Susan G. Komen’s decision to stop funding breast cancer screenings by Planned Parenthood?” PPP asked.

Fifty-three percent of those polled opposed the decision, 39 percent supported Komen’s position, with just 8 percent undecided.

The pollster asked whether the controversy helped or hurt the image of the cancer charity.  Just 30 percent replied that it helped Komen’s image, 53 percent agreed that it hurt the charity, with the remaining respondents saying it made no difference.

The third question should cause a bit of quaking at Komen:  “Does this decision make you more or less likely to donated money to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the future, or does it not make a difference?”

Forty-nine percent of those surveyed answered “less likely,” just 29 percent “more likely,” and 19 percent said no difference.

And 43 percent said they were less likely to participate in the Komen Foundation’s popular Run for the Cure events.

Planned Parenthood remains controversial, but attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill and anti-abortion activists have not turned the organization into a pariah.

WE HOPE THAT KOMEN CLEANS RANKS AND THAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC HAS DELIVERED A CLEAR CUT MESSAGE.   POLITICIZING WOMENS HEALTH MAY FEEL GOOD BUT IT WON’T INCREASE YOUR SUPPORTER BASE.

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On the Scene With Bill Wilson – In the Wake of Queen Elizabeth

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

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Detail of the No Stopping sign in front of the Cruise Terminal. Bill Wilson photo

Queen Elizabeth was in San Francisco just a day ahead of the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the English throne. Of course it was the ship, Queen Elizabeth not the actual monarch, but it makes a wonderful connection to the story I was going to write anyway, just to show off my royal portrait of the Queen.

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The Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth as viewed from the Butterfly Restaurant’s outside seating. Bill Wilson photo

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were five days into a five month around the world trip when her Father, King George VI passed away in his sleep. They had arrived in Kenya and were spending a private day in a remote area watching wildlife. They had spent the night at a place called “Treetops” where high above a water hole they could observe the wild animals come to drink.

Tradition says that once a reigning monarch’s heart stops their heir becomes monarch in that instant. Princess Elizabeth remained unaware that she had become Queen for several hours. It was only realized that the King had died when his staff was unable to wake him. The message that the King had died was sent in code to the various officials, however the person who had the codes was on his way to meet the Princess so it wasn’t until reporters traveling with the Princess were called by people at their papers that the Princess’ staff was made aware of the situation. It was Prince Phillip who broke the news to her that her father had died.

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Queen Elizabeth 2 dressed in mourning descends the steps of the plane that returned her from Africa to London. Prince Phillip is five steps behind.

In a book, whose title I’ve forgotten, on the Queen’s coronation, the author observed that it might be considered morbid if someone was to pack black clothes in their travel bags, but for Princess Elizabeth, it was just a matter of duty. In a recent story (January 9) in the “Daily Mail” reporter Chris Slack revealed that there was a mix up about the clothes. He wrote, “Arrangements were quickly made for the Royal party to return to London, with a plane flying them from Nanyuki, a nearby town, to Entebbe where a plane was waiting. During the flight, another problem arose in that the Queen’s mourning outfit had already gone ahead and she only had a floral dress to wear. The aircraft decided to land in North Africa where a message was sent ahead and a second black outfit was taken to London airport. Upon the flight’s arrival, the dress was taken aboard after it stopped in the remote area of the airport. The Queen changed quickly before emerging, meeting a line-up including her uncle the Duke of Gloucester and Churchill.”

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During her 1976 visit to Washington, DC I was able to get this photo of the Queen as she did a walk about at the Lincoln Memorial. Bill Wilson photo

Back to the ship, the Queen Elizabeth is Cunard’s newest ship having just been put into service in 2010. It is the second largest ship in the Cunard fleet, second only to the Queen Mary 2. In making her maiden call to the Port of San Francisco the Queen Elizabeth follows in the wake of her sister ships, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria.

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The Queen Mary 2 does fit under the Golden Gate Bridge on February 4, 2007 just five years to the day before the QE maiden call to San Francisco Bill Wilson photo

The Queen Mary 2 is Cunard’s largest ship and thousands of people on both land and water came to witness and welcome her as she traveled under the Golden Gate Bridge on February 4, 2007. It wasn’t as close a fit as some had speculated it might be.

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A view of the Golden Gate Bridge from one of the lounges on the Queen Victoria which made her maiden call to the port of San Francisco on January 27, 2010. Bill Wilson photo

The Queen Victoria made her inaugural stop in San Francisco on January 27, 2010. Invitation only tours were given of the ship and her beautiful interiors in an effort to give people a taste of cruising.

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The upper decks of the Queen Elizabeth tower above the Pier 35 where she docked in San Francisco.

The stop in San Francisco is part of the world cruise that Queen Elizabeth is currently on. Spending little more than 13 hours in Port by 9pm she was on her way to Hawaii.

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The Bridge of the Queen Elizabeth can be seen through the windows of the Cruise Terminal at Pier 35.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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SF OPERA – Announces audited financial results for Fiscal Year 2010/11

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Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera Association President George Hume today announced the findings of the audited financial results for the Company’s 2010–11 Season (FY 11): a deficit of $1,801,417 on an operating budget of $71,094,620. The recently completed 2010–11 season featured ten operas at the War Memorial Opera House, including the Company’s new production of Wagner’s Ring tetralogy, in addition to multiple concerts, recitals, cinema broadcasts and various community engagement activities before an audience of approximately 350,000 individuals. Once again, the Company’s repertory season was broadcast locally in the Bay Area on Classical 89.9/90.3 KDFC, nationally on the WMFT Radio Network, and internationally on select radio outlets, reaching a combined audience of 1.8 million listeners.

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AÏDA – Triumphal March

Operating within a very tough and turbulent economy, San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley worked in close cooperation with the Company’s Board of Directors and executive administration to minimize the financial exposure as much as possible while maintaining the Company’s international artistic standards.  Total operating revenue for FY 11 grew from $27,113,297 to $35,947,397, with income from ticket sales increasing 32% to $24,633,817. Contributions to the annual fund were $33,345,806 from approximately 11,350 donors. Despite the Company’s successful ticket sales campaign and extraordinary fund raising efforts, overall income was offset by rising expenses of 9.69% or $5,845,399.

“While the board of directors is always concerned to see the Opera post a deficit, we remain grateful to David Gockley for his complete transparency about the financial challenges facing the Company,” said George Hume.  “David has continued to keep the board fully apprised of the situation, including when we approved the 2010–11 season budget.  As in our 2009–10 season, David warned us that the worst effects of the ‘Great Recession’ would be felt by the Company for several years, and projected the Opera would close 2011 with a budget deficit—even with the blockbuster ticket sales and contributions he expected (and achieved) with Wagner’s Ring.”

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DAS RHEINGOLD

“San Francisco Opera faces serious long-term challenges to its business model, as many classical music organizations do nationwide,” commented Hume.  “The strategic plan David and his team put in motion two years ago to address our structural deficit continues to have the board’s full support.  We are especially pleased with how much the endowment has grown during David’s tenure ($71,428,980/January 01, 2006 to $138,381,021/July 31, 2011), and will continue to make that a priority.  At the end of the day, the board firmly believes that having an internationally renowned opera company in San Francisco is part of what makes the Bay Area one of the most special places in the world.  With the ongoing support of our generous patrons and donors, I know we can ensure this Company’s future.”

“Reporting a deficit is never pleasant, but the fact is that San Francisco Opera’s ‘structural imbalance’ persists, even with robust attendance and contributions,” stated David Gockley.  “Steps will continue to be taken between 2013–2016 to reduce expenses, increase annual contributions and augment the endowment.  Success in achieving a sustainable balance will continue to require the partnership of all sectors of the organization.”

The 2010–11 season featured Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida with two international casts including the debuts of sopranos Micaela Carosi and Michele Capalbo; a new production of Jules Massenet’s Werther with Ramón Vargas and Alice Coote; the Company debuts of Danielle de Niese and Ellie Dehn in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro; Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Svetla Vassileva and Daniela Dessí in the Hal Prince production; the Company premiere of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac featuring Plácido Domingo and Ainhoa Arteta in the Petrika Ionesco Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris) production; and a new co-production with Finnish National Opera of Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case starring Karita Mattila.  The Fall Season featured Company Music Director Nicola Luisotti, Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi, and guest conductors Emmanuel Villaume, Julian Kovatchev, Patrick Fournillier, and Jiři Bĕlohlávek on the podium, with San Francisco Opera Chorus Director Ian Robertson.

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MADAMA BUTTERFLY

In the summer of 2011, San Francisco Opera presented Francesca Zambello’s new production of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung) before an international audience. Deutsche Oper Berlin Music Director Donald Runnicles was on the podium leading a world renowned cast of artists including Nina Stemme, Mark Delavan, Anja Kampe, Jay Hunter Morris, Ian Storey, Stefan Margita, and David Cangelosi.

The FY 11 Season included two popular free community events: the Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark simulcast performance of Aida from the War Memorial Opera House to AT&T Ballpark, before a record audience of 32,000, and the Company’s beloved Opera in the Park concert presented at Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow featuring the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and guest artists of the season.

Additional recitals and concerts were offered during the year featuring the San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellows.

San Francisco Opera continued its acclaimed Grand Opera Cinema Series, releasing four new titles in FY 11 to regional and international movie theaters and performing arts venues: Puccini’s La Bohème and Tosca, and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and The Elixir of Love, featuring an array of international opera stars including Angela Gheorghiu, Adrianne Pieczonka, Natalie Dessay and Ramón Vargas.  In August 2010, the Company also launched a partnership with KQED Public Television 9, Northern California’s preeminent public broadcast station, to air grand operas recorded live in high definition at the historic War Memorial Opera House. The KQED TV series launched in FY 11 with broadcasts of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Puccini’s La Rondine and Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Dalilah.

San Francisco Opera’s commitment to providing music education and enrichment opportunities for students, teachers, young audiences and adults continued in the 2010–11 Season with a myriad of school and family programs and online resources.  San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Opera Guild annually bring opera and music education programs to over 126,000 students and individuals throughout Northern California. These programs include San Francisco Opera’s groundbreaking Opera ARIA (Arts Resources in Action) programs, which partners with educators in grades K–12 to connect professional artistic and creative elements of opera with classroom curricula, and San Francisco Opera Guild’s award-winning opera arts in-school programs reaching 250 schools throughout Northern California.  In addition to these in-school programs, San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Opera Guild provide countless education opportunities for all ages, including workshops for adults, pre-opera talks, preview lectures, insight panels, professional development for educators, family opera movie screenings, opera arts training camps, student dress rehearsals and opera house and backstage tours.

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NATALIE DESSAY – as “Lucia di Lammermoor”

The FY 11 audit was conducted by Armanino McKenna and unanimously approved by the San Francisco Opera Executive Committee on January 19, 2012. Audited financial results are posted in the “Finances and Governance” section of the Opera’s website.

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MASTERS OF VENICE – Exhibition closes at the de Young Museum, 2/12

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

For over three months the de Young has been home to the globally exclusive exhibition, Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power. It is a most rare and powerful gathering of art from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The exhibit closes on Sunday, February 12th. Click here to order tickets on-line: Masters of Venice

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BORDONE. Allegory of Mars, Venus and Cupid. ca. 1560

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VERONESE. Judith with the Head of Holofernes (ca. 1580)

There are fifty paintings in the exhibit, including works by Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Mantegna, and Tintoretto. The collection represents the height of Venetian Renassaince painting. Loaned by the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, these works are among the museum’s most celebrated holdings, collections built over centuries by the Habsburg royal family.

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MANTEGNA. Detail, Saint Sebastian (1457–59)

Masters of Venice is the first exhibition of Italian art at FAMSF since the presentation of Treasures from the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in 1999–2000. The Museums’ history of showcasing masterworks from the Italian Renaissance dates back to 1938, when the Legion of Honor presented Venetian Paintings from the 15th Century Through the 18th Century, America’s first major exhibition of Venetian Renaissance paintings.

One of the singular movements in the evolution of Western Art, the Venetian Renaissance forged an artistic vocabulary that took full advantage of the poetic potential of rich atmospheric effects, lustrous color and the sensuous beauty observed in nature. Venetian painters of the cinquecento transcended the spatial, textural and respresentational realism of their predecessors to create works unsurpassed in their emotional and sensual depictions, velvety surfaces and glorious treatment of light.

Artists in this exhibition such as Giorgione, Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto were legends in their own time and their paintings were highly prized by discerning collectors across Europe. Works by painters such as Palma Vecchio, Bordone and Bassano demonstrate the full range of Venetian accomplishment in the Renaissance era.

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TITIAN. Lucretia and Her Husband (ca. 1515)

The Gemädegalerie (Picture Gallery) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna holds one of the world’s most distinguished collections of Old Master paintings. Collected by the emperors and archdukes of the royal house of Habsburg, this collection is one of the world’s four princely collections that rival those in Paris (the Louvre), Saint Petersburg (the Hermitage) and Madrid (the Prado). The Kunsthistorisches Museum was conceived by Emperor Franz Joseph I to house the impressive art accumulated over the many centuries of Habsburg rule and opened on October 17, 1891.  Its collections include paintings, decorative arts, armor, Greco-Roman and Egyptian antiquities, coins and musical instruments.  Located on Vienna’s grand boulevard the Ringstrasse, near the Museum of Natural History, City Hall, Parliament, the former Imperial Theater and the Opera House, the Kunsthistoriches Museum’s architecture and interior decoration are as magnificent as its collections.

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MASTERS OF VENICE – Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power

The exhibition catalogue for Masters of Venice, authored by director of the Germäldegalerie of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Sylvia Ferino-Pagden and curator in change of European art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Lynn Federle Orr, features the achievements of Venetian painting through the world-renowned holdings of the Germäldegalerie of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum and others. Mantegna, Titian, and Giorgione are among the exemplary artists highlighted. Hardcover, 128 pages. Click on the photo to order on-line.

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LORENZO PISONI – A.C.T. extends “Humor Abuse” to Sunday, February 5th

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Due to popular demand, sold-out houses, and nightly standing ovations, American Conservatory Theater has added an additional and final performance of its hugely successful hit, Humor Abuse, for this coming Sunday, February 5th, at 7:00 pm.

“The Bay Area has simply fallen in love with Lorenzo and Humor Abuse,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. “Watching audiences, young and old, experience this incredible story of art, adolescence, and pratfalls has been one of the great joys of the season. We’re thrilled we are able to add one final performance this coming Sunday.”

“I feel so lucky to be able to perform Humor Abuse at A.C.T., where I grew up going to see theater. That audiences have reacted with such overwhelming enthusiasm to this journey is beyond expectation,” says Pisoni.

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LORENZO PISONI – as his father Larry Pisoni
Archive photo, Terry Lorant. Production photo, Chris Bennion

At the opening night performance actor/comedian/clown Lorenzo Pisoni delivered a virtually flawless performance of his one-man show – a solo reminiscence of a little boy growing up as an entertainer in the legendary Pickle Family Circus. Co-created with director Erica Schmidt, this compelling stage memoir is a masterfully timed lesson in Clown School and an impeccable gem in story telling. Lorenzo Pisoni takes us under the big top with the incredible true story of growing up as the youngest member of the Pickle Family Circus. Celebrating the complicated, no-holds-barred life of a performer, Pisoni shows off the tricks of the trade he learned from his father, Pickle co-founder Larry Pisoni. The production is packed with physical humor, treasured memories and classic routines – including a surprising take on “The High Diving Act”. Presented in association with Seattle Repertory Theatre, the show plays through February 5th at the American Conservatory Theater. Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Humor Abuse

Lorenzo Pisoni last appeared on the A.C.T. stage in 2005′s hugely popular The Gamester and recently performed in Broadway’s Equus alongside Daniel Radcliffe.  “Ever since Erica and I created Humor Abuse,” says Pisoni, “I’ve wanted to do it in San Francisco. I had a wonderful experience the last time I was on the A.C.T. stage, so now I am thrilled not only to have a chance to return to A.C.T., but also to bring this piece with me. I know many A.C.T. audience members will have a deep, nostalgic connection to what happens in the play because the Pickles were a part of San Francisco’s culture for so long.” A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff said, “From the moment I saw Lorenzo’s captivating performance of Humor Abuse in New York, I fell in love with its ineffable charm, heart, and honesty. Lorenzo is such a magnetic and charismatic performer that you cannot take your eyes off him, and his coming-of-age story has a universality that I believe our audiences will find extremely moving, as well as extremely funny.”

lorenzo-pisoni
LORENZO PISONI

humor-abuse-e28093-lorenzo-pisoni
HUMOR ABUSE – Lorenzo PisoniPhoto, Chris Bennion

Pisoni was born into the Pickle Family Circus shortly after his parents, Larry Pisoni and Peggy Snider, founded the alternative big top in 1974 with their juggling partner Cecil MacKinnon. After Bill Irwin and Geoff Hoyle joined their ranks—creating the incomparable clown trio of Lorenzo Pickle (Pisoni), Willy the Clown (Irwin), and Mr. Sniff (Hoyle)—the Pickles became a venerable and beloved Bay Area institution. They toured the West Coast (and beyond) through the 1980s and ’90s and led the charge in the renewal of the American circus, exchanging animal acts and pyrotechnics in the supersized three-ring format with daring acrobatics and its famous show-stopping group juggle, all presented on one intimate stage so audiences would not miss a single moment. Lorenzo Pisoni grew up in this hotbed of creativity, first appearing onstage at the age of two. He became his father’s clown partner not long after, and he continued to perform with the troupe during his teens. Pisoni, a natural storyteller, gives the audience a unique take on the familiar coming-of-age story and creates a moving and hilarious portrait of a father-and-son relationship. His recollections are centered around physically demanding tricks – some newly created, others re-enactments from his father’s days with Pickle.

The creative team for Humor Abuse includes lighting designer Ben Stanton (Seminar on Broadway, Angels in America at the Signature Theatre) and sound designer Bart Fasbender (over 100 productions, including work at The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Atlantic Theater Company). Original Pickle Family Circus member Randy Craig has composed music for the production. Audiences will remember Mr. Craig’s musical contributions to the production of Scapin.

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Mayor Lee breaks ground on major project for 34th America’s Cup and the City’s economic future

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Mayor Edwin M. Lee broke ground Monday morning on the long-awaited Port of San Francisco’s James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27. Last week, the Board of Supervisors upheld the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the new Cruise Terminal and 34th America’s Cup events in San Francisco, allowing for construction to begin immediately.

mayor-lee-speaking-as-port-director-monique-moyer-looks-on
Mayor Lee speaking as Port Director Monique Moyer looks on
Photo, Bill Wilson

“Today we break ground on this key Port infrastructure project in our City’s preparations to host the 34th America’s Cup that will bring thousands of new jobs and nearly a billion dollars in economic impacts,” said Mayor Lee. “The Cruise Terminal is a great example of how San Francisco is leveraging the resources and energy of the 34th America’s Cup for jobs and long term economic benefits for the City. The hard work by our partners across our City from City staff to the America’s Cup Event Authority and Race Management to the America’s Cup Organizing Committee with the community ensures that the 34th America’s Cup will be exciting, sustainable and successful series of events in San Francisco history and leave a legacy along our City’s waterfront for generations.”

Studies have put the economic impact to San Francisco from the 34th America’s Cup events in 2012 and 2013 at more than $1 billion, including spending and jobs across the visitor, hospitality, construction and transportation industries.

“We are excited that the Board of Supervisors upheld the EIR and we can really begin the hard work of preparing for the races later this year and in 2013,” said America’s Cup Race Management CEO and Regatta Director Iain Murray. “We are committed to delivering the best sailors on the fastest boats and showcasing the Bay Area on the world stage, and thank our partners at the City and the Port for sharing that commitment.”

bos-president-david-chiu-with-rendering-of-finished-cruise-terminal
BOS President David Chiu with rendering of finished Cruise Terminal
Photo, Bill Wilson

“I’m very proud of my colleagues at the Board,” said David Chiu, President of the Board of Supervisors. We moved forward along with the rest of the City – in record time – all the approvals that we needed to make. We still have some work to do, but I look forward to all of that getting done very quickly.” He went on to say, “Before the America’s Cup was just a blip on the horizon, we had many visions about what we wanted to do here on Pier 27. We wanted to turn Piers 27 through 29 into a destination for the world, to bring in millions and millions of tourists to see the City that we see every single day. It’s amazing to be here for the ground breaking, for what will be, I think, the most amazing cruise ship terminal – not just on the west coast but hopefully in the world.”

“The James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 allows the Port to provide a gateway to San Francisco for cruise passengers befitting the City’s prominence as a world class destination,” said San Francisco Port Commission President Doreen Woo Ho. “This new cruise terminal, and the world attention that the America’s Cup will bring to our waterfront, will benefit our local and global visitors, as well as our tenants and local businesses, for decades to come.”

doreen-woo-ho-port-commission-president
Doreen Woo Ho, Port Commission President
Photo, Bill Wilson

In September 2007, Mayor Newsom formed a panel that recommended that the Port of San Francisco develop a new, primary cruise terminal to meet the increased demand for cruise ships. The panel selected Pier 27 to be the primary site because it would be the most cost-effective and strategic location on the San Francisco waterfront. The site is located at the intersection of The Embarcadero, Lombard Street and Battery Street.

Designed by KMD Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz, Pfau Ling Architecture JV and with Turner Construction as the contractor, the Cruise Terminal project budget is estimated at $92 million, with approximately 600 jobs for various trades throughout construction. The terminal, an 88,000 square foot two level facility, is slated to achieve LEED silver certification. The Department of Public Works will manage construction of the project.

“We’re excited to begin the transformation of Pier 27 into a vibrant cruise terminal and public plaza,” said Department of Public Works Interim Director Mohammed Nuru. “We appreciate the public support and the vote of confidence by the Board of Supervisors as we work in collaboration with the Port to deliver a complete, efficient, functional, and operational facility within the targeted quality, budget, and schedule goals of the project.”

The cruise industry in San Francisco generated almost $40 million in 2011, with an average contribution per home-ported vessel call of $1.2 million. The cruise industry supports San Francisco’s robust top tourism industry but also maritime industries such as tug and tow operators, bar pilots, ship suppliers and longshore workers.

“The vote to endorse the EIR is a testimony by our City’s leaders to the importance that the America’s Cup races will have on San Francisco’s future as a world-class city,” said America’s Cup Organizing Committee Chairman Mark Buell. “I applaud the Supervisors and all our community members, for recognizing the high-quality work that has gotten us to this point in a very timely and transparent process. I also thank our partners at the America’s Cup Event Authority and America’s Cup Race Management, for their hard work in helping us get to this point. These remarkable achievements will be reflected in the events as well as the legacy projects, such as the cruise terminal, for San Francisco.”

breaking-through-the-wall-of-pier-27
Breaking through the Wall of Pier 27
Photo, Bill Wilson

The America’s Cup World Series races will be held in San Francisco from August 11th – 19th and August 27th – September 2nd, 2012. The Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, will be held in San Francisco from July 4th – September 1st, 2013 and the America’s Cup Finals will be held September 7th – 22nd, 2013.

Click here for more information: AmericasCup.com

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SAN FRANCISCO BALLET – John Cranko’s “Onegin” is a Classic winner

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Ballet’s Onegin is supremely elegant. The score, beautifully rendered by conductor Martin West and the SF Ballet Orchestra, is an amalgamation of various works by Tchaikovsky rather than music taken from his opera. Choreographer John Cranko (1927–1943) together with German conductor and Kurt-Heinz Stolze combined and re-arranged a wide variety of the composer’s piano pieces and symphonic works including Francesca da Rimini and Romeo and Juliet to create a musical narration that is seemingly cohesive, allows for the structure and traditions of Classical ballet, and is suitable enough to the story. What Onegin lacks are the great signature themes and resolving climaxes unique to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Ultimately, the appeal of the ballet rests in Cranko’s inventive and stylish choreography and its direct appropriateness to clearly defined characters.

vitor-luiz-and-maria-kochetkova
VITOR LUIZ and MARIA KOCHETKOVA
All production photos by Erik Tomasson

In the title role at Friday’s opening, Vitor Luiz delivered a consumate performance as the beautiful, privileged, and moody hero ruined by his own conceit. Since joining the Company in 2009, Vitor has been dazzling audiences in such roles as “Siegfried” (Tomasson’s Swan Lake), “Albrecht” (Tomasson’s Giselle), and last season’s provocative hit, RAkU. But as “Eugene Onegin”, the very charismatic Vitor Luiz has found the perfect role in which to combine electrifying precision and incisive dramatic interpretation.

clara-blanco-and-gennadi-nedvigin
CLARA BLANCO and GENNADI NEDVIGIN

As his friend, “Lensky”, Gennadi Nedvigin has reached an even higher level of artistry and grace since his stunning performance last season as “Franz” in Balanchine’s Coppélia. Nedvigin shines as the solid but headstrong fiancé of “Olga” danced by Clara Blanco. His stunning technique and dramatic flexibility make him a sympathetic hero in this version of the classic Russian lyric novel set by choreographer John Cranko. Clara Blanco is both playful and seductive in her taunting flirtations with Onegin. In Act II her pathetic pleadings with Lensky to withdraw his challenge to duel sparked tension and a growing sense of futility in Pushkin’s story of pride and vengeance.

maria-kochetkova-and-pascal-molat
MARIA KOCHETKOVA and PASCAL MOLAT

Maria Kochetkova was captivating as the naive “Tatiana”. She is brilliant technically and effective dramatically. In Act I she is shy and delicate, virtually withering in her initial encounter with the dashing and arrogant Onegin. In Act II, motivated by desire, she becomes aggressive in composing a revealing love letter to him and then pitiful when he  angrily rejects it. By Act III, now the established and loving wife of “Prince Gremin” – portrayed with great sophistication by Pascal Molat – Maria conveys maturity and strength in her resistance and dismissal of Onegin as he begs for her love.

vitor-luiz-onegin-and-maria-kochetkova-tatiana1
VITOR LUIZ (Onegin) and MARIA KOCHETKOVA (Tatiana)

Eugene Onegin continues Tuesday, January 31st through Friday, February 3rd with the following cast members. Click on the date to order tickets on-line:

TUESDAY, 1/31
Onegin: Vitor Luiz; Tatiana: Maria Kochetkova; Lensky: Gennadi Nedvigin; Olga: Clara Blanco. Conductor: Martin West. Performance begins at 8:00 pm.

WEDNESDAY, 2/1
Onegin: Davit Karapetyan; Tatiana: Vanessa Zahorian; Lenksy: Taras Domitro; Olga: Dana Genshaft; Gremin: Quinn Wharton. Conductor: David LaMarche. Performance begins at 7:30 pm.

THURSDAY, 2/2
Onegin: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba; Tatiana: Sarah Van Patten; Lensky: Isaac Hernandez; Olga: Courtney Elizabeth; Gremin: Tiit Helimets. Conductor: David LaMarche. Performance begins at 8:00 pm

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DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
A Conversation with Ruben Martin Cintas, Principal Dancer with SF Ballet
THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
“My Silver Dollar Man” – from MARKED WOMAN (starring Bette Davis, 1937)
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)

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On Scene with Bill Wilson City Attorney Targets Tenderloin Markets

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera announces the filing of civil lawsuits as Police Chief Greg Suhr looks on.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera was joined by San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr at a news conference Monday, January 30, to announce the filing today of civil lawsuits against two Tenderloin markets for facilitating rampant illicit drug trafficking in close proximity to schools, playgrounds, daycare centers, and senior housing. The litigation follows undercover police investigations that for more than two years documented numerous instances in which the markets operated as virtual safe havens for the sale of cocaine, crack, heroin, prescription painkillers and other drugs. Both markets were also found to have engaged in the purchase and resale of stolen merchandise, according to the city’s complaints.

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Market at Leavenworth and Turk in the Tenderloin.

Defendants Barah Market (also known as “Azaal Market”), at 200 Leavenworth Street, and Razan Deli, at 391 Ellis Street, have been the subject of a combined 182 calls for police service during 2011 alone, and are believed to have played a role in hundreds of other nearby incidents requiring a police response. Herrera is seeking court orders to close both businesses for a period of one year; civil penalties of $25,000 each for maintaining a public nuisance; additional penalties of $2,500 for each act of unlawful business practices; disgorgement of all profits from illegal activities; restitution; and attorneys’ fees and costs — including costs of the investigation. The dual lawsuits filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning allege multiple violations of the California Drug Abatement Act, Unfair Competition Law, and other state and local laws.

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera

“The markets we are suing today have played central roles in drug dealing and other crimes that have afflicted this neighborhood for too long,” said Herrera. “Barah Market and Razan Deli are profiting illegally from a drug trade that devastates human lives, and puts enormous burdens on our police and public health services. Their lawlessness shows contempt for the health and safety of neighbors — especially nearby children and seniors — and diminishes this neighborhood’s quality of life. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with the San Francisco Police Department under the leadership of Chief Greg Suhr. Their excellent work has enabled us to build a strong factual basis for our litigation, which we hope will go a long way toward protecting residents and improving the neighborhood.”

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Police Chief Greg Suhr

“We are grateful to City Attorney Herrera and his office for bringing suit against these two businesses,” said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. “The SFPD and the CAO, on behalf and with the support of San Francisco’s affected neighborhoods, work together to identify irresponsible businesses and bring them into compliance. There is no place in this City for businesses that allow, engage in, and/or support criminal activity.”

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Police Chief Suhr speaking at a press conference this morning across the street from the Barah’s Market one of two businesses that were sued in Superior Court.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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BEVAN DUFTY – Mayor appoints former District Supervisor as Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE)

New position to focus on innovation, public-private partnerships and strengthening existing programs

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Mayor Edwin M. Lee has appointed Bevan Dufty as the Mayor’s new Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE), addressing homeless services and better outcomes for individuals who are homeless or live in supportive housing.

“For the people on the street,” said Mayor Lee at last Friday’s press conference, “where is there hope coming from? It has to be that we register our support for them in every possible way. Getting all the different agencies around housing, getting all the different agencies around better quality services for our homeless, for those not wanting to be homeless as well as those already in the system – we need even more leadership.” He went on to say, “It’s not about temporary stuff. It’s about defining our long-term goal. It means that we reach out to people, we try to make life changes, and try to get a situation where better decisions can be made.”

Lee and Dufty had talked about an acronym for the project. “You cannot lose this,” said Lee, “because Housing, Opportunities, Partnership, and Engagement are well deserving titles in and of themselves. But when you put all that together – what does it spell? It spells something that we both share. And that is HOPE. That is the underlying reason why I asked Bevan to come aboard and take on this massive, very serious responsibility. It’s because we have to work on the future of HOPE for everybody in this city.”

Bevan Dufty has more than 18 years of public service to the City and County of San Francisco, including five years as the City’s Director of Neighborhood Services and eight years on the Board of Supervisors. As Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services for Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., Dufty helped neighborhood residents and merchants connect with City employees from every department to address issues of homelessness, public safety, housing, employment, traffic, pedestrian safety, and youth issues.

Dufty was twice elected to represent District 8 on the Board of Supervisors beginning in 2002. The same seat was once held by Harvey Milk. As Supervisor, Dufty demonstrated how local government can change lives tangibly by honoring the public trust, responding to community concerns and respecting differing viewpoints.

Dufty has worked hard to address homelessness, strongly supporting Care Not Cash and Mayor Newsom’s Housing First approach that dramatically expanded supportive housing. He helped to establish the Castro Young Adult Housing Collaborative for 22 homeless youth, funding neighborhood-based homeless outreach/case management teams, establishing case managers at the Main Library, and secured Board approval for the highly successful Community Justice Center. He has been focused on prevention for our transitional youth, chronically homeless and restructuring the courts approach to habitual offenders.

“We don’t want San Franciscans to feel like we’re not making a difference,” said Dufty. “And, sadly, the people that they see on the street are people that are not succeeding in the system either because it’s not working, falling between the cracks, not enough resources, or personal choices – deciding to not avail oneself to personal services. Those are the challenges we face. We’ve got to engage people because San Franciscans understand a lot about homelessness. My child talks to me a lot about homelessness. I see the art projects at her school. They talk about why can’t people have homes and why can’t people have jobs – the sorts of lives you want people to live.”

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Bevan Dufty and daughter Sidney

“I have hope in this job,” Bevan continued. “I didn’t want to come into a job that I saw as maintaining the status quo. And there are incredible things that are going on here, but we have the ability now in this 21st Century to really look at the outcomes for people. Not just within homeless services, but individuals who live in affordable housing, public housing, families that are at risk of homelessness, and for special populations. We have groups, whether it’s transgendered individuals, veterans, or families and recognizing that we have the ability to look at problems and to make a difference.”

Dufty has worked hard to address homelessness, strongly supporting Care Not Cash and Mayor Newsom’s Housing First approach that dramatically expanded supportive housing. He helped to establish the Castro Young Adult Housing Collaborative for 22 homeless youth, funding neighborhood-based homeless outreach/case management teams, establishing case managers at the Main Library, and secured Board approval for the highly successful Community Justice Center. He has been focused on prevention for our transitional youth, chronically homeless and restructuring the courts approach to habitual offenders.

Bevan Dufty believes that there is a level of comity, collegiality, and a willingness to work together that is unprecedented in the twenty years he has served in City government. His vast experience helps him to understand when constituents express their frustration about an individual on the street or the fact that a child can come to school and not know where they and their family are going to sleep that night. “We can do much-much better,” he said, “and I am extremely honored to have this opportunity to really do something that I’m going to commit my life in the years going forward – to making a difference for people. This is the beginning. We have an ambitious agenda. This is a mayor who truly believes in collaboration. He believes that there are ideas and energies that are out there among the citizenry that need to be reflectiving what the City does. So, I don’t stand here to say that we have all the answers. I say, we’re going to ask the questions and we’re going to work with everyone.”

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HERBERT BLOMSTEDT and EDO DE WAART – Conductors return to Davies Symphony Hall

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher

Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Former San Francisco Symphony Music Directors Herbert Blomstedt and Edo de Waart return to Davies Symphony Hall in February to lead the Orchestra in three weeks of concert programs in celebration of the Orchestra’s 2011–2012 Centennial Season.  Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt will lead the Orchestra in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 with pianist Garrick Ohlsson and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 on February 2nd–4th, and then in performances of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 on February 8th and 10th. Edo de Waart will conduct the SFS in Schreker’s “Prelude to Act 1″ of Die Gezeichneten, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with pianist Simon Trpčeski, and Saint Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, “Organ” on February 16th–19th.

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HERBERT BLOMSTED

Herbert Blomstedt was the SFS’ tenth Music Director from 1985-1995 and is currently its Conductor Laureate.  Under his leadership, the Orchestra won its first Grammy award, for a recording of Orff’s Carmina Burana, greatly expanded its international profile with numerous acclaimed performances on tour in Europe and at festivals including those of Edinburgh, Salzburg, Munich and Lucerne, and launched the Adventures in Music program.  He has held chief conductor positions with the Oslo Philharmonic, the Swedish and Danish Radio Orchestras, and the Dresden Staatskapelle. Until 2005, he was the Music Director of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, with which he recorded several Bruckner symphonies, including the Fifth.  With the SFS on the London label, he recorded Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 and No. 6.

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EDO DE WAART

Edo de Waart was the SFS’ ninth Music Director from 1977-1985.  During his tenure, the Orchestra built and opened Davies Symphony Hall (in 1980) and became a full-time orchestra with a year-round season.  De Waart also formed the Orchestra’s first composer-in-residence relationship with John Adams, a collaboration which was unique for American orchestras at that time and produced many new works and recordings, including of Adams’ Harmonielehre and Harmonium. In these performances, he conducts Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, Organ, which he recorded with the Orchestra in 1984 and was the first recording to feature the newly-installed Davies Symphony Hall Ruffatti organ, one of America’s largest concert hall organs. Also on the program is Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4, a work which he recorded with the SFS in 1982. Currently, de Waart is Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

THE PROGRAMS:

Mozart and Tchaikovsky
Feb 2nd at 2 pm / Feb 3rd at 6:30 pm / Feb 4th at 8 pm
Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K.271
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64
Susan Key will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert.  Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before. Immediately following the performance on February 4th, Garrick Ohlsson will sign his CDs in the Symphony Store.

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5
Feb 8th at 10 am (Open Rehearsal)
Feb 8th at 8 pm / Feb 10th at 8 pm
Bruckner – Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major
Scott Foglesong will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert.  Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before. Immediately following the performances on February 10, Herbert Blomstedt will sign his CDs in the Symphony Store.

Schreker, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns
Feb 16th at 2 pm / Feb 17th at 8 pm / Feb 18th at 8 pm / Feb 19th at 2 pm
Schreker – Prelude to Act I of Die Gezeichneten
Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Opus 40
Saint-Saëns – Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Opus 78, “Organ”

Inside Music, an informative talk with Laura Stanfield Prichard, begins one hour prior to concerts. Free to ticketholders. Meet Simon Trpčeski at a CD signing immediately following the 17, 18, and 19 concerts at the Symphony Store in the lobby.

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GARRICK OHLSSON

Pianist and San Francisco resident Garrick Ohlsson won the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition and was a student of Claudio Arrau.  Ohlsson made his SFS debut in 1972 under Music Director Seiji Ozawa, and has performed with the Orchestra numerous times over the past forty years, including four appearances with Herbert Blomstedt during his tenure as Music Director, with whom he performs in these concerts.  In the fall of 2008, the Hyperion label re-released Ohlsson’s 16-disc set of the complete works of Chopin, and recently released his recordings of all of the Brahms piano variations and a two-disc set of Carl Maria von Weber’s four piano sonatas.

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SIMON TRPČESKI

Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski made his SFS debut in 2004 and last appeared here in April 2010, with conductor Vasily Petrenko. With Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Trpčeski recorded two discs for Avie Records encompassing all of the works for Piano and Orchestra by Rachmaninoff, including the Concerto No. 4, which he performs here. Trpčeski has performed with orchestras worldwide, including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Seoul, and Sydney, and was the youngest person ever to receive a medal of honor from his home country of Macedonia—the Presidential Order of Merit, for affirmation of Macedonia abroad.

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“UNFAITHFULLY YOURS” – Tchaikovsky and Rossini meet Noir City X, tonight at The Castro Theatre

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

NOIR CITY is one of San Francisco’s most popular film festivals. In the genre of Film Noir, it ranks as the most prestigious in the world. Now through Sunday, January 29th, Noir City celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the Castro Theatre with a jaw-dropping list of classic titles such as Naked Alibi, The Breaking Point, Three Strangers, and the original version of The Great Gatsby. The festival concludes with an all-day marathon devoted to San Francisco-based author Dashiell Hammett, the über creator of short stories and novels that are the wellspring of Film Noir. Included are both versions of The Maltese Falcon. The original adaptation from 1931 (screens at 1:20) features former Silent Screen stars Ricardo Cortez as “Sam” and Bebe Daniels as the femme fatale, “Ruth”. The definitive version from 1941 (screens at 9:00) starring Humphrey Bogart as “Sam” and Mary Astor as “Brigid” may prove to be the last time this classic of Classic is projected in 35mm. Why? Theatre owners are being strong-armed into going totally digital. During my recent interview with Eddie Muller – the producer of and the brains and brawn behind Noir City – I got the feeling that this sad and deplorable situation mirrors the fate of lost or decomposing nitrate reels from Hollywood’s silent era.

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REX HARRISON and LINDA DARNELL – Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

“It’s the economics of the Industry,” said Muller. “That’s the answer. In this culture, it is necessary for private individuals such as myself to campaign and lobby for the preservation of things that they believe have value when that value is questioned by the people who actually own that stuff. For me, it is no different than when you look at a spectacular piece of architecture and wonder how that building could be falling apart. Well, the person who owns it obviously does not see the same value in it. They may say, ‘I hope the building does fall down so I can get the insurance money and then build something there that will make me money.’ The same thing is true with movies.”

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This Tuesday, January 24th, at 7:00, Noir City presents the 1948 screwball parody, Unfaithfully Yours, written and directed by Preston Sturges (The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek). The film incorporates complete renditions and huge chunks of the most familiar and bombastic of Classical compositions, including Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini; Rossini’s overtures to the operas Semiramide and William Tell; and Wagner’s overture to Tannhäuser.

The plot centers around larger-than-life conductor “Sir Alfred De Carter”, a tour de force role for then 40-year-old Rex Harrison. Foreshadowing his Broadway role as the imposing “Professor Henry Higgins” of My Fair Lady, Harrison is incredibly gaunt, romantically dashing, volcanic, and wildly histrionic. His character is totally in the grip of the green-eyed monster, Jealousy. He believes his young and gorgeous wife, “Daphne”, portrayed by the sumptuously beautiful Linda Darnell, is cheating on him with his personal secretary, “Tony” – a blonde pretty boy portrayed by Kurt Kreuger. We are introduced to Sir Alfred during an orchestra rehearsal and before the seeds of suspicion have taken root. Puffing on a cigarette and beating out tempo like a mad traffic cop, Sir Alfred works the musicians through a complete rendering of Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide. Though the opera was seldom staged,  it’s overture was extremely popular back in ’48, most folks being familiar with it from live symphony radio broadcasts. But director and screenplay author Preston Sturges seized an opportunity for cinematographer Victor Milner (Love Me Tonight, Cleopatra, It’s A Wonderful Life) to give movie audiences a bird’s eye view of a full symphony orchestra hard at work. Milner has the camera fly above and around the musicians, hovering over a section or catching a close-up of a comic piccolo player with the same ease and panache as recently televised performances from the San Francisco Symphony. The effect was huge and quickly establishes Sir Alfred’s pre-disposition toward sweeping mood changes, intense outbursts, relentless assaults, and screaming climaxes. The Preston Sturges “touch” shimmers throughout.

Click on the photo to watch Rex Harrison conduct the Overture to Semiramide:

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TORBEN MEYER – as “Dr. Schultz”

The story of Semiramide – a Queen of Babylon! – is a twisted mess of murder and plots to murder, complete with a royal ghost, near misses of incest, and fatal warnings by a high priest of the Magi. Appropriately, Rossini’s Overture is awash with riotous fury from the string section, strong gales from the winds, and an orgy of lightning strikes from the Size Extra-Large cymbals crashed with great aplomb by character actor Torben Meyer as “Dr. Schultz”. It’s straight out of Looney Tunes. So is the scene involving a madcap fire – underscored, of course, by the William Tell Overture.

The controlling gimmick of Sturges’ screenplay is that Sir Alfred descends into epic flights of daydreaming while conducting his concerts. The camera zooms into the pupil of his eye and we are are drawn into his melodramatic schemes of vengeance, humiliation, throat slashings, Russian roulette, and noble departure. No one in the orchestra notices that their conductor has gone temporarily bananas. The innocent wife, bewildered though she may be by his recent erratic behavior and even allowing for the fact that he’s British – “Alfred, you’re getting nuttier than a fruitcake!” – has never been more ravishing, sitting up in her box, clusters of diamonds shimmering in her hair. And the blonde secretary, Tony? Tony just keeps getting blonder as Sir Alfred slashes his baton through Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, Opus 32 – the composer’s meditation on Dante’s second level of Hell, where adulterous wives spin out of control in an eternal windstorm.

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Kurt Kreuger, Linda Darnell, and Rex Harrison

Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser serves as the backdrop through another of Sir Alfred’s poetic visions: What happens after the concert, when we are home alone?

“Don’t cry, my darling,” says Alfred to Daphne as he takes a feathered pen and begins writing out a check for $100,000. “I couldn’t understand music as well as I do if I didn’t understand the human heart. Neither of you has done anything wrong. Youth belongs to youth, beauty to beauty. I want you to be rich, comfortable, and free. I don’t want you to have to worry about rent or clothing or food. Any of the un-romantic things that should always be provided for you. That little head was never made to worry. [Alfred takes Daphne's hand and starts to kiss it, dodging the 10-carat diamond ring she wears over her opera gloves.] Or these hands, to work. Only to love… so dearly.”

As though a tenth of a million could satisfy a girl like her, Wagner’s familiar strains will undoubtedly provoke many in the audience to recall another cinematic classic, “What’s Opera Doc?”, where lyrics were set to the same signature theme. “Oh, Bwoonhilde, you’re so wovewy,” sings the helmeted hero. “Yes, I know it,” responds the long-eared beauty, “I can’t help it.”

UNFAITHFULLY YOURS is paired with THE GOOD HUMOR MAN (screens at 9:15). In this 1950 release, Jack Carson stars as “Biff Jones”, a driver for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company. He is in over his head when he tries to save a gal-pal from gangsters and ends up accused of murder. A typical thriller from ace noir scribe Roy (The Fugitive) Huggins – except the final screenplay is by comedy genius Frank Tashlin, whose hilariously inspired high-jinks play havoc with film noir conventions. Co-starring Lola Albright, Jean Wallace, and George “Superman” Reeves. Directed by Lloyd Bacon.

Click here for ticket information: UNFAITHFULLY YOURS

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On Scene Bill Wilson Downtown Abstractions

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

The other day while walking downtown I was struck by the juxtaposition of old and new buildings and the patterns they created.

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SFMOMA in close up forms the letters L and O

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U are there.

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A Second Look

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A round about way.

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X rated reflection

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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On Scene with Bill Wilson Play-off fever grips the Castro.

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

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Photo by Bill Wilson

It is now official. Play-off fever has now come to the Castro. The trees at the intersection of Castro and Market have sprouted Niner T Shirts. Even the traffic signs have a warning against turning on the red and gold. (They just forget to mention the gold.)

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Photo by Bill Wilson

Who is going to win? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

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Photo by Bill Wilson

See Related On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

bill-wilson-1-175
BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Announces 2012/13 Season

San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley today announced the Company’s 2012–13 repertory season, guest artists and performance schedule, in addition to three world premiere commissions slated for 2013, Mr. Gockley also announced the extension of his contract to lead San Francisco Opera through the 2015–16 Season along with the extension of contracts for the artistic leadership team of Music Director Nicola Luisotti, Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers, and Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi.

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NICOLA LUISOTTI — DAVID GOCKLEY
Photos, Terrence McCarthy

THE 2012/13 SEASON

Rigoletto – The Company’s 90th season opens Friday, September 7th with a gala performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s vivid and compelling story of a vengeful court jester desperately attempting to protect his daughter from disaster. Maestro Luisotti leads an international cast of singers including acclaimed Serbian baritone and Verdi specialist Željko Lučić in the title role, and the Company debuts of Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as “Gilda” and Italian tenor Francesco Demuro as the “Duke of Mantua”. Opera Ball, the Company’s celebrated signature benefit event, co-produced with the San Francisco Opera Guild in support of the San Francisco Opera and Opera Guild education programs, will precede the opening night performance at the historic War Memorial Opera House.

I Capuleti e i Montecchi – Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece, The Capulets and the Montagues, inspired by the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, opens Saturday, September 29th. The cast is headlined by international stars Joyce DiDonato and Nicole Cabell as the hapless lovers “Romeo” and “Giulietta”. DiDonato, who wowed San Francisco audiences in her 2007 role debut as “Octavian” in Der Rosenkavalier. Nicole Cabell, winner of the 2005 BBC Cardiff “Singer of the World”, makes her role debut in this co-production with Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu makes his Company and role debut as “Tebaldo”. Directed by Vincent Boussard in his U.S. debut and led by returning conductor Riccardo Frizza, this new co-production, which had its debut in Munich in March 2011, features costumes by renowned fashion designer Christian Lacroix and sets by Vincent Lemaire.

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MOBY DICK. Ben Heppner as Ahab – Morgan Smith as Starbuck
Photo, Karen Almond

Moby-Dick – Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s new adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic meditation on man and the sea, has been met with high praise since its premiere at the Dallas Opera in April 2010. Now making its first appearance in the Bay Area, this San Francisco Opera co-commission stars many of the original cast members, including preeminent Canadian tenor Ben Heppner as “Captain Ahab”, American baritone Morgan Smith as “Starbuck”, American tenor Stephen Costello as “Greenhorn” (Ishmael) and Samoan bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu as “Queequeg”.

Lohengrin – Following his great success as “Siegmund” in 2011’s Die Walküre, American tenor Brandon Jovanovich returns to San Francisco Opera to make his title role debut in Wagner’s Lohengrin. Appearing as the noble warrior’s bride, “Elsa von Brabant”, is Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund. Noted Wagnerian artists Kristinn Sigmundsson will sing the role of “Heinrich der Vogler”, Gerd Grochowski is “Friedrich von Telramund” and Petra Lang appears as “Ortrud”. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts his first Wagner opera with the Company, and British stage director Daniel Slater directs.

Tosca – Maestro Nicola Luisotti conducts Puccini’s powerful melodrama of a great singer, a rebellious painter and a corrupt police chief engaged in a deadly test of wills. Angela Gheorghiu and Patricia Racette will share the title role in SF Opera’s elegant production designed by Thierry Bosquet and directed by Jose Maria Condemi. Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu appears with Italian tenor Massimo Giordano in his Company debut as “Mario Cavaradossi”. Italian baritone Roberto Frontali will sinfg “Baron Scarpia”. American soprano Patricia Racette, who performs “Tosca” this month at the Metropolitan Opera, returns to SF Opera to star alongside Brian Jagde as “Mario Cavaradossi”. Baritone Mark Delavan, well-known to Bay Area audiences for his acclaimed portrayal of “Wotan” in the Company’s 2011 Ring cycle, is “Baron Scarpia”. The final two performances, December 1st and 2nd, will be conducted by Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi.

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TOSCA. Angela Gheorghiu – Patricia Racette
Photos, Ken Howard and Scott Suchman

Based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden by Bay Area composer Nolan Gasser and librettist Carey Harrison receives its world premiere in March 2013. A unique opportunity for young people to see this familiar story come to life as a fully staged opera, this work is intended for children and families and will feature discounted ticket prices for children under age 18. Presented in partnership with Cal Performances, the opera will be performed at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. This production will be directed by Jose Maria Condemi with projections designed by painter and visual artist Naomie Kremer. Full cast and creative team will be announced at a later date.

Opening June 5th, 2013 is Jaques Offenbach’s melodic masterpiece, Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Distinguished lyric tenor Matthew Polenzani will sing the role of the sensitive poet who searching for love. Popular coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay returns to perform the four women Hoffmann encounters. Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, who recently appeared with the Company as “Charlotte” in Massenet’s Werther, makes her role debut as “Nicklausse” and Christian Van Horn portrays the four villains who thwart Hoffmann’s desires. Conductor Patrick Fournillier and director Laurent Pelly return for this new co-production with Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu designed by Chantal Thomas.

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SASHA COOKE — NATALIE DESSAY

Così fan tutte – Mozart’s ingenious mix of hilarious farce and poignant drama follows two young soldiers who disguise themselves to test their lovers’ fidelity. Opening June 9th, the cast includes: Ellie Dehn (Fiordiligi), Heidi Stober (Despina), Francesco Demuro (Ferrando), Christel Lötzsch (Dorabella), Philippe Sly (Guglielmo), Marco Vinco (Don Alfonso), and Susannah Biller (Despina) in the final two performances. Nicola Luisotti conducts and Jose Maria Condemi directs this SF Opera/Opera Monte Carlo co-production by John Cox and designed by Robert Perdziola.

A new San Francisco Opera commission, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is composer Mark Adamo’s exploration of the narrative of Jesus and his love for complicated women. He draws his libretto from the Gnostic Gospels, the Canonical Gospels and decades of biblical scholarship. The cast includes the Company debut of American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke (Mary Magdalene), soprano Maria Kanyova (Miriam), William Burden (Peter), and Nathan Gunn (Yeshua). Director Kevin Newbury and conductor Michael Christie make their San Francisco Opera debuts with this production opening June 19th.

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NATHAN GUNN – As “Yeshua”
Photo, David-Bachman

Click here to renew your subscription: 2012/13 Season

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A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
SABINA ALLEMANN – Former SF Ballet Ballerina Returns In A.C.T.’s “The Tosca Project”
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AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
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“My Silver Dollar Man” – from MARKED WOMAN (starring Bette Davis, 1937)
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)

Continue Reading

On Scene with Bill Wilson – Dr. Jill Biden’s SF Visit

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

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Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President during a visit to the Code for America offices in San Francisco Photo by Bill Wilson

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President used her visit to the Bay Area to promote the Joining Forces initiative, a joint venture with the First Lady to promote efforts that support our troops and veterans and their families. After visiting the VA Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Biden traveled to San Francisco to visit the Code for America offices and learn how technology can be used to help veterans apply for jobs.

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Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer, joins Dr. Jill Biden in listening to presentations on “Apps for Heroes” during her visit to the offices of Code for America. Photo by Bill Wilson

Dr. Biden’s visit actually had two parts to it. First she was shown presentations by several people on Apps for Heroes. The presentations ranged from finding the job postings to notifying companies that they are eligible for tax breaks because they hired a qualified veteran.

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Jim Brikman, Sr. Software Engineer at Linkedin, shows Dr. Biden and Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, applications that can be used by veterans to locate job openings and other resources. Photo by Bill Wilson

Translating military training into marketable job skills that companies want can be daunting, but there is an app for that. Since so much of finding a job is about networking it makes sense to use technology to facilitate that communication.

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Peter Levin (left), Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Chief Technology Officer for the U S Department of Veterans Affairs and Aneesh Chopra listen as Gunnar Counselman, (seated) CEO of Fidelis explains a point to Dr. Biden.

The second part of Dr. Biden’s visit was a brief talk to an assembled group of Code for America members who are providing the technical skills and energy to come up with the programs that help people and cities connect with solutions for their common problems, which is what Code for America is all about.

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Dr. Biden talks with members of Code for America. Photo by Bill Wilson

I admit to being a tech dummy. So it took me a while to realize that Code for America is not only the name of the project, but a description of what they do. When you are writing a program you are basically writing code that tells the computer what you want it to do.

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Dr. Biden and Code for America members. Photo by Bill Wilson

Most of Dr. Biden’s time was spent meeting people who had come to the event and learning what they were doing.

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Craig Newmark and Dr. Jill Biden. Photo by Bill Wilson

On a personal note, after I had taken this picture of Craig with Dr. Biden I said to her, “This isn’t the first time I’ve taken your picture, the first time was at the wedding reception Senator and Mrs. Hollings gave for you.” She looked at me and said, “Oh my God!” Then as she come over and gave me a hug she said, “That was thirty five years ago.”

See Related On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the “Czar of Noir”

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Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

NOIR CITY celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year at the Castro Theatre. The festival stretches out for ten days and promises to be the most exciting and varied season yet assembled. The season opens with a double-bill of San Francisco-based thrillers: Dark Passage (1947) starring the dynamic team of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and The House on Telegraph Hill (1951) filmed entirely on location in The City. Many in the audience will pine for the unobstructed and long-gone panoramic views, the new-comers will be shocked at how the location sites have changed. Has it all been for the better? How has the unavoidable influence of power and greed effected the look and feel of San Francisco? Who decided that vast amounts of its surviving Victorian architecture should be destroyed in favor of what is there now? The City wept as the wrecker’s canon ball smashed through the ultimately opulent Fox Theatre on Market Street to make way for the brash constructs that occupy Fox Plaza. For the world of movies – especially as it effects San Francisco and its amazing variety of film festivals – how we experience them and, in the end, where we experience them – the future rests on a predictable fault line. Make way for a Hero, Eddie Muller. We talked about his astonishing ten-year success story of Noir City and how he will negotiate the on-coming juggernaut of change.

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LAUREN BACALL (As “Irene Jansen”): Why don’t you get dressed.
I’ll wait downstairs and sort of get a fresh impression.

Sean: How did you assemble this particular roster of films?

Eddie: It’s never really one thing. There are so many factors you have to take into account – the availability of the films and then our efforts to find films that are not available. That drives everything for us. Can we resurrect something that’s not been seen in a long time? Very early on, Anita Monga – my co-programmer and co-producer of the festival – taught me a very important lesson: you have to realize there are always new viewers for the films. Sometimes, when you become a real aficionado, it’s easy to say, “I don’t want to show that. Everybody’s seen it.” Then you have to realize that’s not true. I’m assuming a lot of people in their late teens and early twenties will be coming to the festival who were just kids when we first started. They didn’t know they had an interest in these things. That’s why I’m going to show Naked Alibi and Pickup – films that have not been seen at all – and others such as Gilda and Laura. I’ll show Thieves’ Highway and Dark Passage again because they’re such great “Old San Francisco” movies. Another big factor, right now – and I can’t stress this enough – this may be the last time you get to see these films in 35mm on the big screen.

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GLORIA GRAHAME – a border town girl, “Marianna”

Sean: You mentioned this fact during the Christmas screenings of the Deanna Durbin films. In 2012, this is as perplexing to me as when I learned of the damage to the original negative of my favorite film of films, Lawrence of Arabia. Or farther back to 1969 when I worked at the M.G.M. auction and heard about the Key Sets of stills that were plowed into the ground simply because whoever was in charge didn’t know what else to do with them. What is the rationale behind the deliberate loss of a 35mm film?

Eddie: It’s the economics of the Industry. That’s the answer. In this culture, it is necessary for private individuals such as myself to campaign and lobby for the preservation of things that they believe have value when that value is questioned by the people who actually own that stuff. For me, it is no different than when you look at a spectacular piece of architecture and wonder how that building could be falling apart. Well, the person who owns it obviously does not see the same value in it. They may say, “I hope the building does fall down so I can get the insurance money and then build something there that will make me money.” The same thing is true with movies. If Naked Alibi was a picture that people wanted to make money with, then they would preserve it. But there isn’t a way to make money with it. That doesn’t mean the film is without value or that people don’t want to see it. Fourteen hundred people are going to come to the Castro Theatre to see Naked Alibi. So, I’ve created a situation where the film has value. That’s why I’m able to get Universal – God love them! – to strike a new print. They said, “Eddie has shown over the years that people will come to see these movies. So, yeah! We own that film, let’s make a new print.” That’s exactly how it should work. But, it doesn’t always work that way.

Sean: How much did it actually cost Universal to make a new print of that film?

Eddie: I don’t know exactly, but if an original negative is in good condition, it will cost thousands of dollars. Not tens of thousands, but thousands of dollars. There is a difference between a restoration and a preservation. With a preservation you’re just printing from existing material without improving or enhancing it in any way. If the original material in the negative and the soundtrack are in good condition, you can just make a print of that and make it available to be screened. If that negative does not exist, then you have to go out and do a restoration which is making a new inter-negative from positive elements so that you can then make prints in perpetuity. When we restore films such as The Prowler or Cry Danger, we don’t have the negative. So, we’re actually making a negative from the positive elements we’re able to find. We’re going in and enhancing the soundtrack when it needs to be enhanced, cleaning it up when it needs to be cleaned up. If we have two or three prints, we’re making a composite of the best parts from each of them and creating a new negative. That’s much more expensive. That can go from $40,000 to easily up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars – if it’s a color film. The Film Foundation spent half a million dollars restoring The Red Shoes. That was a Technicolor film and they just obsessed over it. You’re never going to make that money back. You can’t make that money back. For instance, in this festival, we funded a preservation print of Three Strangers.

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PETER LORRE (as “Johnny West”): Don’t ever get mixed up with a Chinese goddess.
That’s the worst thing that can happen, the very worst.

Eddie: Warner Brothers did not have a screenable print of that film. I felt that was ridiculous. We should be able to show that film to an audience right now in 35mm. It was not on their agenda to do that. They did not see the value of making that 35mm print. I see the value. The Film Noir Foundation spent the money. We’ll show the film – three times, on Saturday, the 28th. In one day, at the Castro Theatre, we will probably pay for the cost of making that print. It will then reside at the UCLA Film and Television Archive so that people can have access to it. It’s still owned by Warner Brothers, of course. They have the rights to the film, but now there’s a 35mm print that exists. There is the possibility that, at some point, Warner Brothers may preserve the film themselves – for their archive. But they don’t have that now. I felt that now was the time, that we can make that money back, and I want people to see that movie now. I want that film back in circulation now.

Sean: What film do you want to invest in next?

Eddie: I have several I’m working on and trying to get done. It can be very frustrating. The demise of 35mm is a real factor right now. It’s infringing upon our efforts because there aren’t enough laboratories to do the work anymore. In southern California there are so few laboratories that are actually restoring and preserving film that they all have a backlog. When I was trying to get something done at Universal they said, “We would love do that for you, Eddie, but we’re preserving a bunch of our own films right now at three different laboratories in L.A.  We’ve got them backed up for months. You can’t get that thing printed. It won’t be for another six months before we can even think about making a print of that film.” This is the reality, Sean. What more do you need to know other than Kodak filed for bankruptcy the other day? That says it all. When Kodak files for bankruptcy – do I need to explain that the future of film is done? It’s going digital.
Sean: It must be minor news to the world, I haven’t heard a word about it.

Eddie: It’s been brewing for a while. It’s a major concern. The thing I want to stress is how incredibly essential San Francisco is to the success of the Film Noir Foundation. It’s because of the people of San Francisco and the Castro Theatre – which holds 1400 people – that the economics makes sense for us. I explain this to people overseas and they are mystified. “You have to hold a film festival to get the prints made?” But, it works. It’s a very Capitalist answer to a very Socialist problem. It’s our film culture, we should be preserving it. But, there is no central film archive in this country. It’s the studios. The studios own this stuff, they own the rights to the movies. If they choose to have a film become extinct, then that is going to happen unless there is some economically viable alternative. That’s what the Noir City film festival is. It is economically viable and the people of San Francisco will fill that theatre. When that happens, I can justify spending the money to make new prints of these films – even if they are only shown at my festivals which are also held in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Washington, DC. It’s not costing me money. Yes, I’m a non-profit. But like a lot of non-profits, I’m not here to lose money. At the worst, I will break even. As long as we keep making money, we can keep making film prints and preserving them. Going forward, we have to figure out how valuable this is when it’s no longer about the film.

Sean: Do you mean, afterwards – when there are so many films that have been rescued?

Eddie: The question is – will there be film laboratories that can do this preservation and restoration work? Will the venues where we show the films succumb to the economic pressures and say, “It’s no longer viable to have 35mm projectors in the venue.”

Sean: During my recent interview with film historian Dale Kuntz for the Deanna Durbin screenings, he mentioned the problems he’s having trying to find people who can service his 16mm projectors.

Eddie: Absolutely! There was a 16mm projector in the Castro Theatre for the first five years of Noir City. That was an option, as a back-up, in case something went wrong. I always had a collector somewhere. There have been three occasions in our history when we needed that projector. When we scheduled Repeat Performance, a really rare film from 1947, Joan Leslie came as our featured guest. The film that was shipped to us was not projectable because they had not cared for it. But I know a private collector here in the Bay Area, Peter Conheim, who has a 16mm print of it. He drove the film straight to the Castro and that’s what we screened.

Sean: I’ll bet he was totally thrilled.

Eddie: Yes. The thing is – today, that projector is no longer at the Castro. It’s not economically viable for them to show 16mm. I have to say, I agree with them. If the alternative is we have to put our money into a new DVD projection system as opposed to upkeep on a 16mm – of course they’re going to do that.

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REPEAT PERFORMANCE (1947) – Joan Leslie as “Sheila Page”

Eddie: The studios are the ones driving this onto the theater owners by saying, “Spend the money on making the conversion to digital. Because, in a year, we’re not going to send you films. If you haven’t spent the money on making the conversion, you won’t be in business.” It really is an amazing phenomenon. There is a lot of money being made by venture capitalists who are loaning the money to theaters to pay for the digital conversion because they do not have the money to do it themselves. If they want to remain theaters, they have to make that conversion. It can cost between $125,000–$150,00 to install that digital system. Theaters don’t have that money. The movie business is terrible right now. There are a lot of sharks out there who are saying, “We’ll loan you the money.”

Sean: Sounds like organized crime to me.

Eddie: And it’s happening with the blessing of the studios because they want that digital conversion to happen. It is the natural evolution of the business. It doesn’t make sense to put films in cans and then ship them around the world anymore when you can do it through the Internet. It does seem archaic, right? But it doesn’t mean that films should be allowed to disintegrate and disappear. Film is still the best preservation medium there is – far surpassing digital. Digital is not a preservation medium because it is way to volatile. If you have something short-circuit, it can erase everything on the hard drive. You can lose a digital film way-easier than you can lose an actual film. It makes sense to have a 35mm in pristine condition even if eventually everybody’s going to see it as a digital product. I’ve come to terms with this. I will readily admit that in the past few years I was combative about it and opposed to the digitization of all this stuff. The writing is on the wall. I cannot win that argument. Now the mission is to preserve as much as we can on film, in the time we have, so that as much exists as possible – in as good a condition as possible – for that eventual digital future when that’s how people are going to see these things.

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PATRICIA NEAL (As “Leona Charles”): Speaking of coincidences, I live in Number Seven.
My friends just kick the door open.

Eddie: Another thing that has grown out of the success of this festival – which is not something I’d imagined at the beginning – is that it’s no longer just about preserving films. It is about the film-going experience. As you see digital make these in-roads, the Number One thing that describes the Digital Revolution is “convenience”. It is very convenient. You can see movies that you thought you would never see, sitting home at your desk. That is convenience. But what is lost in that is the communal movie-going experience. I still believe that movies like this offer people a reason to go out and share the experience with everybody else. I continue to believe that watching a movie in a movie theater with an audience of like-minded people is the best way to experience a film. And the people of San Francisco agree – because they come out and support the experience of this festival.

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AFRAID TO TALK (1932) – Eric Linden as “Eddie Martin”

Eddie: Another aspect of the festival that I think is important – and where I go a little against the grain is the old debate. “What is Film Noir? What are the qualifications?” I have very specific ideas about it. And on occasion, when asked to express those ideas, I will do it in a very forceful and definitive manner. But, as a Showman, I totally get the value of the elasticity of the term. It allows me to present things to a large audience that wouldn’t otherwise be seen unless I was including it under this definition of “Noir”. So, no one has discussed Okay, America and Afraid to Talk in the context of Film Noir. I’m taking the opportunity to present these extraordinary movies – that were made pre-Code – which feel exactly like Film Noir. And I say – “So, how does this effect your interpretation of Film Noir?” Afraid to Talk is Film Noir. There are no two-ways about it. It looks and feels like Film Noir. The point of the movie is Film Noir – an innocent man is railroaded by corrupt politicians colluding with gangsters. It was made in 1931, it could easily have been made in the ’40s. I really want people to see those movies. So, this is a very important part of what we do at the festival – to expose a whole new generation to films such as The Maltese Falcon, Laura and Gilda, which they may have never seen on a big screen.

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RITA HAYWORTH and ANGIE DICKINSON

Eddie: Everybody needs to understand Rita Hayworth. If the kids don’t know who Rita Hayworth is, then show them Gilda on the big screen and they’ll get it. “Oh! Now I understand what a Movie Star is!” And this applies to Angie Dickinson as well. Films from the ’60s, like The Killers, is an obvious re-make of a classic Film Noir, so it qualifies. But Point Blank is something very different and what people are going to get out of it is that there are certain common themes in these films. By juxtaposing films from the ’40s with those of the ’60s you can really see what changed culturally. This is what a Femme Fatale looked like in the ’40s and this is what that character is like in the ’60s. This is the way Burt Lancaster would have played the role in the ’40s, this is the way Lee Marvin does it in the ’60s. On Monday night, the 23rd, I’m showing Gilda from 1946 with The Money Trap from 1965. It’s going to be a shock for people to see Rita Hayworth and Glen Ford in their sexy prime and then see them twenty years later in middle age. The Money Trap is very poignant. When Ford and Hayworth are on screen together, the subtext is clearly their history together – “We had a thing once.” And they don’t look good. Hayworth is, like, “I’m playing that part!” She’s not made-up, she isn’t glamorous, she’s a drunk – you know? It’s very powerful to see those films back-to-back.

Sean: Even if you don’t know the Hollywood History of it all, the performances remain highly nuanced and layered with content – which keeps the films vibrant and vital.

Eddie: That’s what we aim to do!

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RITA HAYWORTH (As “Gilda”): Hate is a very exciting emotion. Haven’t you noticed?
Very exciting. I hate you too, Johnny. I hate you so much I think I’m going to die from it.
Darling…

The NOIR CITY Nightclub
Swedish American Hall , 2174 Market Street –within walking distance of the Castro Theatre.
Swinging lounge tunes, torrid torch songs, classic burlesque, and a helping of neo-noir rock-and-roll is the bill of fare Saturday night, January 28, 2012, as the NOIR CITY film festival breaks out of the majestic Castro Theatre to present Everyone Comes to Eddie’s, a swanky, sexy, and slightly sinister soiree in which the Swedish American Hall is transformed into a vintage 1940s-era nightclub. The one-night special event is an added celebration of NOIR CITY’s 10th anniversary. Cocktail attire preferred. Tickets for the show, a fundraiser for the Film Noir Foundation, are priced at $75 each. Admission includes hors d’oeuvres and one complimentary cocktail. No-host bar. NOIR CITY Passports do not grant party admission. Separate ticket required. Click here for ticket information: The NOIR CITY Nightclub.

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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – “The Magic Flute” opens Cinema Series at the Sundance Kabuki

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera partners with Sundance Cinemas to present HD screenings of the Company’s acclaimed productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Otello, Richard Strauss’ Salome and Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco. Each production will be screened twice – Tuesdays at 7:00 pm and Saturdays at 10:30 am. The series begins with The Magic Flute on January 24th and 28th, followed by Otello on February 28th and March 3rd. Salome plays March 27th and 31st and concludes with Il Trittico May 15th and 19th.  These screenings mark the third San Francisco Opera’s popular cinema presentations to be shown at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved opera, The Magic Flute, is filled with ritual and symbolism. Mozart’s masterpiece is a playful and profound look at the human quest for love, wisdom, and virtue.  Donald Runnicles conducts a cast headed by acclaimed lyric tenor Piotr Beczala as “Tamino” and soprano Dina Kuznetsova as “Pamina”.  The cast also features Erika Miklósa as the “Queen of the Night”, baritone Christopher Maltman as “Papageno”, and bass Georg Zeppenfeld as “Sarastro”.  Directed by Stanley Garner, the production is designed by renowned artist Gerald Scarfe, whose captivating vision of The Magic Flute features a menagerie of fantastical creatures and a 30-foot-tall pyramid that morphs as the opera’s plot unfolds.  A long-time political cartoonist for London’s Sunday Times, Scarfe’s extensive work in opera, theater, and film includes designing and directing the animation for Pink Floyd’s The Wall concerts and film.

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MAGIC FLUTE – Christopher Maltman (Papageno).
Photo, Terrence McCarthy

Giuseppe Verdi’s masterwork Otello is conducted by San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti. Considered by many to be one of Verdi’s greatest operas, Shakespeare’s flawed warrior “Otello” is sung by tenor Johan Botha, one of today’s preeminent interpreters of the role.  Soprano Zvetelina Vassileva sings the role of Otello’s faithful and falsely accused wife “Desdemona”, and Italian baritone Marco Vratogna is the manipulative soldier “Iago”.  Rounding out the cast is tenor Beau Gibson (“Cassio”), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum (“Emilia”), and bass Eric Halfvarson (“Lodovico”). Conceived by Sir Peter Hall, this Lyric Opera of Chicago production is directed by Stephen Barlow.

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JOHAN BOTHA as “Otello”. Photo, Terrence McCarthy

Richard Strauss’ biblical drama Salome is inspired by the Oscar Wilde play.The story of “Salome” and her lecherous stepfather “Herod” has shocked opera audiences since its first performance. Starring in the title role is soprano Nadja Michael, who has sung the role to great acclaim at Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Milan’s La Scala. Tenor Kim Begley sings the role of “King Herod”, with bass-baritone Greer Grimsley as the doomed “Jokanaan”, mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura as “Herodias”, and tenor Garrett Sorenson as “Narraboth”.  This San Francisco Opera co-production with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and L’Opéra de Montréal is directed by Seán Curran.  San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts.

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NADJA MICHAEL – As “Salome”. Photo, Terrence McCarthy

Giacomo Puccini’s triptych Il Trittico is a trio of one-act operas that runs the gamut from heart-wrenching tragedy to madcap comedy. Soprano Patricia Racette, heralded as one of the premiere American dramatic sopranos of our time, portrays the heroine in each of the one-act operas – Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. The cast also features baritone Paolo Gavanelli, tenor Brandon Jovanovich, celebrated contralto Ewa Podleś and bass Andrea Silvestrelli.  San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers leads these performances, and James Robinson directs this inventively updated production from New York City Opera.

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IL TABARRO – Brandon Jovanovich and Patricia Racette
Photo, Cory Weaver

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SUOR ANGELICA – Patricia Racette
Photo, Cory Weaver

Recorded live in high definition at San Francisco’s historic War Memorial Opera House, all shows include English subtitles and a brief intermission with behind the scenes interviews. All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Chorus (Ian Robertson, Chorus Director). San Francisco Opera’s education department presents free, informative 25 minute pre-screening lectures prior to each Saturday morning performance: The Magic Flute, January 28th; Otello, March 3rd; Salome, March 31st; and Il Trittico, May 19th. Lectures begin at 10:00 am.

Click here for ticket information: Grand Opera Cinema Series

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GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – 75th Anniversary – “Bridging Us All”

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Officials from the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust, today announced details for The Golden Gate Festival, the official public celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. The multi-faceted two-day event will be held over Memorial Day weekend, May 26th–27th, 2012 and span the San Francisco waterfront from Fort Point (below the Golden Gate Bridge) to Pier 39.

Under the theme “Bridging Us All,” The Golden Gate Festival is the center point of the Bridge’s year-long 75th anniversary program. Harkening back to the spirit of the Golden Gate Fiesta when the Bridge opened on May 27, 1937, highlights of the 2012 celebration include an historic watercraft parade, multiple music and dance stages, art installations, history and educational presentations, display of cars from 1937 to the present, and Bridge-related activities on Crissy Field and the Marina Green. These activities will be complemented by Bridge-themed events and performances at waterfront venues including Fort Mason Center, Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Pier 39, among others. On Sunday evening, May 27th at approximately 9:30 pm, the weekend celebration will conclude with a spectacular 75th anniversary fireworks display and grand finale.

golden-gate-bridge
Photo, Tom Crites

“The Golden Gate Bridge stands today as a testament of innovation and imagination, a bridge built by the people during the Great Depression,” said Janet Reilly, president of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors. “In honor of its 75th anniversary, we are reaching out to the people of the Bay Area and beyond to join us in a community-based celebration along the San Francisco waterfront. The Bridge is not the stage this time; rather, the community will come together to celebrate this engineering wonder together in a festival atmosphere.”

To plan and support the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy established a Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Steering Committee composed of local volunteers and civic leaders – and co-chaired by Nancy Hellman Bechtle, also chair of the Presidio Trust, and Larry Baer, president of the San Francisco Giants. “Our Steering Committee sought out corporate partners who we knew would share our goal to honor this beloved Bay Area icon appropriately, and who have a track record of supporting projects that benefit the public at large,” said Bechtle. “All of our corporate partners have a long and distinguished history of giving back to the communities where their employees and customers live and work. Their generous support of the Bridge’s 75th anniversary year will not only bring us all together for a great anniversary weekend, but also ensure lasting improvements to the Golden Gate Bridge visitor experience.”

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BRIDGE PAVILION – Under construction
Photo, Tom Crites

In addition to The Golden Gate Festival, the year-long 75th anniversary features:

  • 75 Tributes to the Bridge, a series of public programs being presented throughout the year by Bay Area museums, cultural centers, universities, arts organizations, children’s groups, and others.
  • Construction of a new 3,500-square-foot Bridge Pavilion to serve as a welcome and interpretive center and to provide a museum store featuring a wide range of commemorative and interpretive Bridge merchandise;
  • Renovation of the historic Round House into a program staging and visitor education center;
  • Upgrades to the Bridge Café, including a new menu with locally sourced and sustainable items;
  • A “green screen” photo area where visitors can picture themselves in dramatic and publically inaccessible Bridge locations, such as the top of the tower;
  • New personally guided Bridge tours, including the first-ever night tours, utilizing the latest in audio technology; and
  • Enhancements to the Bridge Plaza and the adjacent national parklands, trails and overlooks within Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, along with various philanthropic and public agency funders, is supporting these long-term physical improvements to the visitor experience at the Bridge and in adjacent national parklands. “We are incredibly grateful to our individual, foundation, corporate, and public agency donors and partners,” said Greg Moore, executive director of the Conservancy. “They have made it possible for us to make a lasting anniversary gift to the Bridge and connect this beloved landmark to the Presidio and Golden Gate National Parks through a network of trails, bikeways, and scenic overlooks.”

“As the storied entrance to San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate, and its iconic Bridge is the namesake and centerpiece of our national park,” said Frank Dean, GGNRA General Superintendent. “The scenery, history, and extraordinary natural setting inspire millions of visitors a year to come to the area. With the new facilities and education programs being launched at the Bridge this spring, the experience will be even more remarkable.”

The 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge is a project of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in collaboration with the National Park Service and The Presidio Trust. The year-long celebration and visitor services improvements are funded by private contributions, with major underwriting provided by Wells Fargo, Genentech, and HP. Anniversary events include The Golden Gate Festival along the San Francisco waterfront on May 26-27, 2012; 75 Tributes to the Bridge, a year-long series of public programs presented throughout the Bay Area; renovation of the historic Round House and construction of a new visitor Pavilion; and enhancements to the Bridge Plaza and Golden Gate National Recreation Area parklands on both sides of the span.

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“Bridging Us All”. Photo, Tom Crites
Click on my photo for more information on the 75th Anniversary

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NOIR CITY – 10th Anniversary, 10-Day Festival at the Castro Theatre, begins January 20th

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

NOIR CITY celebrates its 10th anniversary as the world’s most popular film noir festival with a 10-day extravaganza featuring San Francisco treats, a Dashiell Hammett marathon, freshly preserved 35mm rarities, by-popular-demand encore screenings, surprises galore, and super special guest star Angie Dickinson. The festival runs January 20th through the 29th and promises to be the darkest and most delirious incarnation yet of San Francisco’s own NOIR CITY.

Among the rarities being presented this year: a brand new 35mm print of 1949′s The Great Gatsby, starring Alan Ladd as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary lovelorn hero. The film has been buried for decades, but producer Eddie Muller’s perseverance convinced Universal Pictures to strike a preservation print for NOIR CITY. The studio also is providing a brand new 35mm print of 1954′s Naked Alibi, starring noir’s favorite bad girl, Gloria Grahame. The Film Noir Foundation has also funded a new 35mm preservation of the “lost” 1946 classic Three Strangers, which had no viewable prints and has never been released on DVD. NOIR CITY is also proud to have been chosen to premiere the Film Foundation’s recently completed preservation of the superb 1950 Michael Curtiz film The Breaking Point, starring John Garfield.

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NAKED ALIBI – Gloria Grahame as the border town girl, “Marianna”

THE SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, January 20th
DARK PASSAGE – 1947, Warner Bros. 106 min.
7:00 PM
This year’s festival opens with Bogart and Bacall’s darkest duet, a bizarre ramble through nocturnal 1940′s San Francisco, as an escaped con pursues the real culprit in his wife’s murder. Startling use of the subjective-eye camera focuses on the mid-20th century city in all its noir glory. A 10th anniversary encore of NOIR CITY’s inaugural Opening Night film. Screenplay and direction by Delmer Daves, based on the novel by David Goodis.

THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL – 1951, 20th Century-Fox, 93 min.
9:30 PM
A WWII concentration camp survivor (Valentina Cortese) trades identities with a doomed camp-mate and winds up living a luxurious lie in a mysterious mansion above North Beach. Her romantic attachments soon turn suspicious, sinister, and deadly. A classic “woman in jeopardy” thriller, shot entirely on location in the city, and a time capsule of postwar San Francisco. Screenplay by Elich Moll & Frank Partos, from a novel by Dana Lyon. Directed by Robert Wise.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Friday, 1/20

SATURDAY, January 21st – Matinees
OKAY, AMERICA – 1932, Universal, 78 min.
1:00, 4:00 PM Matinee
A hugely popular radio “columnist” (Lew Ayres), clearly based on the legendary Walter Winchell, uses his influence to manipulate both sides of the law while investigating a kidnapping that leads all the way to the White House. A wildly entertaining Pre-Code exposé on the greasy relationship between politicians, organized crime, and the burgeoning American media. Screenplay by William Anthony McGuire. Directed by Tay Garnett.

lew-ayres
LEW AYRES – as “Larry Wayne”

AFRAID TO TALK – aka THE MERRY GO-ROUND
1932, Universal, 69 min.
2:40 PM Matinee
Gansgters and politicians, worried their allegiances will be revealed, conspire to destroy an innocent bellhop (Eric Linden) who witnesses a murder in the penthouse suite. A scathing, uncompromising, and still timely look at the corruption inherent in American big city politics. Indelible performances from a cast, headed by Louis Calhern and Edward Arnold. Screenplay by Albert Maltz and George Sklar, based on their play. Directed by Edward L. Cahn.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Saturday, January 21st Matinees

SATURDAY, January 21st – Evening
In Person – Angie Dickinson
Interviewed onstage by Eddie Muller between films.
THE KILLERS – 1964, Universal, 93 min.
7:00 PM
This hard-hitting remake of Mark Hellinger’s 1946 noir classic was intended as the first “made for TV” feature film, until network execs balked at the film’s amorality and casual brutality. Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager play hit-men obsessed with discovering why their victim (John Cassavetes) accepted his death. The blood-spattered hunt leads through femme fatale Angie Dickinson to … Ronald Reagan! Screenplay by Gene L. Coon, based on the Hemingway short story. Directed by Don Siegel.

angie-dickinson-e28093-lee-marvin
ANGIE DICKINSON – LEE MARVIN

POINT BLANK – 1967, MGM/UA, 92 min.
9:45 PM
A taciturn hitman is double-crossed and left for dead on Alcatraz. But soon he’s relentlessly stalking his betrayers … or is he? One of the most stylish, inventive, and enigmatic films of the ’60s, Point Blank is the high-water mark of existentialist crime cinema, and the greatest of Lee Marvin’s memorable tough guy performances. Costarring Angie Dickinson at her sexiest! Screenplay by Alexander Jacobs, David & Rafe Newhouse. Directed by John Boorman.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Saturday, January 21st Evening

SUNDAY, January 22nd —Tribute to Writer Vera Caspary
LAURA – 1944, 20th Century-Fox, 88 min.
3:00, 5:00, 9:00 PM
The most celebrated movie mystery of all time is, as a bonus, one of the most elegantly perverse films ever produced. Caspary’s story, about a detective (Dana Andrews) who falls in love with a murder victim (Gene Tierney), becomes a lustrous banquet of great performances, direction, Oscar-winning cinematography, and one unforgettable theme song. Utterly mesmerizing. Screenplay by Jay Dratler, based on the Vera Caspary novel. Directed by Otto Preminger.
$10 double feature shows start at 5:00 and 7:00 PM

dana-andrews-e28094-margaret-lockwood
DANA ANDREWS — MARGARET LOCKWOOD

BEDELIA – 1946, General Film Distributors | BFI, 90 min.
7:00 PM
Caspary’s much-anticipated follow-up to Laura is hardly known, as the author’s bitterness toward Hollywood led her to make the film in England. Margaret Lockwood, queen of British femme fatales, stars as a beguiling woman whom men will literally die for. The rare 35mm print of this neglected gem comes courtesy of the British Film Institute. Screenplay by Vera Caspary, Herbert Victor, Isadore Goldsmith. Directed by Lance Comfort.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Sunday, January 22nd

MONDAY, January 23rd
GILDA – 1946, Columbia, 110 min.
7:00 PM
Rita Hayworth created her Hollywood “Love Goddess” legend in this tailor-made romantic drama, first of several sex-charged pairings with costar Glenn Ford. The film’s amazing sexual symbolism slipped past the censors (and most viewers) at the time; today the film is regarded as one of the greatest examples of a director “working around” the Production Code. Screenplay by Marion Parsonnet; adaptation by Jo Eisinger; story by E.A. Ellington. Directed by Charles Vidor.

THE MONEY TRAP – 1965, MGM/WB, 91 min.
9:20 PM
Twenty years after steaming up the screen in Gilda, Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth were reunited, poignantly, in this ’60s-style homage to old-school film noir. Director Burt Kennedy gives a hard, jazzy edge to the proceedings, winking toward the film’s 1940′s roots, while giving the full ’60s-style sex-bomb treatment to costar Elke Sommer. Screenplay by Walter Bernstein, from the novel by Lionel White.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Monday, January 23rd

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RITA HAYWORTH — LINDA DARNELL

TUESDAY, January 24th
UNFAITHFULLY YOURS – 1948, 20th Century-Fox, 105 min.
7:00 PM
As film noir swept over late ’40s Hollywood, Preston Sturges created the full-length first parody of the style with this mordantly hilarious tale of a jealous orchestra conductor (Rex Harrison) envisioning plots to murder his supposedly unfaithful wife (Linda Darnell). Turning The Postman Always Rings Twice into uproarious comedy takes only a few tweaks and twists for this brilliant and genuine auteur. Written and directed by Preston Sturges.

THE GOOD HUMOR MAN – 1950, Columbia [Sony], 80 min.
9:15 PM
Jack Carson stars as a driver for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company, in over his head when he tries to save a gal-pal from gangsters and ends up accused of murder. A typical thriller from ace noir scribe Roy (The Fugitive) Huggins—except the final screenplay is by comedy genius Frank Tashlin, whose hilariously inspired high-jinks play havoc with film noir conventions. Costarring Lola Albright, Jean Wallace, and George “Superman” Reeves. Directed by Lloyd Bacon.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Tuesday, January 24th

WEDNESDAY, January 25th
HOUSE OF BAMBOO – 1955, 20th Century-Fox, 104 min.
7:30 PM
An military investigator (Robert Stack) infiltrates a gang of American ex-GIs (led by menacing and sexually ambiguous Robert Ryan) muscling in on the Japan’s Yakuza underworld. Fuller’s re-do of Fox’s The Street With No Name is a visual spectacle, with stunning Technicolor and Cinemascope giving extra dimension to the director’s singularly no-holds-barred style. Re-written and directed by Samuel Fuller, from Harry Kleiner’s original screenplay.

UNDERWORLD USA – 1961, Columbia [Sony], 99 min.
9:20 PM
Young Tolly Devlin witnesses a trio of hoodlums murder his father’s murder. As an adult ex-con, Devlin (Cliff Robertson) dedicates himself to exterminating the three culprits—now big-shot crime figures. One of Fuller’s punchiest smash-mouth crime dramas, presenting the war between the law and organized crime as backdrop for a searing personal vendetta. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Wednesday, January 25th

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HOUSE OF BAMBOO – PICKUP

THURSDAY, January 26th
NAKED ALIBI – 1954, Universal, 86 min.
7:30 PM
A murder suspect (Gene Barry), released for lack of evidence, vows vengeance on the cops who brutalized him. When one of those cops turns up dead, his partner (Sterling Hayden) hunts down the “innocent” man to prove him guilty. Both end up in thrall to border town bad girl Gloria Grahame, whose unique sexiness is on full display in this ultra-rare potboiler! Screenplay by Lawrence Roman, from a story by Gladys Atwater & Robert Bren. Directed by Jerry Hopper. Brand New 35mm Print!

PICKUP – 1951, Columbia [Sony] 78 min.
9:20 PM
A simple but supremely smarmy slice of sleaze from 1950′s sex-noir auteur Hugo Haas. He plays (as usual) an older man in thrall to a young hottie who spends all her time trying to murder him for what little money he has. A timeless tale, made unforgettable by the Amazon in the bullet-bra, slinging sass for all she’s worth—Beverly (Wicked Woman) Michaels! Screenplay and direction by Hugo Haas, from a novel by Josef Kopta.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Thursday, January 26th

FRIDAY, January 27th
THIEVES’ HIGHWAY – 1949, 20th Century-Fox, 94 min.
7:30 PM
One of NOIR CITY’s perennial favorites, presented in a pristine 35mm print! WWII vet Richard Conte drives to San Francisco to sell a load of apples—and get revenge on the crooked broker (Lee J. Cobb) who crippled his father. Shot on-location in the city’s once-thriving Embarcadero produce district, and featuring a terrific performance by Valentina Cortese. Screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides, from his novel Thieves’ Market. Directed by Jules Dassin.

THE BREAKING POINT – 1950, WB/UCLA, 97 min.
9:30 PM
John Garfield gives perhaps his greatest performance as world-weary fishing boat skipper Harry Morgan in this superb and darkly noir adaptation of Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not,” one of the best, if unjustly neglected, films of the noir era. Preservation funding provided by Warner Bros. in association with The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Screenplay by Ranald MacDougall, from the Hemingway novel. Directed by Michael Curtiz.. Preserved 35mm Print!
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Friday, January 27th

the-great-gatsby
THE GREAT GATSBY – Alan Ladd as “Jay Gatsby”

SATURDAY, January 28th
THE GREAT GATSBY – 1949, Paramount [Universal], 91 min.
3:00, 7:00 PM
Resurrected at long last! This version of F. Scott Firzgerald’s classic novel has been buried for decades, to make way for remakes. Thanks to our friends at Universal Pictures, Alan Ladd’s noir-styled take on the timeless tale of shady success and unrequited love is again available, in a brand new print made exclusively for NOIR CITY! Screenplay by Cyril Hume & Richard Maibaum, from a play by Owen Davis, based on Fitzgerald’s novel. Directed by Elliott Nugent. Preserved 35mm print!
$10 double feature shows start at 1:00 and 3:00 PM

THREE STRANGERS – 1946, Warner Bros., 92 min.
1:00, 5:00, 9:00
Noir strays into the supernatural realm in this fantastic tale of three strangers (Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Geraldine Fitzgerald) whose fates entwine with a mysterious Chinese idol and a winning lottery ticket. Deeply cynical, gloriously atmospheric. Never on DVD, almost lost in 35mm, we proudly present this forgotten classic in a brand new FNF-funded preservation print! Screenplay by John Huston and Howard Koch. Directed by Jean Negulesco.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Saturday, January 28th

SUNDAY, January 29th — ALL-DAY DASHIELL HAMMETT MARATHON
Matinee Features:
ROADHOUSE NIGHTS – 1930, Paramount [Universal], 68 min.
12:00 PM
This ultra-rare film—the first based on a Hammett book—is nominally taken from the author’s classic gang-war novel Red Harvest, which proved too brutal and cynical even for pre-Code Hollywood. What’s left is a merrily fun action-comedy starring Helen Morgan, Charles Ruggles, and Jimmy Durante. Screenplay by Garrett Fort; story by Ben Hecht, from the Hammett novel Red Harvest. Directed by Hobert Henley.

THE MALTESE FALCON – 1931, Warner Bros., 80 min.
1:20
No Humphrey Bogart here! This is the first cinematic version, produced the year after Hammett’s landmark novel was published. This pre-Code adaptation flaunts a much sexier tone than John Huston’s more famous 1941 version. Some Hammett fans even prefer it. Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels star as Spade and Brigid. Screenplay by Maude Fulton & Brown Holmes, from the Hammett novel. Directed by Roy Del Ruth.

CITY STREETS – 1932, Paramount [UCLA], 83 min.
3:00 PM
Gary Cooper plays a carny sharpshooter who goes crooked in order to free his love (Sylvia Sidney) from prison. The only story Hammett wrote specifically for the screen, it is brilliantly realized by director Rouben Mamoulian and legendary cameraman Lee Garmes. Restored print courtesy UCLA Film & Television Archive. Screenplay by Oliver H. P. Garrett, adapted by Max Marcin, from a story by Dashiell Hammett.

MR. DYNAMITE – 1935, Universal, 67 min.
4:45 PM
Originally conceived as a second “Sam Spade” novel, Mr. Dynamite would end up being the most rarely-seen of all films based on the author’s work. Edmund Lowe stars as a disreputable private dick hired by a gambler to solve a murder within the casino. Archival print courtesy of Universal Pictures! Screenplay by Doris Malloy & Harry Clork, from a story by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by Alan Crosland.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Sunday Matineee, 1/29

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GARY COOPER — VERONICA LAKE

HAMMETT MARATHON, Continues:
THE GLASS KEY – 1942, Paramount/Universal, 85 min.
7:00 PM
Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake add glamorous sex appeal to Hammett’s gritty and influential behind-the-scenes tale of the dirty work that goes on in big city politics. Director Stuart Heisler is at his rapid-fire best, eliciting terrific support from dashing Brian Donlevy and thuggish William Bendix. Screenplay by Jonathan Latimer, from the novel by Dashiell Hammett.

THE MALTESE FALCON – 1941, Warner Bros., 100 min.
9:00 PM
NOIR CITY’s 10th Anniversary celebration closes in the proper and righteous way: with an encore screening of the definitive film version of the most influential work of crime fiction ever written … “The stuff that dreams (and a million imitations) are made of.” With legendary performances from Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and S.F.’s own Elisha Cook, Jr. Written and directed by John Huston, from the novel by Dashiell Hammett. Perhaps your last chance to see it in glorious 35mm on a massive movie screen!
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Sunday Evening, 1/29

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RICARDO CORTEZ — BEBE DANIELS

As an added 10th anniversary attraction, this year’s festival also features the live event Everyone Comes to Eddie’s: The NOIR CITY Nightclub, a nocturnal celebration of noir style, presented Saturday night, January 28th, at the Swedish-American Hall, 2174 Market Street—converted for one night into a sleek and slightly sinister 1940′s era nightspot. Entertainment will include the sensational song stylings of the city’s own Mr. Lucky, classic torch-song temptress Laura Ellis, internationally renowned burlesque queen Evie Lovelle, and Kansas City’s cutting-edge noir-rockers, The Latenight Callers. Revelers can party like it’s 1949! NOIR CITY Nightclub tickets priced separately. Click here for more information: NOIR CITY

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“Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien” – At Davies Symphony Hall, Featuring Damian Smith of SF Ballet, January 12th–14th
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LEAH CROCETTO – An Interview with “Liu” in SF Opera’s TURANDOT
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AMANDA McBROOM – A conversation on her recording of songs by Jacques Brel
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CHRISTINE EBERSOLE – Bay Area Cabaret presents Tony Award winner at the Venetian Room, January 15th

sean-martinfield-18-august-2011
Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

BAY AREA CABARET continues its 2011-2012 season January 15, 2012 with two-time Tony Award winning actress/singer Christine Ebersole. Ebersole makes her Venetian Room debut with her new show from New York’s Café Carlyle about youth, age, and Hollywood illusions. This special one-night-only engagement will take place at the historic Venetian Room of The Fairmont San Francisco (950 Mason Street) 5:00 pm Sunday, January 15th. Bay Area Cabaret’s season continues February 26th with appearances by jazz guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli, including a second, newly added show featuring Pizzarelli and his wife, Broadway star Jessica Molaskey, and May 12th with Tony winner Laura Benanti. Click here to order tickets on-line: Bay Area Cabaret

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CHRISTINE EBERSOLE

Christine’s show mixes standards from her vast repertoire, ranging from the poignant “Another Winter in Summer Town” from the Broadway musical Grey Gardens, to the rollicking Sophie Tucker number “You Can’t Deep Freeze a Red Hot Mama.”  Ebersole has enchanted audiences throughout her performing career on the Broadway stage, in television series and specials, films, concert appearances, and recordings.  Her many accolades include two Tony Awards for her performances as “Edith Beale” and “Little Edie Beale” in the Broadway musical Grey Gardens, and as “Dorothy Brock” in the smash hit revival of 42nd Street.  Other memorable stage performances include roles in Steel Magnolias, On the Twentieth Century, Oklahoma, Dinner at Eight (Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Best Man, and the recent revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. She has starred in five City Center Encores! Productions, most recently receiving praise for her starring role as “Margo Channing” in Applause.

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CHRISTINE EBERSOLE (Katerina Cavalieri) & F. MURRAY ABRAHAM (Salieri)

Ms. Ebersole’s many hit film appearances include roles in Amadeus, Tootsie, Richie Rich, Black Sheep, Dead Again, Folks!, Ghost Dad, True Crime, My Girl 2, Mac and Me, and Confessions of a Shopaholic.  She also has an extensive list of television credits, including recent appearances on Retired at 35, Royal Pains, Ugly Betty, Law and Order: SVU, Boston Legal, Samantha Who, and Will and Grace.

In concert, Christine Ebersole has appeared in numerous halls throughout the country.  Most recently, she performed in the concert version of the opera The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall. Ebersole participated in the Opening Night Gala of Carnegie Hall’s 118th Season and has also appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in its tribute to Leonard Bernstein.  After making her debut with the Boston Pops three years ago, she returned to Boston’s Symphony Hall and Tanglewood to star as “Desiree Armfeldt” in a concert version of A Little Night Music with the Boston Pops.  In televised concerts, she has had star turns in Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall and The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty. In December 2010, she performed for the second time on the Kennedy Center Honors.

A celebrated recording artist, Ebersole has released such albums as Christine Ebersole: Live at the Cinegrill; In Your Dreams; Sunday in New York, and the newly released Christine Ebersole Sings Noel Coward.

christine-ebersole-sings-noel-coward
CHRISTINE EBERSOLE: Sings Noel Coward

Click on the photo to order CD on-line.

Album includes such classic hits as: Someday I’ll Find You; Mad About the Boy; Sail Away; I’ll See You Again, and more.

SEE RELATED ARTICLES

The Sentinel’s own editor Sean Martinfield is interviewed by David Perry on Comcast. Catch the Action!
“Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien” – At Davies Symphony Hall, Featuring Damian Smith of SF Ballet, January 12th–14th
NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY – Selects 25 Films for Preservation
JOHN E. BUCHANAN, Jr. – Director of the Legion of Honor and de Young Museum loses battle with cancer
CD, JAKE SCHEPPS – An Evening in the Village: The Music of Béla Bartók
“XANADU THE MUSICAL” – Now at the New Conservatory Theatre Center
DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY XMAS, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
CD Review – A STEINWAY CHRISTMAS ALBUM ★★★★
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166581
SF Opera Center Announces the 2012 Adler Fellows
CALIFORNIA DREAMING – At the Contemporary Jewish Museum
BERNINI’S MEDUSA – Now at the Legion of Honor through February 12th
“THE ARTIST” – Silents, please! – A masterpiece in B&W, starring Jean Dujardin
THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO’s “Hung” and 3D Thriller “Dark Country”
THE TEMPERAMENTALS – A Must-See at New Conservatory Theatre Center
CARMEN – Closing the season at San Francisco Opera
PISSARRO’S PEOPLE – Stunning exhibit now at the Legion of Honor, through 1/22
THE PRESIDIO’S HIDDEN PAST – SF’s Oldest Building Reveals Original Adobe Walls
MAHARAJA – The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, at the Asian Art Museum
KYLE KETELSEN and JANE ARCHIBALD – Featured Soloists in SF Symphony’s Presentation of the Brahms Requiem
“XERXES” – A Royally Entertaining Production at SF Opera
“REAL STEEL” – Reels of money-making crap starring Hugh Jackman
“XERXES” – At San Francisco Opera
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CD Release: “Feels Like Home”, The Celtic Tenors ★★★★
DON GIOVANNI – It’s smart and new at San Francisco Opera
“HOUDINI: Art and Magic” – At the Contemporary Jewish Museum
LEANNE BORGHESI – SF Bay Area Star on the Rise
LUCAS MEACHEM – Former Adler Fellow to sing “Don Giovanni” at San Francisco Opera
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“THE MILL & THE CROSS” – Film director Lech Majewski brings 16th Century masterpiece to life
“LUCREZIA BORGIA” – A Hard Act To Swallow at San Francisco Opera
EDDIE MULLER and “Fear Over Frisco” – An Interview with the Czar of Noir
LEAH CROCETTO – An Interview with “Liu” in SF Opera’s TURANDOT
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HENRY PHIPPS – A Conversation with Featured Boy Soprano in SF Opera’s “Heart of a Soldier”
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“HEART OF A SOLDIER” – A Rapturous World Premiere At San Francisco Opera
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“The Glory of Love” – A Salute to Jacqueline Fontaine
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“CASABLANCA” – The SF Symphony accompanies screening tonight, 7/22
“HE WHO GETS SLAPPED” – A conversation with composer and pianist Matti Bye
ABEL GANCE’S “NAPOLEON” – San Francisco Silent Film Festival to present complete restoration by Kevin Brownlow in 2012
HEIDI MELTON – An Interview with “Sieglinde” in San Francisco Opera’s DIE WALKÜRE
MARY GIBBONEY – An Interview with the star of “ABSOLUTELY SAN FRANCISCO”
“DAS RHEINGOLD” – The slippery steps to Valhalla
SONDHEIM’S “ASSASSINS” – Ray of Light Theatre is right-on target
“TALES OF THE CITY” – Totally Sensational, Totally San Francisco
TIIT HELIMETS – An Interview with “Prince Edvard” of SF Ballet’s THE LITTLE MERMAID
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ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
EDITORIAL – A confession about ballerina Lorena Feijóo
GISELLE – And the Legend of the Wilis
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
WEST SIDE STORY – Most of it, anyway
PLÁCIDO DOMINGO – An Interview with the Tenor turned Baritone for “Cyrano”
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – A Visit with the President of the Academy of Art University
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
SABINA ALLEMANN – Former SF Ballet Ballerina Returns In A.C.T.’s “The Tosca Project”
AMANDA McBROOM – A conversation on her recording of songs by Jacques Brel
CAMERON CARPENTER – An interview with Grammy-nominated organist
HANDEL’S “ORLANDO” – An Interview with Conductor Nicholas McGegan
PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
NATHAN GUNN – Sings Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin
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JANE MONHEIT – An Interview
DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
A Conversation with Ruben Martin Cintas, Principal Dancer with SF Ballet
THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
“My Silver Dollar Man” – from MARKED WOMAN (starring Bette Davis, 1937)
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)

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On Scene with Bill Wilson Buon Anno with a bang!

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2012

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The view from the balcony of my in-law’s apartment in Rome.

I know it’s when in Rome, but on New Year’s Eve my one resolution is to stay inside and hope my eardrums survive. It used to be that Italians greeted the new year by throwing old pots and dishes out the window. That tradition was discouraged as to dangerous and costly in damages particularly to parked cars. So now the tradition seems to be lighting fireworks from the roof or the street.

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The same view just before midnight on December 31.

This year the emphasis seemed to be on more of the loud concussion fireworks rather than the aerial displays of previous years. The most beautiful ones started about ten minutes before midnight.

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After midnight everyone joins in from the fireworks on the roof across Via Tiburtina and sparklers from neighboring apartments.

But since there was a person killed and several injured in Rome because of fireworks I suppose it is only time before this tradition is discouraged. Then I might think about sending it at the New Year’s Eve concert on the Via dei Fori Imperiali and have my eardrums assaulted in a different way.

See Related On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.


Buon Anno

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