So Easter time is on the horizon, and you say you have a pageant to attend? You can go garbed in the era-appropriate biblical attire, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera, which for only the fifth time in its history is throwing the doors to its costume shop wide open for a public sale.
The colorful array of robes and sandals that baritone Nathan Gunn and his fellow cast members wore in the world premiere of "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene" last year are up for grabs, along with hundreds of costumes and props from such diverse productions as "Don Giovanni," "Pelleas and Melisande," "Eugene Onegin," "Carmen" and "The Flying Dutchman." Get your suits of armor, masks, hats, belts, gloves and jewelry here, folks -- the vintages run the gamut from the aforementioned biblical times right up through the postmodern era. Prices will range from $1 to $750; all proceeds benefit the S.F. Opera.
Sale hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, with no admittance after 4:30 p.m. Saturday or 3:30 p.m. Sunday at 1800 Indiana St., which is between 20th and 22nd streets in San Francisco. Major crowds are expected, so the Opera is gearing up for this sale -- a once in a quarter-century opportunity, mind you -- with extra checkout lines and personnel. For details, go to www.sfopera.com.
MORE SOUNDS OF VIENNA: Those of us whose musical appetites were whetted by the exuberant music-making of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra earlier this month in Berkeley need not go hungry for more of the same. There happen to be several Viennese-flavored concerts happening during coming weeks.
The third and fourth concerts of San Francisco Performances' four-part lecture/performance "Mozart in Vienna" series take place Saturday morning and April 5 at the relaxed, audience-friendly San Francisco Jazz Center. The lecturer will be the witty Robert Greenberg, a scholar who is both entertaining and erudite. The live and lively musical examples illustrating his talks will be provided by the engaging Alexander String Quart -- Zakarias Grafilo and Frederick Lifsitz, violins; Paul Yarbrough, viola; and Sandy Wilson, cello.
Mozart took up residence in Vienna when he was 25. While there, he joined a string quartet that included the great composer Franz Joseph Haydn. Haydn, Mozart's elder by 19 years, provided great inspiration for Mozart with regard to his development of the sonata allegro and other classical forms. Mozart then ingeniously adapted these forms into a series of six string quartets now known as Mozart's "Haydn" Quartets.
Saturday's lecture/concert will include the String Quartet No. 18 in A major, K. 464; and the No. 19 in C major, nicknamed the "Dissonance Quartet," K. 465. The April 5 presentation will feature Berkeley pianist Sarah Cahill with the quartet, performing Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K. 478; and Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major, K. 493.
Details: 10 a.m. March 22 and April 5, 201 Franklin St., San Francisco; $27 -$50; 415-392-2545, www.sfperformances.org.
A DARKER VIENNA: Now fast-forward to another, less optimistic period in musical Vienna: the decade concurrent with World War I. The fine arts -- specifically, music, painting, theater and literary genres -- have tended to reflect the mood, or, to use the more inclusive German word, the "Weltanschauung" of the times.
On March 28, Old First Concerts will present one of the most controversial works to emerge from this particularly troubled time: Arnold Schoenberg's 1912 "Pierrot Lunaire." Soloist for this vivid work will the much-lauded contralto Karen Clark, whose voice has been described as "hauntingly beautiful," "majestic" and having "rich intensity" by critics in The New York and Los Angeles Times. Michael S. Orland conducts the accompanying ensemble: Terrie Baune, violin; Rob Bailis, clarinet; Lislie Chin, flute; Judyaba, cello; and Karen Rosenak, piano, If the music itself seems a bit startling, concentrate on the words, a series of provocative and thoughtful poems by Belgian writer Albert Giraud. Other works on the program will be Alban Berg's Op. 5 "Vier Stucke" for clarinet and piano; Alexander Zemlinsky's Op. 13 "6 Gesange," composed to poems by Maeterlinck, and pieces by Johannes Brahms.
Details: 8 p.m. March 28; Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento St., San Francisco; $5-$17; 415-474-1608, www.oldfirstconcerts.org.
Contact Cheryl North at email@example.com.