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Father Comes Home from the Wars ~ Smuin Dance Season 02 ~ SF Girls Chorus & Kronos ~ Christian Reif

Joan Marcus
The Oldest Old Man (Steven Anthony Jones, left), listens to a chorus of enslaved people: Second (Rotimi Agbabiaka), Third (Safiya Fredericks), Homer (Julian Elijah Martinez), and Leader (Chivas Michael), in 'Father Comes Home from the Wars' at A.C.T....

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the performing arts in the Bay Area, host David Latulipe talks with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Suzan-Lori Parks, about the A.C.T. production of her explosively powerful and lyrical new play Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3).

A coproduction with Yale Repertory Theatre, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) is an epic story inspired by Homer’s Odyssey and set amid the American Civil War. This haunting play fuses classical Greek drama, contemporary wordplay, and the soaring spirit of blues, belonging, heroism, and freedom. It runs through May 20 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (415 Geary Street) In San Francisco.

Also stopping by is artistic director Celia Fushille, from Smuin Contemporary American Ballet, to share details about the upcoming Dance Series 02, which includes choreographies by Helen Pickett (Oasis); Amy Seiwert (Falling Up); and  the world premiere of If I Were a Sushi Roll by master dance maker Val Caniparoli. 

Dance Series 02 runs through June 2 in San Francisco (April 20-29; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts); Walnut Creek (May 11-12; Lesher Center for the Arts); Mountain View (May 24-27; Mountain View Center for the Arts); and Carmel (June 1-2; Sunset Center).

From the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC), we meet with music director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, to discuss their involvement in the Kronos Festival 2018, where the SFGC joins the Kronos Quartet in the world premiere of Missa Supratext, by composer and longtime Kronos collaborator Aleksandra Vrebalov (b. 1970), who also joins us in the KALW-studio.

The concert by the SF Girls Chorus is on the closing day (Day 3) of the Kronos Festival 2018, which runs April 26 through 28 at SFJAZZ Center (201 Franklin Street) in San Francisco. Also performing that evening are performer of Vietnamese traditional instruments Vân-Ánh Võ; and Kronos’ artist-in-residence David Coulter.

Plus, we catch up with German conductor Christian Reif, right after rehearsal for his upcoming concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, April 26 - 29, his SFS-subscription concert debut. He replaces the originally scheduled conductor Charles Dutoit, with whom the SFS severed all ties last year, in response to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Reif, who is also the SF Symphony’s resident conductor and music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO), leads the orchestra in a program that features French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in the Piano Concerto in A major by Franz Liszt; Siegfried's Rhine Journey from the opera Götterdämmerung, by Richard Wagner; and the spectacular orchestral suite The Planets, by Gustav Holst.

Open Air with host David Latulippe; heard live on Thursday, April 26 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime…