Aria meets amplification in a one-of-a-kind event that introduces the theatricality of opera to a younger set. In a bold move, the San Francisco Opera is lending promoter Ggreg Taylor several sets and a soloist to create the setting for "The Forgotten Opera," a masked costume ball and dance party. DJ Gavin Hardkiss is first up, unleashing remixes of the classic art before S.F. heavyweight Jeno spins a four-hour set of infectious grooves. Ouchy the Clown (of Porn Clown Posse) and the incomparable DJ Pinky Ring (a "Trannyshack" fave) then provide an indie music reprieve from the cascading house beats.
Scenesters are encouraged, costumes advised (but not mandatory). Opera tickets will be awarded for revelers with the best get-ups in four categories; three are based on this season's productions (the other is simply "Best Overall Costume"). Would you like to attend the witty take on the classic Cinderella story, La Cenerentola? Then grab your Prince Charming, clean up your scullery maid, and win in the "Lords & Ladies" category. Anxious to see mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick in Il Trovatore? Indulge your bohemian heart and come dressed for the "Gypsies" contest. Finally, the premiere production Le Damnation de Faust is a story about the temptation of evil -- fitting inspiration for the "Heaven and Hell/Leather" category.
Keep in mind that this evening isn't just about playing dress-up. It's also about music -- house, opera, and a dazzling mix of the two. But it's unlikely you'll ever again have the opportunity to walk among elaborate sets to house beats: Do you really want to be wearing a checked shirt and khakis? "The Forgotten Opera" could be a much-needed adrenaline shot into the aging heart of the genre. If nothing else, it'll be one of the most stunning spectacles this side of Black Rock, and it's only happening once, starting at 10 p.m. at 44 Tehama, S.F. Tickets are $20-30; visit www.ggreg.com.
-- Wil Simmons
Armando Rascón's multimedia exhibit aims to change your perspective: It'll be a place, he says, where "the world can be viewed through the eyes of a would-be border crosser ... on the eve of an uncertain fate." Although 300,000 people negotiate the U.S./Mexico border every week, it's still a dangerous place -- 120 people have died this year attempting to traverse it. As part of Rascón's response to these conditions, his "Border Xicanographies" show takes up the themes of desire, fear, faith, and survival, emotional states that often accompany border crossing. The opening reception is at 7 p.m. at Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th St., S.F. Admission is free; call 826-8009.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Americans are famously prudish, which could explain why glam rock never really caught on stateside (except for the New York Dolls, of course). Hair metal, the American take on the early-'70s British phenomenon, was overtly heterosexual, while glamour-pusses like David Bowie and Marc Bolan (of T. Rex) had a grand time dressing up in androgynous outfits and wearing makeup. "Glam -- The Golden Years" celebrates the decadence of the Glitter Age with a live tribute band, readings, spoken word, videos, a fashion show, and a costume contest, beginning at 9 p.m. at the Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary, S.F. Admission is $7; call 885-4074 or visit http://ecastlenews.homestead.com/ecastlehome.html.
-- Lisa Hom
Jazz purists might take issue with the Cinematic Orchestra's melding of live instrumentation with samples and electronic elements, but they'd be missing the point. The U.K.-based ensemble isn't a jazz act or an electronica one; it's a fusion of both, though the group's new album, Man With a Movie Camera, features less post-production magic than the Orchestra's typical output. The record's been in the works since 1999, when composer J. Swinscoe was commissioned to score the soundtrack for Dziga Vertov's 1929 movie of the same name, a silent Soviet documentary. The concert starts at 9 p.m. at Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, S.F. Admission is $15; call 474-0365.
-- Lisa Hom