As the most gay-friendly city in the country, San Francisco boasts nearly as many male choirs as leather bars. There's the ever-popular San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, of course. But not all the male singing groups around here define themselves by the sexual orientation of their members. San Francisco is also home to such male-centric musical collectives as the Golden Gate Men's Chorus and the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. The city even has its own Norwegian Male Chorus. Out-singing not just the men-only ensembles in town but all local choirs -- not to mention probably every other vocal group in the nation -- is Chanticleer. Dubbed "the world's reigning male chorus" by The New Yorker and praised in the San Francisco Chronicle for its "tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity," the Grammy Award-winning, 12-man chorale (and the only full-time classical vocal ensemble in the U.S.) spends its time gallivanting around the world giving concerts and recording CDs for Warner Classics. This month, the 30-year-old group returns home for the holidays to undertake its annual series of Christmas-themed concerts in the Bay Area before taking off to Europe in January. Encompassing musical styles as diverse as Gregorian Chant and Gospel, Chanticleer's program of traditional yuletide songs in A Chanticleer Christmas includes sublimely executed evergreens like "Silent Night" and Schubert's "Ave Maria" from the group's newly released holiday album, Let It Snow.
Sun., Dec. 23, 8 p.m., 2007