New Century Chamber Orchestra
Music director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg starts the ensemble's season with "Nadja Plays Piazzolla," a celebration of South American classical and tango.
Sat., Sept. 13, 8 p.m., $32-$54. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), 392-4400.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Myth and the Muse
Nicholas McGegan conducts Thomas Arne's "Comus" and Jean-Philippe Rameau's "Pygmalion" in the P.B.O.'s season opener.
Fri., Sept. 19, 8 p.m., $30-$75. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), 392-4400.
The 12-man choir opens its season with a tribute to the very first American song, as well as a premiere performance of "The Homecoming: In Memoriam Martin Luther King" by Conservatory composer David Conte.
Sat., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 28, 5 p.m., $25-$44, all ages. San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak (at Van Ness), 503-6275.
Accompanied by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the soprano spotlights the work of composer Gomidas Vartabed, with additional music by Bartòk, Ravel, and more.
Sat., Oct. 4, 8 p.m., $40-$65. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), 392-4400.
The Phantom of the Opera
Spend Halloween with the Man of a Thousand Faces as Lon Chaney's 1925 cinematic masterpiece gets the live soundtrack treatment by Dennis James and the Davies Hall's 9,000-pipe organ.
Fri., Oct. 31, 8 p.m., $25-$55. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-6000.
S.F. Symphony: Día de los Muertos Family Concert
Conductor Enrique Arturo Diemecke, violinist Danielle Belen Nesmith, and bandoneón player Peter Soave join the S.F.S. for music by Ravel, Gamboa, Piazzolla, Moncay, and others in celebration of Mexican culture.
Sun., Nov. 2, 2 p.m. Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-6000.
San Francisco Opera
Unless otherwise noted, all events are at the War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness (at Grove), 864-3330.
Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky stars as the title character in this Verdi work, the first of the S.F. Opera's 2008-'09 season.
With the S.F. Opera Orchestra behind her, the star soprano inaugurates Cal Performances' 2008-'09 season in Berkeley.
Sat., Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m., $35-$100. UC Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall, (Bancroft & Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-9988.
The Bonesetter's Daughter
For this "American opera with roots in China," composer Stewart Wallace adapted the Amy Tan novel of the same name via English-language lyrics and Chinese-textured music.
Sept. 13-Oct. 3
Die Tote Stadt
Death, obsession, and hallucination commingle in "the dead city" of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's imagination, as staged by acclaimed director Willy Decker.
Sept. 23-Oct. 12
Tenor Kurt Streit stars as the Trojan king in this (literally) stormy Mozart opera.
Mussorgsky's 16th-century czar, haunted by memories of his murderous past, gets a comeuppance unknown in the actual history of corrupt Russian rulers.
Oct. 22-Nov. 15
Puccini's Parisian tale gets another resurrection, this time directed by DePaul University opera professor Harry Silverstein.
Nov. 16-Dec. 7
S.F. Electronic Music Festival 2008
Five nights of electro-acoustic invention and noisy abstract improvisation featuring Pauline Oliveros, Phill Niblock, Hans Fjellestad, Edmund Campion, Thomas Buckner, Tujiko Noriko, Akira Rabelais, sfSoundGroup, Sharkiface, and more.
Sept. 3-7, $12-$17, www.sfemf.org. Project Artaud Theater, 450 Florida (at 17th St.), 626-4370.
The tech-savvy performance artist explores the zeitgeist of contemporary America in "Homeland," her latest multimedia mix of song, story, and stagecraft.
Fri., Oct. 24 and Sat., Oct. 25, 8 p.m., $28-$56. UC Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft and Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-9988.
Fall Arts Guide
San Francisco Jazz Festival by Eric K. Arnold