Events for the week of June 19-25, 2002 

Julius Caesar set to opera, girl punks at Stinky's Peepshow, a sophisticated soul stylist, and a passionate jazz vocalist.

OPERA

Attention turns to the San Francisco Opera as Philharmonia Baroque director Nicholas McGegan finally enters the War Memorial Opera House to conduct tonight's (Wednesday's) 7:30 p.m. opening night performance of Handel's great Julius Caesar. With a cast that features countertenors David Daniels and Bejun Mehta, and Bay Area favorite soprano Ruth Ann Swenson, this could prove the highpoint of the operatic season. 415-864-3330. (Jason Serinus)

ROCK

Thursday at Stinky's Peepshow at the Justice League brings a no-wave festival of Bay Area bands. Headlining is Oakland's Erase Errata, made up of four amazing chicks who sound like they've put their fingers in one too many sockets. Also appearing is Numbers, an awesome disco-punk thing with real and invented instruments, lo-fi vocals, and solid beats. Opening are the garagey new-wave Coachwhips. 415-289-2038. (Katy St. Clair)

Few Sub Pop releases last year garnered more attention than Find Your Home, an eclectic mix of sexy rawk by the Vue, a band that has been compared to the Stooges and Duran Duran in the same breath. Despite the ridiculously pretentious Web site and band photos that it employs, underneath lies a great SF/Oakland band that has managed to create a borrowed yet unique sound. The five-piece performs Saturday at the Cafe Du Nord, with Evening and Soundhead sharing the bill. 415-861-5016. (K.S.)

SOUL

Regina Belle may not have had a major hit since her duet with Peabo Bryson from Disney's Aladdin topped the pop chart in '92, but she remains one of the world's strongest and most sophisticated soul stylists. The Englewood, New Jersey vocalist headlines a benefit for the East Oakland Youth Development Center on Saturday at Zellerbach Hall. 510-642-9988. (Lee Hildebrand)

LATIN AMERICAN

In Saturday's two concerts of Latin American nueva canción (new song) by Altazor, the quartet of virtuoso women instrumentalists and singers from four countries reunites to celebrate La Peña Cultural Center's 27th anniversary. Formed in the '80s at La Peña, Altazor -- Lichi Fuentes, Dulce Arguelles, Vanessa Whang, and Jackeline Rago -- made two CDs of exciting, original music that combined Latin folk traditions and social causes. 510-849-2568. (Larry Kelp)

When Sigmund Stern donated his grove to San Francisco, he knew it was an acoustically sweet spot. Now, 65 years later, the grove at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard offers free Sunday afternoon summer concerts. Expect fireworks there this weekend as Toto La Momposina, the Colombian queen of folkloric song, makes her Bay Area debut. 415-252-6252. (Jesse "Chuy" Varela)

JAZZ

Jackie Ryan has it all goin' on in the jazz vocal department: glowing contralto tones, dazzling technique combined with exquisite taste, and a most imaginative repertoire that includes the Billie Holiday obscurity "Now or Never" and her own lyrics to Joe Henderson's "The Kicker." The Bay Area singer, who has a terrific CD titled Passion Flower due out next week, appears Saturday at Downtown in downtown Berkeley. 510-649-3810. (L.H.)

GOSPEL

Since 1979, the Edwin Hawkins and Walter Hawkins Music & Arts Love Fellowship Conference has attracted young gospel singers and instrumentalists from around the world for a week of workshops with some of the genre's leading lights, along with nightly concerts. Among the highlights of this year's event, being held June 23-29 at Love Center Church in East Oakland, are concerts by Daryl Coley on Sunday, the Love Center Choir on Monday, Donald Lawrence next Wednesday, Richard Smallwood next Thursday, and a live recording next Saturday by the conference mass choir featuring the awesome LaShun Pace and other star soloists. 510-264-1766. (L.H.).

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