July 18th, 2011 | by BRETT CAMPBELL Arts & Books | Posted In: Classical

Classical Departures

Third Angle Plays Thailand; Cappella Romana Plays Greece and Katie Taylor Leaves Opera Theater Oregon

operatheateroregondasrheingoldOpera Theater Oregon's Baywatch-inspired production of Das Rheingold.

Third Angle New Music Ensemble is performing in Chiang Mai at the Thailand International Composition Festival. After playing in Poland last week, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony is now in Vienna. And Cappella Romana was just invited to take its Byzantine music back to the country of its origin, Greece, for two performances in September.

One departure, however, will be much lamented: executive director Katie Taylor has left Opera Theater Oregon. The low-budget company has successfully courted younger and more diverse audiences through a combination of low ticket prices, informal atmosphere, performances in bars like Someday Lounge and theaters like Clinton Street, pop culture references (like last year’s Baywatch-style version of Wagner’s Rheingold), collaboration with other alt-classical groups—and beer available during performances. “After five years on the pony—the zesty, prancing pony that is OTO—I’ve decided it’s time for me to step down,” Taylor’s announcement reads. “I was going to invent a sex scandal (not involving ponies) to explain my departure, but then I remembered that this is Portland, and no one would be likely to care, even if ponies were involved.”

Taylor says she’s “working on a cross-genre book of short stories whose protagonists all have psoriasis and a sci fi novel about a new weight loss gimmick with hideously complicated side effects.” OTO musical director Erica Melton and film division director Jen Wechsler will assume Taylor’s duties.

 
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