The Elixir of Love (Portland Opera)

Bel canto in the Wild West is a refreshing tonic.

If you’re Portland Opera, how do you follow Igor Stravinsky’s prickly, unnerving morality tale, The Rake’s Progress? You veer to the other extreme and close the season with a beloved comedy, G   More
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

The Rake’s Progress (Portland Opera)

Portland’s Progress is a pop-art take on Freud and Facebook.

Give in to temptation at your own peril: That’s the moral of Igor Stravinsky’s spiky, sexy opera The Rake’s Progress. This archetypal morality play opens in an idyllic countryside, where a c   More
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 RICHARD SPEER

Opera Theater Oregon, Opera vs. Cinema

Want to make Wagner fun? Add pirates.

One of the city’s most innovative arts companies enters a new phase Friday, Nov. 25, with The Black Pirate vs. The Flying Dutchman, its first show under new artistic director Erica Melton, who’s b   More
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 BRETT CAMPBELL

Opera Is Blooming in Portland

senile madness UO opera

Arts & Books
Spring is the season of renewal, and this one has brought a fresh wave of youthful artistic energy to Portland stages in what’s paradoxically one of the most old fashioned artistic forms—opera. ---The first blossoms appeared at the Newmark Theater, where Portland Opera’s annual Studio Artists show represents the culmination of a nine-month training program for 20-something singers from some of ...   More
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 BRETT CAMPBELL

Coming Soon To A Bus Stop Near You: Opera!

Arts & Books
I've just received a request for "composers, vocalists, actors and musicians" to perform a Portland version of Dawn Weleski's Bus Stop Opera project. Say what? Weleski interviews public transit riders and draws from their conversations to create a short opera piece, which is then performed on public transit. Here's an NPR piece explaining the thing. I can't decide whether I find the project fun ...   More
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

LIVE REVIEW: Portland Opera, Trouble in Tahiti

Arts & Books
Yoking vastly different operas on a single playbill was a gamble, but it paid off. For its annual studio production, Portland Opera has programmed a show in two halves. Before intermission: Monteverdi. After: Bernstein. Wait. What? That's right. No typo. Monteverdi, get up, stretch your legs, Bernstein. Just to give you some idea how big a stretch that is: Monteverdi wrote Renaissance madrigals ...   More
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 JOHN MINERVINI

EXTENDED REVIEW: Portland Opera, Pagliacci / Carmina Burana

Arts & Books
Murderous clowns never sounded so good. The curtain goes up. Onstage, in bright lights, lie two dead or nearly dead bodies, a woman in clown paint and a young man in plain clothes. Nearby sits the jealous husband who has stabbed them. The townspeople are poised to apprehend him, but at this moment, for some reason, they are frozen like a photograph, a tableau of horror and outrage. All at once, ...   More
Monday, October 4, 2010 JOHN MINERVINI

Amnis, Axis, Caulis, Collis:' Portland Opera's The Turn of the Screw

Portland Opera's production of Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw borrows Hollywood scare tactics from horror classics like The Shining, The Exorcist, and The Children of the Corn—elements like cloak-and-dagger chiaroscuro lighting and children behaving supernaturally—and the result is frankly chilling. But stage director Nicholas Muni's relentless pursuit of gasps and shrieks turns ...   More
Monday, February 9, 2009 JOHN MINERVINI


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