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Jess Crawford


PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera. Jess Crawford is our primary blogger. Jess spends much of her time eating enormous amounts of cake, making long lists of books she'll probably never read, and challenging people to arm-wrestling contests. During the day (and sometimes at night) she is Portland Opera's music librarian. She writes more about her escapades at her personal blog:
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Dispatches from Tosca rehearsal


A dispatch from the rehearsal room

I just came upstairs from our staging studio, where I listened to Roger Honeywell, our Cavaradossi, sing e lucevan le stelle in rehearsal. Holy cow, that aria! We've just begun rehearsing Act 3; the first two acts are staged. The rehearsal hall was bustling all weekend with full chorus (48 singers), children's chorus (almost 20 kids), full cast and staff. Next door in our music studio, there are two electric keyboards (one to play the organ, one to play the lowest church bells), four racks of chimes, cymbals, timpani, a giant bass drum (for backstage cannon), a celeste, a harp, and about a million chairs and stands, mostly scattered. The orchestra had their first reading Saturday morning; we've now read through the whole opera once, making a lot of tweaks and adjustments along the way. We have a final reading tonight, and then the orchestra has a few days off, returning on Friday for the first rehearsal in the theater. This is opera!

Tosca rehearsal notes

Choices, choices: testing out the various Scarpia-killing devices

Frequent readers of this blog know that I am very fond of rehearsal notes. I find them to be a constant reminder of just how unusual some of our jobs are. Some people in the world worry about spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, business meetings; others worry about the exact shape and heft of stage daggers and the most expedient way to drag a body on and offstage.

It takes all kinds.

Here are some recent highlights from the notes, sent out daily by our Production Stage Manager, Jennifer Hammontree.

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