PORTLAND OPERA IN JUNE "OPERA NEWS"

The Two Sisters

The thriving cultural life of Seattle casts a long shadow over the music and art scene in Portland, Oregon.

RICHARD SPEER reports

The friendly sibling rivalry between Portland and Seattle is as evergreen as the trees that line the 175-mile corridor between them. We Portlanders fancy our city cozier and friendlier, with more bonhomie and less traffic than Seattle, while conceding that our more populous neighbor to the north offers a more dramatic skyline and a more robust cultural scene. Despite these inequalities, we exude a spunky civic pride, which can curdle in an instant into smug hipster hauteur. Yet beneath this pride lurks a nervous "second-city" complex that hides under rocks and spreads like moss in Seattle's shadow. Portland's opera company, Portland Opera, reflects this uneasy duality.