Sunday is generally a day of rest, but not for Portland Opera to Go We performed our first of eight McMenamins shows at Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, OR. The audience was packed and enthusiastic as our singers performed “The Elixir of Love” on a vaudevillesque stage. Our second act consisted of favorite selections from opera and musical theater. In all, it's a two hour program, and the audience was with us 100%. We repeated this performance later in the week at McMenamins Sandtrap in Seaside, OR. Again, we had an appreciative audience and helpful McMenamins staff. How can you go wrong? Great food, great drinks, and great music!
After spending Sunday night at Grand Lodge we were off to the coast. Wheeler on the Bay in Wheeler, OR, became our homebase for the next 3 days and nights. Owners Pat and Tracy couldn't have been more hospitable if they'd tried. Each room is decorated differently. I stayed in the “Chinook Room” which had a queen bed, dinette, and fireplace. Alexis had an in-room spa! She deserved it. Breakfast? Tracy takes care of it. Video rentals? Free! Pat and Tracy have an entire room of movies that are complimentary for guests. I am no longer stranger to “Casablanca.”
Elementary schools that week included Nehalem, Cannon Beach, and Tillamook. I hope these kids realize what a beautiful area they live in! And music is thriving in these schools. It's reassuring to meet dedicated music teachers who are giving their students the opportunity to see opera. I was 25 before I saw my first opera!
Now let's talk food. It's impossible not to get great food on the coast. Shrimp Scampi at The Sea Shack in Wheeler. Fish tacos at San Dune and giant wet burritos at Left Coast in Manzanita. Manzanita also has two good coffee shops: Coffee Shop and Donuts, and Manzanita News and Espresso. Our most frequented eatery was Tsunami Bar & Grill in Wheeler. Seriously, there isn't a bad item on the menu. And we should know. We tried everything! It's a great mix of American and Asian cuisine. Chicken Curry, Korean Beef, and seafood chowder. Don't pass up the spring rolls!
Before I finish, two things you should know. This Thursday, February 10th we are performing at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom at 7:00 PM. FREE! And secondly, our haystack rooster now has a name. Thanks to our “The Elixir of Love” telegram children Ryver and Chance, our rooster is now called “Doofy.”
---David Saffert, pianist