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About Portland Opera To Go

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Portland Opera To Go

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Each year Portland Opera To Go takes an opera on the road, sharing the power of opera, music, and theater with schools and communities throughout Oregon and SW Washington. It’s not necessarily the easiest thing in the world, as you might imagine. But it’s one of the most rewarding . . . for us and for the thousands upon thousands of students who get to experience live opera, many for the first time.


And this blog will give you a first-hand view from the performers themselves of what it’s like when Opera hits the road!

 

Here’s a link to more information on the tour and the program.

Week 10: Goodbye (for now)!

Wow!  What a wonderful (almost) three months this has been! We've traversed many miles, sang many hours and made

Oh no! Pamina!

so many new friendships. 


This week we ventured down to beautiful southern Oregon to elementary schools in Medford, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, Klamath Falls and back to Portland to perform three public performances at The Hampton Opera Center.


Since this is my last blog, I wanted to share a few of my favorite memories from these three months on the road...


During a Q&A at one school, a young Latino boy raised his hand and asked Claudia if she spoke Spanish.  When she responded (in Spanish), "Yes I do, do you?"  He answered, "Si!" and turned to his teacher with such a look of pride to be able to speak Spanish like one of the opera singers! This meant a lot to Claudia and all of her fellow POGOers as well!

 

Dear Tamino

 

This last week, one class put on their own version of The Magic Flute, complete with each character cast — including the dragon! After the show their Pamina wrote a letter to our Tamino with some very important questions. (See photo to the left). I also wish I had a photo of the Papagena dog pile that happened with a bunch of Kindergarten and First Graders after the show — Stacey looked adorable in his bird outfit surrounded by adoring fans. 


I also loved being able to sit, talk and eat lunch with some of the boys at St. Mary's Home for Boys after our performance there.  One of the faculty informed us that last year, after one of the young men saw Hansel and Gretel, he was inspecting the set and said, "they don't know, but we'll go to bed happy tonight."


While we are a diverse group of people, from many reaches of the country (and Canada!) we have come together with the common goal of bringing opera to young people in the Northwest; we can all say that we are more complete, well-rounded performers and people because of it!


And while we are in our last week of POGO 2013, here's what we are up to next...


Ainsley (Pamina) will be returning back to Calgary to continue working at Gymboree Play & Music, as well as continue her work as Artist Liaison and performer with a local opera company, Cowtown Opera.
 

Where in the world is POGO from?


For Alex (Portland Opera's Manager of Education & Outreach), the week after the tour is a bunch of paperwork, housekeeping, putting things to bed like invoicing schools that haven't paid, starting to wade through teacher evaluations, etc.  Then she starts looking at next year, which she starts booking mid-May. (So contact her soon for POGO 2014!) Then it's audition notices to write and go out, talent to secure, poster/graphic art design, contacting schools etc.


In the spring she also begins all of her research and writing for the study guides for Portland Opera's main stage operas next year, planning the adult ed class that she teaches during the summer and begins writing the curriculum for the new POGO show.  Alex will be writing all new curriculum for La Bohème!


Right after POGO, Anthony (Tamino) will be going back to Florida to coach for upcoming auditions in Alabama.  He will be auditioning for the Huntsville Symphony Fall Concert Series and the Ars Nova production of Manon


Claudia (Third Lady) will be performing as Dame Quickly in Opera in the Heights production of Verdi's Falstaff as well as appearing as an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera where she will be covering Gertrude in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet. She will then be performing as Azucena from Il Trovatore with Opera in Williamsburg.


David (Pianist) will be immediately starting rehearsals for the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre.  He and the dancers will be performing Balanchine's "Serenade" late April at the Newmark Theater.  Anne Mueller, interim Artistic Director for Oregon Ballet Theatre, has asked David to collaborate on a world premiere work for next fall's show at the Keller Auditorium.  The music will be soul/R&B and will feature piano and voice.


After POGO ends, Dru (me!) will be spending some much needed time with her partner Eloise and her ferret Tink while preparing for her role in the chorus of  Portland Opera's Falstaff.  After this she will prepare her role of Ida in Mock's Crest production of Die Fledermaus —  Dru is very excited to get the opportunity to work again with director Kristine McIntyre on this production!


After POGO, Kevin (Sarastro) will be singing the bass solo in the Bach Magnificat for the Christ Church Choir and Capellio in Bellini's I Capuletti e i Montecchi  with Brooklyn Academy of Music


Ksenia (Queen of the Night / First Lady) will  be singing Adele in Die Fledermaus with Vashon Opera and continuing her duties as Managing Diva of Opera on Tap Seattle.


After POGO, at the end of April, Samm (Tour Manager) will be production running for RAIN with U.S. Bank Broadway Across America Portland, and then also for Falstaff. At the end of May, Jennifer Hammontree and Samm will begin work at Chamber Music NW, where Samm will be acting as assistant Stage Manager, facilitating rehearsals and making sure performances go smoothly during the 6 weeks and nearly 40 performances that encompass CMNW.  After CMNW closes in August, Samm will begin rehearsals for Spamalot, which opens in early September and runs through mid October here in Portland.


Stacey (Papageno) will be joining Mock's Crest for Die Fledermaus in the role of Dr. Falke.   He will also be joining Opera Theater Oregon as the Badger in The Cunning Little Vixen.  He will spend most of his summer visiting family, then in September he will head to Arkansas to play Guglielmo in Così fan tutte.  At Christmas he will play Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.


Thank you to all of you who followed our adventures — We'll see you next at the opera!


- dru / 2nd Lady / Papagena