- Resident Artists
Week one of touring is off to a …start…
We have already completed 7 shows (8 by tomorrow), had 4 successful class room chats from us first-timers, 3 fake air plane crashes, 3 wrong turns, 2 artfully executed 187 point turns in a Penske, and an airplane in a pear tree? Not to mention a record setting less-than-25 minute set up!
We have been delighted by the ooh’s and aah’s of children from Scio to The Dalles with Belcore’s plane crash into a tree accompanied by the squeals of delight over Dr. Dulcamara’s bubble blowing cart.
We have been to a total of seven schools, thus far, starting with Beaver Acres Elementary followed that day by a completely delightful time at the Oregon Children’s Theatre for a “sing & chat” with some young(-er) artists! On Tuesday we took on an Indiana Jones Adventure (at least that’s the theme I was singing in my head) as we wound up narrow two-lane roads, only to find them closed... and where I witnessed Alexis execute those two 187 point turns mentioned above, on our way up to St.Thomas More school. We followed that up with the Franciscan Montessori Earth School where we were delighted to have the help of a new friend, Johannes, from Germany! With the bright and early call of 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning, we made a trek to The Dalles. The beautiful drive home made it all worth it. We had a show at Dry Hollow Elementary and the Mosier Community School. This was a big day for us POGO newbie’s as we had one on one time with the students. This is a time where all 6 of us are each sent to a classroom where we give a crash course on opera and they can ask questions. In case you were curious what they ask, here are some typical, and not so typical, questions… When did you start singing? What is your favourite opera? How high can you sing? Are you married? (followed by…) Are you single? (followed by…) Is he “someone special”? and Can you throat sing? Day 4 brought us to Lourdes Public Charter School, and Scio Middle School. Lourdes gave us a chance to try the show out in a very intimate setting with a nice Q&A afterwards, in contrast with Scio which was an older group of students, with whom the timing and feel of the show changed as we played to the more mature group. Another beautiful drive home with the sun shining. Today we really seem to be getting the hang of things without too many surprises.
We are having a wonderful time but I look forward to Saturday off. We will pick up again on Sunday with our first real tour road trip to the coast for a week of fun!
- Ainsley Soutiere