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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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Week Four: Putting it Together: Plan It!

Logan is taking our Summer Opera Education Class: "Putting it Together."  We asked her to share her experiences throughout this 8-week interactive class.  Updates will be posted weekly.  Enjoy!


This week, we were able to get a glimpse at what goes into planning and budgeting a season of opera here in Portland. We were visited tonight by General Director, Christopher Mattaliano and Director of Artistic Administration, Clare Burovac, and they gave us their insight and personal experiences with organizing opera seasons.

Our class began with Mr. Mattaliano sharing his formula for a good opera season (with four operas): two well-known popular operas, one lesser-known opera but composed by a well-loved composer, and one “undiscovered” opera. The two popular operas are usually the opening and closing operas to both grab Portland’s attention and to end with a bang. By incorporating lesser known operas, Mr. Mattaliano is providing new and unusual music and styles that fits perfectly with the Portland vibe. With these four operas, Mr. Mattaliano also suggests having a common theme or synergy. For example, Leoncavello’s Pagliacci¸ Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Puccini’s Turandot among others in the 2010/11 Season were all connected through the idea of “fantasy or reality.” These common themes are “a reflection of who we are as human beings in a profound way,” said Christopher Mattaliano. I’d say that fulfills the expectations of performers and audiences alike. After all, the Portland Opera mission is “Portland Opera exists to inspire, challenge, and uplift our audiences by creating productions of high artistic quality that celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera”.

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