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About PDX OPERAbeat

Name

Jess Crawford

Bio

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: http://bravissimi.blogspot.com

Un Viaggo Operatico in Italia- Atto Secondo (An Operatic Journey in Italy- Act II)

Monday, July 4
We drive via private coach to the Barolo region to sample the great wines of Northern Italy. The countryside is magnificent:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 1

Tom Denney, a member of the Oregon Wine Brotherhood, reads the fine print on a bottle of Barolo during our wine tasting at the Catine Marrone:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 2

George Carter and I agree - it doesn't get much better than this!

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 3

After lunch in the charming village of Roddi, we're back on the coach for the two-hour drive to Milan. The group is at leisure that evening - most, I'm sure, are happy to rest - blissfully tired from the country air, exquisite wine, and drive to the big city!

Tuesday, July 5
We begin with lunch at Ristorante Nabucco, where they printed a special "Portland Opera" menu! Fernando Leon proudly displays the menu, as a portrait of Verdi looks on from behind:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 4

Afterwards, we're off to the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church, to see Leonardo's The Last Supper. Julie Reiersgaard and I prepare to board the coach:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 5

Given the fragility (and immense popularity) of the painting, viewing time is very limited, and strictly held to 15-minute intervals for small groups. As we waited to enter the church, I photographed a few more members of our mighty tour group -

Art and Barbara Wassmer:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 6

Gerald and Michelle Marcyk:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 7

Julie Reiersgaard and Helen Rackliff:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 8

Tom Denney and Clare Burovac - graffiti is a universal language!

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 9

Next up - a trip to Casa Verdi!

-Chris