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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

Portland Opera in the Windy City- Act II

Going to the Opera!
The Lyric Opera of Chicago performs at the Civic Opera House, which is part of a huge office building in downtown Chicago:

Blog 1- Act II


The theater has 3,563 seats, and was built in 1929. The interior was named The Ardis Krainik Theater in 1996, after the former General Director. It has a stunning Art Deco design:

Blog 2 - Act II


Rinaldo
Seeing Rinaldo was a great start to our trip!  The opera is very beautiful, and, we found out, is also indestructible - even when trapped within a wacky 'Euro-trash' production. Below are some images from the production.

I assume the balloons represent the fully blossomed love between Rinaldo and Almirena??? When she is captured, the evil sorceress Arimda "imprisons" Almirena inside the floating harpsichord - cool! Rinaldo (center stage) however, swears to rescue her, while his soldiers strut their stuff and shake their booties in preparation for battle - cool!
 

Blog 3- Act II


Armida keeps a liquor drawer within the floating harpsichord - cool! She gets plastered as she wanders the stage, scotch bottle in hand, lamenting her fate, and seething with jealousy over Rinaldo's love for Almirena. Her jealousy is perhaps represented by the floating green eye???
 

Blog 4- Act II

The director occasionally seemed interested in actually telling the story of the opera. When not doing so, he at least gave the audience cool stuff to look at. But the great strength of the evening was Handel's magnificent music - which was beautifully conducted and sung by a strong cast. I'm very excited to be producing this opera next season in Portland!

More later...

Chris Mattaliano