Angela Allen

Ton Koopman & Tini Mathot preview: Playing together

Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra director returns with his companion in life and on keyboard

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2016

Imagine a balmy June afternoon in Riberac, one of southwest France’s charming hilly villages. There you are – there I was with my Dutch-born husband – in a sun-filled church renovated for performances rather than worship. In strides Dutch world-renowned baroque conductor and keyboardist Ton Koopman wearing a bright red tie (and black suit) and his signature irrepressible bring-it-on smile. Read More

European street musicians: Classical music on the corners

A Portland writer/photographer follows her ears to find singers and buskers bringing life to central squares

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch October 2015

Telemann? Fasch? The notes pave a route, like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs. We keep walking, ears wide open.

After twists and turns, we locate the source. The melody resonates under an arch near the Zwinger, one of Dresden’s opulent Baroque buildings. A brass quartet is blowing in baseball hats and rain parkas. Read More

Nicole Glover

Portland Jazz Festival preview: Trane’s Tracks

This year’s jazz extravaganza celebrates the 90th birthday of the great saxophonist, composer, improviser and bandleader John Coltrane

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch February 2016

“Coltrane has the power to move people,” says up-and-coming Portland-grown saxophonist Nicole Glover. “He can reach that special place in you that only you have access to. Some people may call it soul. … But you don’t have to be a spiritual person to feel it move you.” Read More

Portland State Opera review: Tasty amuse-bouches

PSU double bill menu features a pair of frothy, lightweight comedies

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch December 2015

Double-billed with Georges Bizet’s silly Dr. Miracle, Bon Appetit is the more delicious of the one-acts cooked up this month by Portland State University Opera. It’s an indisputable hoot about Julia Child making a real-life “gateau chocolat.” The show plays through Dec. 13 at PSU’s Lincoln Hall’s 84-seat Studio Theater, a small space to contain such a lot of laughs – but it works. Read More

Chamber Music Northwest review: Artistic alliances

Youthful exuberance shaped the mood, while collaboration stitched a common thread throughout festival’s first weekend of performances

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch July 2015

Chamber Music Northwest hitched up with Portland’s Northwest Dance Project and Korean-born pianist Yekwon Sunwoo in Friday’s performance of Chopin’s music and original dance. Saturday showcased top Argentine tango musicians with Reed College and CMNW Artistic Director David Shifrin on clarinet. And Sunday, the Oregon Bach Festival’s youthful Berwick Academy, led by the dynamic and equally youthful Matthew Halls, played Beethoven with Portland Baroque Orchestra’s Artistic Director Monica Huggett. Now that’s some crossing over. Read More

Northern Exposure: Washington chamber operas entice Oregonians

Music of Remembrance’s After Life: Stein and Picasso duel over art and morality

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch May 2015

How do art and moral responsibility intersect? Or do they?

That’s the endlessly intriguing debate enacted in the new chamber opera After Life, whose world premier was staged on a Monday in early May in a small-ish recital hall at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. Two weeks later, After Life played to a sell-out crowd in San Francisco’s Temple El-Manuel. Read More

Show Boating

Portland Opera’s Show Boat: American classic steams on

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch April 2015

Liam Bonner is easy to find online. He has 1,999 Twitter followers, and he tweets about more than his busy opera schedule. He writes hash-tagged one-liners about beer, Pennsylvania sports teams, Pittsburgh (his hometown), dogs, art, and bad customer service.

“It took awhile to find my voice, but I’ve been dangerous ever since,” the 34-year-old opera singer said over coffee in downtown Portland. Read More

Some reflections on the 2015 Portland Jazz Festival

Festival curators did a first-class job of mixing up big names and smaller ones, international hotshots with local stars.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2015

Take superstar Kurt Elling, who crooned an hour-plus of ‘60s-era Sinatra hits in the first week of the annual Portland Jazz Festival, which ran from Feb. 18-March 1. Read More