Angela Allen

Lots of spark

Carolyn Kuan – Portland Opera: Toi Toi Toi

Originally Published in artslandia May 2018

Artslandia’s conversation with barrier-busting conductor Carolyn Kuan, who’ll lead Portland Opera’s production of La Cenerentola this season, reveals our good fortune that she couldn’t settle on which instrument to play. Read More

Cécile (McLorin Salvant) review: first-name basis

Rising jazz vocalist draws deep admiration and girl crushes from female Portland jazz singers

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch May 2018

She is the It Girl among jazz vocalists. Her singing has it all: perfect pitch, a range from tenor to high soprano, precise articulation, full-on emotion, playfulness, varying timbres. Read More

‘Albert Herring’ review: keeping it fresh

Portland State University production overcomes the challenges posed by Benjamin Britten’s mid-20th century opera

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch April 2018

British composer Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring is a challenging opera for both performers and audiences accustomed to the usual Romantic classics. Though funny, it proved a serious undertaking for the Portland State University Opera this week at Lincoln Performance Hall. Read More

Grownup stories; Mercury rising

Courtney Freed's tribute to Freddie Mercury and Rosalinde Block's "grownup" tales explore the possibilities of the solo show

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch April 2018

Something poignant resonated from the one-woman musicals Don’t Stop Me Now and Drama of the Gifted Grownup that appeared recently in Portland. Read More

New World to real world

An Oregon classical bassist steps toward the future in Miami with the legendary Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch April 2018

Kyle Sanborn, a gifted musician, knows he’s on his way to playing many more Beethoven symphonies and Brahms concertos in his orchestra blacks. Born and reared in Portland, he is a first-year fellow – don’t call him a student – at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla., a laboratory in its 30th year of educating classical music’s next generation. Read More

Spontaneous Combustion reviews

Hub New Music

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2018

Hub New Music, an innovative Boston-based group shaking up chamber music, has members younger than 30 years old who make clarinet, violin, flute and cello play as one— if not always harmoniously. But harmony has never been the main component of 21st century music. Read More

PDX Jazz Festival reviews: music and more

Regina Carter, Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan, Luciana Souza, Tigran Hamasyan and young Portland visual artists were among the highlights of the annual celebration of jazz

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2018.

From elite jazzers to startling up-and-comers, the 2018 Biamp PDX Jazz Festival spread the music around Portland Feb.15-25 with a 100-plus gigs, twice as many musicians, and a wide spread of venues and event prices, many free. Read More

PDX Jazz Festival preview: tributes

This year's jazz celebration offers homages to recently passed masters as well as today's sounds

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch February 2018

The past year saw a number of members of jazz royalty ascend to jazz Valhalla: Jon Hendricks, Al Jarreau, Geri Allen, Thara Memory and Hugh Masekela, among others. But jazz lives on. Read More

Sunwook Kim review: subtle touch, dynamic range

Versatile Portland Piano International recitalist knows when to exercise restraint — and when not to

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch January 2018

Sunwook Kim opened his January 14 Portland Piano International recital with J.S. Bach’s Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564, written for organ (think majestic, reverential, full-voiced) and ran furiously through the opening toccata. Read More

“Cosi fan Tutte” review: identity crisis

Seattle Opera's production reveals that Mozart's comic opera is about more than sex

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch January 2018

In Seattle Opera’s production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, the stage’s main prop, aside from an inviting pile of mattresses, is a tall mirror. Each character pauses in front of it at some time, checking out his or her current reflection, or identity. The mirror is a throwback symbol in this thoroughly contemporary production, but it says more than a selfie, which catches only a moment and can be edited ad infinitum. Read More