Angela Allen

Oregon Symphony review: Max Raabe

Max Raabe: sauve, sophisticated, hard to pin down

Originally published on Northwest Reverb, Feb. 25, 2010

In patent-leather shoes and tails, every hair slicked into place, Max Raabe led two hours of wit, elegance and impeccably presented music from the '20s and '30s at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Read More

Portland Jazz Festival and Oregon Symphony review: Dianne Reeves

Reeves’ Vaughan-like performance seals her reputation

Originally published on Northwest Reverb (, Feb. 16, 2009

Just when you think a Valentine’s date with the Oregon Symphony and glamorous jazz singer Dianne Reeves is shaping up to be utterly predictable and sentimental, the night throws in a few surprises. Read More

Terence Blanchard review

Terence Blanchard and the Portland Jazz Orchestra team up for fabulous concert

Originally published on Northwest Reverb (, Feb. 14, 2009

When Terence Blanchard, trumpet in hand, asked the Arlene Schnitzer audience to chime in on a chorus of  “A Tale of God’s Will,” bassist Derrick Hodge smiled sweetly.There was little chance that the audience, as ardent as it was, could capture the deep emotion that New Orleans’ Blanchard did when he composed this music based on his hometown’s tragedy. Bets are, “A Tale of God’s Will” will stick around in the archives for years. Portlanders were truly lucky to hear it. Read More

Review of Seattle Opera’s “The Pearl Fishers”

Pearl Fishers staging saves the libretto

Originally published on, Jan. 27, 2009

When the harnessed “flying” dancer floated dreamily behind the blue scrim to signal the pearl harvest in a far-off country, we were invited into a visually arresting show of “The Pearl Fishers,” if not into the most compelling story. Read More

Opera’s Wild Ride

Opera, as the hype goes, promises high drama and grand emotions. Oddly, I can’t remember an opening night soaring to such heights when I take along a date.

I’ve reviewed the opera for a dozen years from the best seat in the house. I dis a few. But mostly I swoon, even over a warhorse, like Verdi’s “Otello” where a fat baritone writhes on the floor in deep emotional pain.

Once an opera-lover, always one. Read More

Jayne Casselman in Elektra. © Rozarii Lynch

‘Elektra’ in One Gulp

Review of Seattle Opera's 'Elektra'

Originally published on
Photography by Rozaril Lynch

"Elektra" failed to sell out during Seattle Opera’s autumn run, but those who heard the early 20th-century piece were drenched in a tidal wave of post-Romantic music. Read More


Lauderdale and Gershwin: What a match

Review of Oregon Symphony concert

Originally published on Northwest Reverb (
Photography by Leah Nash/Special to The Oregonian

Here's guest writer Angela Allen's review of the Oregon Symphony concert on November 15th. Read More