Angela Allen

The appalling miscarriage of justice: ‘Central Park Five’ at Portland Opera

PO’s dramatic, harrowing staging of the Pulitzer-winning opera.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2022

Absolutely stunning. Riveting. The best and most ambitious production Portland Opera has presented in my 31 years of reviewing. PO continues to up the ante.

I’m referring to the 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Central Park Five, which has two more performances March 24 and March 26 at the Newmark Theatre. Read More

A fun-loving give-and-take connection: PDX Jazz Fest 2022

Ten days and nights of live music with Diane Schuur, Domo Branch, Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group, Brandee Younger, and more.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2022

The PDX Jazz Festival, in its 19th year, brought the Rose City 10 days and nights of live music from Feb. 17 through Feb. 26. This time, real performances and real audiences replaced the last two years’ virtual ones. Read More

Closing the loop: Jeremy Denk’s acrobatic dexterity

Virtuoso pianist performs the complete J.S. Bach ‘Well-Tempered Clavier’ for CMNW at The Old Church.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch February 2022

The most beautiful moments of Chamber Music Northwest’s evening with virtuoso pianist Jeremy Denk and his masterful presentation of the almost two-hour long J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 were the end — and the beginning. Read More

The Jazz Scene, part two: It comes alive at the 1905

When Jimmy Mak's disappeared, NoPo's 1905 arrived – and it's still Portland's only all-jazz spot.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch February 2022

One night, pianist Tom Grant is taming the Yamaha C3 with “Nice Work if You Can Get It.” And the next, it’s multi-instrumentalist —though primarily pianist and Portland State University Jazz Studies professor — George Colligan pulling another tune out one of his many musical hats. Read More

Grant Richards.

The Jazz Scene, part three: The ones who got away

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch February 2022

Young, talented and the future of jazz, they were mentored by Portland music royalty. They learned to bang out “Back at the Chicken Shack,” “Green Dolphin Street” and “Autumn Leaves,” to listen carefully to the jazz greats, to practice diligently and often, and to master the mysterious art of improvisation. Read More

Let us love: The ‘Sun Comes Out’ at Portland Opera

Queer-themed Canadian opera makes U.S. premiere at Hampton Opera Center.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch February 2022

When the Sun Comes Out opened in 2013 in Canada, commissioned by the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival. Now, a long eight years later, the new-music opera by Japanese-Canadian Leslie Uyeda with a gorgeous libretto by Canadian poet Rachel Rose, finally premieres in the United States. Read More

Other worlds beyond Earth: Seattle Opera’s ‘Orpheus’

A stunning staging with top-notch design and choreography brings Gluck's 1762 music into a thoroughly contemporary Underworld.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch January 2022

Since the 1600s, countless Orpheus and Eurydice operas have been staged. Today, several have been making the rounds, including Matthew Aucoin’s (with playwright Sarah Ruhl’s libretto) Eurydice, written from Eurydice’s point of view. Read More

It always works out: A joyful journey with David Krakauer and Portland Chamber Orchestra

Rock star clarinetist and PCO celebrate Hanukkah with klezmer improvisations and a Wlad Marhulets concerto

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch December 2021

Hanukkah, klezmer music, and David Krakauer united in Portland Chamber Orchestra’s “Joyful Journey” Dec. 4 at northwest Portland’s Trinity Episcopal Church. The exuberant musical trip through celebratory and revived Eastern European Jewish (Ashkenazi) music lived up to its billing. Read More