The Brentano String Quartet’s “A Tribute to Stravinsky” Dec. 3 at Portland State University’s Lincoln Recital Hall invited the audience on a thought-provoking journey. But you had to listen up — and read up — and keep your mind wide open, because there was a lot to understand. Read More
French horns don’t get a lot of attention.
That is, unless one is tamed by Yugoslavian-born (now Croatian) Radovan Vlatkovic. He is embraced by horn musicians internationally, so no surprise that the entire Oregon Symphony’s horn section showed up to hear him Nov. 18 at Chamber Music Northwest’s sold-out Old Church concert in downtown Portland. Read More
Portland Opera’s Tosca, which opened Oct. 29 in the Keller Auditorium with many of its 3,000 seats empty, possesses the makings of grand opera, including a stellar cast and creative team, many of whom were making their PO debuts. Added to that are opulent sets and costumes, moody lighting, and of course, Giacomo Puccini’s irresistibly sweeping melodic music. Read More
A newly shaped inclusive mission, a new artistic director and newer music director, and a familiar 1900 Giacomo Puccini opera will open Portland Opera’s 2021-22 season on Oct. 29. Read More
In Portland’s tsunami of Fridamania, Frida … A Self Portrait is on a path to stirring up waves.
In June, Portland Opera staged Frida, a 95-minute production to sold-out audiences at the Jordan Schnitzer open-air stage. The Portland Art Museum’s exhibit Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism will run Feb. 19-June 5 next year. Read More
When a new opera is performed in an amphitheater, big ideas are in store. Such a space signals a spectacle. It reaches out to ordinary people — a lot of them. That’s what the Romans intended in 29 B.C. when they built their first amphitheater.
That is partly what Detroit’s Michigan Opera Theatre creatives had in mind by staging Blue—named the Best New Opera of 2020 by the Music Critics Association of North America—on Sept. 11 and 12 in Detroit’s 6,000-seat Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre. Read More
PROFILE – Davóne Tines was a freshman at Fauquier High School in Warrenton, Va., when his grandfather, a retired Navy captain and choir director, was joking around with him, exaggerating opera-like syllables. Tines responded in operatic style, and his granddad said, as Tines remembers it, “Well, I think you have a voice.” Read More
Osvaldo Golijov is a spare man with a robust repertoire in the contemporary classical-music world. He has written an opera, a Mass, movie scores, song cycles, symphonic music, and lots of chamber music. Though his composing tastes are diverse and far-flung, the Argentine-born composer says that his “spiritual home is chamber music, especially string music.” Read More
For safety’s sake, live concert audiences in Oregon wine country are limited — cut in half from their usual number of barrel- and tasting-room concertgoers. Partly for that reason, and partly because the intimate series combining wine with music played by spectacular mostly local musicians has proved so successful, live concerts are sold out, though there is a waitlist. Read More
Chamber Music Northwest was the first major Portland arts group to go live indoors since the pandemic with its Reflect/Rejoice summer festival June 28 to July 25 at Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium.
And boy, did its month of live music— not to mention its streamed concerts continuing through Aug. 31 at CMNW’s At-HOME Summer Festival — make a splash, even if the live audience was vastly reduced from former festivals. Read More