You might have recently heard one of Portland’s most musical food carts: that’s because Portland Opera has been singing all summer, with their award-winning popcorn-truck-turned-mobile-music-venue: Opera a la Cart. It takes Portland’s food truck culture to a whole other level.
As the days get a little shorter, the musicians, singers, and opera-makers are preparing to head back indoors for the rainy months—but that doesn’t mean community opera events will stop. In fact, here are five ways that you can connect with cultural touchstones, enjoy special community opera events, and get a sneak-peek of the fall classic: Carmen.
Five ways to fill up your heart (and soul) with opera this autumn:
- Flamenco Pacifico x Portland Opera: Dance, Music & Archetype
October 7, 8 and 22; in various locations in Hillsboro, Salem (free), and Tigard (free)
Portland Opera teams up with Flamenco Pacifico for an inspired series of community events that explore the dynamic art of flamenco music and movement in the context of Bizet’s iconic opera Carmen. These events will be packed with dance, learning, ensemble and performance.
- The Portland Opera Chorus: Rehearsal – Free & Open to the Public
Sunday, October 9 from 2 PM at Portland Opera’s Hampton Opera Center
Celebrate the amazing local singers who comprise the Portland Opera Chorus. Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor Nicholas Fox will lead an open rehearsal of music from the upcoming production of Bizet’s Carmen, as well as provide some context for each piece.
- Portland Opera’s Resident Artists: Public Recital
Wednesday, November 16 at 7:30 PM at The Old Church
Join Portland Opera for a special community performance featuring the 22-23 Portland Opera Resident Artists—singing a selection of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces in a program curated with faculty and guest artists during their residency with the company. This free event features soprano Judy Yannini, mezzo-soprano Cloe SanAntonio, tenor Matthew Cerillo, and bass-baritone Keanon Kyles.
- Beatrice, for Portland Opera To Go: a world premiere!
September 17 and 18 at Portland Opera’s Hampton Opera Center, followed by a regional tour
Composed by Dave Ragland with a libretto by Mary McCallum, Beatrice was commissioned for Portland Opera to Go Program (POGO), and is a 50-minute youth opera inspired by the life and story of Beatrice Morrow Cannady, a prominent leader in Oregon’s cultural community and civil rights movement of the early 1900s. The piece has been written for middle school audiences, focused on fourth through ninth grades.
Join Portland Opera for the world premiere of Beatrice at the Hampton Opera Center, or get in touch with the company’s educational staff to ask about bringing Beatrice to your school or community center.
Beatrice is part of Portland Opera’s multi-year commitment and project called ”Our Oregon” to commission original operas highlighting the experiences of unsung heroes and Oregonians, and will be followed by operas about Asian and Pacific Islander and Native American heroes. Each opera will be developed with K-12 schools and communities in mind and toured throughout the state and region in subsequent years.
- Bizet’s Carmen
November 5, 11, and 13 at Keller Auditorium. The onscreen version debuts in late November.
This timeless yet refreshing new-to-Portland production was created by one of the greatest Carmens of all time: the iconic Denyce Graves. Featuring melodic gems like the Habanera and the Toreador Song, the tragedy of Carmen’s story—along with her bravery, heart, and independent spirit—continues to captivate us, nearly 150 years after it was first sung.
Portland Opera’s mission is to gather and inspire audiences, artists, and collaborators to create shared opera experiences that enliven and connect us all, enhancing the cultural landscape of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Portland Opera celebrates the power of performance, storytelling, and song as an inclusive artistic leader. To learn more about the constellation of values that guide the company, please visit portlandopera.org.