As you’d expect, it’s mostly holiday music on Oregon stages this weekend, but there are some secular sounds around for the grinches among us too. This list represents only a fraction of the many holiday shows around the state, so please add others you recommend to our comments section below.
Studio Theater, Lincoln Hall. 1620 SW Park Ave. Portland State University.
PSU’s well endowed and acclaimed opera program always boasts high spirits and technical standards, and this fully staged production of a pair of one act operas with food at their centers makes a tasty pairing. Bizet’s short, early comedy Dr. Miracle features wooing by omelette, while Lee Hoiby’s 1989 Bon Appetit stars PSU prof Christine Meadows as uber foodie Julia Child. There will be cake.
“The Spirit of John Coltrane: from Birmingham to PDX”
Alberta Abbey, 126 Alberta St. Portland.
A quartet of Portland’s supreme jazzers (pianist Darrell Grant, saxophonist Devin Phillips, drummer Alan Jones, and bassist Jon Lakey) play composer/saxophonist John Coltrane’s classic quartet’s magisterial, half century old, four part, album length suite, A Love Supreme. At 6 pm at the former Baptist Church turned concert hall, Oregon ArtsWatch journalist Marty Hughley will lead a panel discussion on the connections between that Birmingham bombing and this year’s racist Charleston massacre and music’s role in response to such race-related issues, with Grant, Portland jazzer Carlton Jackson, writer/performer S. Renee Mitchell, and Pancho Savery.
December 9, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland, and December 11, Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center, Eugene.
Wednesday’s sold out Portland show is a solo recital featuring J.S. Bach’s immortal cello suites along with contemporary music by Mark O’Connor and others, while Friday’s sold out Eugene concert pairs the world’s most famous cellist (and an admirably exploratory musician despite his celebrity) with the Eugene Symphony in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto and rhapsodies by Eastern European composers. Since the shows have long been sold out, we’re only telling you about it to taunt you for your tardiness if you didn’t score overpriced tickets.
December 9, East Glisan Lounge, December 10, No Ho’s Hawaiian Cafe, December 12, Solae’s Lounge.
For the 40th year, one of the Northwest’s greatest jazzers presents Christmas concerts at various Portland venues, featuring his quintet.
“Swinging On A Star!”
Emerald City Jazz Kings
December 10 & 13, The Shedd, 868 High St. Eugene.
Singer Shirley Andress leads a parade of vocalists in the Kings’ 20th annual Christmas show featuring swing-era style arrangements of carols and other wintry songs.
Winningstad Theatre, 1111 Broadway, Portland.
The international award winning quintet of top-notch brass players (trumpets, trombone, tuba, horn) focuses on American and English holiday tunes (including a pair of Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown classics) for its current tour of Christmas music, but still finds room for Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli’s ever-popular Christmas Concerto and music from their Iberian homeland.
Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this new production of the 1987 revival of Cole Porter’s exuberant 1934 musical, featuring some of the greatest songs of the era.
“The Most Wonderful Season”
December 11-13, Newmark Theater, 1111 Broadway, Portland.
December 19, First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street, Eugene.
Portland Gay Men’s Chorus
Augmented by brass and percussion and then a rock band, the 130 voice choir sings music by Handel and Palestrina, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, Stevie Wonder, and other holiday songs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, and Kwanzaa, including Randol Alan Bass’s Gloria, written for the New York Pops.
Oregon Symphony, Northwest Community Gospel Choir, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland.
Guest conductors Charles Floyd and Gary Hemenway lead the orchestra and chorus in the 17th annual seasonal celebration.
Portland Baroque Orchestra and Cappella Romana, First Baptist Church, SW 12th & Taylor, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of PBO’s annual historically informed, complete performance of Handel’s stirring oratorio. Check this rehearsal video for a special version of its famous chorus dedicated to the newly crowned MLS champion Portland Timbers.
Dec. 12, First Presbyterian Church, 823 SE Lane Ave, Roseburg
Dec. 13, Central Lutheran Church, 18th and Potter, Eugene
The early vocal music consort led by University of Oregon prof and Sequentia singer Eric Mentzel sings 16th and 17th century Christmas music by Schütz, Praetorius, and more.
“On This Day the Earth Shall Ring”
Choral Arts Ensemble
Dec. 12, First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park Avenue, Portland, and Dec. 13, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, 3228 SW Sunset Blvd, Portland.
David DeLyser leads the choir through a fresh program traditional and contemporary music (by Ola Gjeilo and another rising choral composer, Jake Runestad) of the season, including Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to the Virgin, Randall Thompson’s Frost-y setting, Stopping by Woods, and more.
Newport Symphony, Corvallis Repertory Singers and Central Coast Chorale
Steve Zielke leads singers and players in Christmas carols plus music from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Beaverton native Morten Lauridsen’s popular Lux Aeterna and Mozart’s even more popular Exultate, Jubilate.
Portland Symphonic Choir
Central Lutheran Church, Portland.
The 140 voice choirs offers its annual holiday music program.
Central Oregon Mastersingers, Tower Theatre, Bend.
Handel on the east side of the Cascades.
Junior Symphony of Vancouver
Northside Baptist Church, 5201 NE Minnehaha St, Vancouver, WA.
The youth orchestra plays music by Telemann, Leopold Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Christmas carols.
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