High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
August 2018

Oregon Symphony 2018: bridging divides

I went and heard the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi perform live six times during the first half of this year, from January’s Brahms v. Radiohead mashup to May’s season-closing Mahler’s Seventh Symphony. That’s more than once a month. By comparison,

Chamber Music Northwest: risk-taking redeemed

One day about four years ago, recently installed Chamber Music Northwest executive director Peter Bilotta was chatting with a major donor to Portland’s annual summer classical music festival. The funder “called us ‘musty,’” Bilotta recalls. “I decided this art form is alive,

DramaWatch: The Bill Rauch Times

The New York Times lauds the liberties the Oregon Shakespeare Fest director takes with “Oklahoma!” Also, Red Door puts “Hands Up,” and Vertigo goes on a spree.

End of Summer: Absorbing Oregon in August

By BRIAN LIBBY Yale Union’s End of Summer artist residency concluded on Sunday with open artist’s studios for the six Japanese artists who participated in the program in August. Throughout the massive old building’s three floors, each of the visiting artists seemed

MusicWatch Weekly: something in the water

We Oregonians can’t wait to for summer, and then when it gets here, we kvetch — the heat! The smoke! The kids underfoot! Not enough concerts! Wait, that hasn’t been true for awhile. But school’s back, for some, the heat wave is

PAM’s temporary Turner

Hanging in a corner of the second-floor European galleries in the Belluschi Building of the Portland Art Museum is a painting that doesn’t usually live there – and not just any painting, but a masterpiece from J.M.W. Turner’s latter period, an 1835

Gabriel Kahane’s new oratorio confronts America’s empathy deficit

Since attending its premiere in May, I’ve been thinking a lot about Gabriel Kahane’s latest pop-classical whatsit—not the album that came out last Friday, though we’ll get to that when he returns next year, but his emergency shelter intake form, which the

Walnut City Music Festival closes out summer on a high note

It’s probably not accurate to say that Yamhill County is in the midst of a “renaissance” of live entertainment, because definitions of the word (beyond the obvious historical reference to Europe in the 1300-1600s) typically rely on synonyms like “renewal,” “rebirth,” “revival”

Makrokosmos IV review: screwy, spiritual music for a summer evening

Story by MATTHEW ANDREWS Photography by Masataka Suemitsu Summer evening, Northwest Portland’s Vestas building, next to the Lego wind turbine. A box truck’s worth of vibraphone and xylophone and timpani and chimes and cymbals and crotales and tam-tams and on and on;

Neil Simon, 1927-2018

Neil Simon, maybe the most successful playwright in American history, died today at 91, leaving behind a little piece of who we are and how we got this way. Not quite a year ago, in a piece on the Portland Civic Theatre

Alfred Walker and Angel Blue: stars on the rise

by ANGELA ALLEN More often than not, he plays the villains (Méphistophélès in Faust) and the weirdos (Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle). She portrays the vulnerable tragic heroines (Violetta, Mimi, Marguerite). Certainly those aren’t the only roles rising opera stars Alfred Walker and

Art on the Road: Slovenia

At first glance Ljublijana, the capital of Slovenia, appears to be one of the most picturesque, hospitable and laid-back places to be found in the Balkans. Situated near beautiful mountains, divided by a clean and slow-flowing river, the award-winning city prides itself

Cult of Orpheus: lyrical music

About a decade ago, after his last band finally called it a day, Christopher Corbell, who’d played punk, folk, and other pop music for a couple of decades, faced a turning point. “I finally got to the point that I felt too

Glass shortage has blowers holding their breath

On the Oregon Coast, creating a work of glass art is a bucket-list favorite, and there’s plenty of places to make that happen. But recent weeks have stressed some mom-and-pop glassblowing studios to the point of, well, a meltdown. It seems there’s

MusicWatch Weekly: Music Notes

The annual summer slowdown in Oregon’s live music season gives us a chance to catch up on some recent news. Do check out other events this week we’ve already previewed elsewhere, including a pair of vintage shows: an encore of a Aquilon

Uday Bhawalkar review: a quick primer on Indian music appreciation

You’ve probably heard Indian classical music before. Perhaps you’ve listened to a Ravi Shankar tape or watched videos of his daughter Anoushka, or maybe you’ve encountered its distinctive sounds in a Bollywood movie. If you’re extra lucky, you might live in a

Rick Bartow, drawing writers

Photos by JOE CANTRELL A collection of seventeen drawings by the late Oregon artist Rick Bartow, From the Heart: Author Drawings by Rick Bartow, is on view through September 29 in the Upstairs Gallery of the Newport Visual Arts Center, and it

‘Porgy and Bess’ review: Catfish Row Northwest

by ANGELA ALLEN The stars, and there were several, could have carried Seattle Opera’s Porgy and Bess. But they didn’t have to. Conceived by Francesca Zambello, the production was spot-on in so many ways—emotionally attuned, musically uplifting, edgily designed and lit— that

Photo First: Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market (which is, of course, open on Sundays as well) is a sort of curated street fair. Founded in 1974 by Sheri Teasdale and Andrea Scharf as a support for local artisans, it has grown over the years into the

Noise Fest 2018 preview: art of noise

Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. — John Cage. On Saturday, Eugene’s WOW Hall will tremble, throb, and reverberate with the tweeter-searing, woofer-warping

Enemies of the people? No.

MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER PERIODICALS across the United States have published editorials in today’s editions denouncing President Trump’s continuing attacks on the news media, which he has repeatedly characterized as “enemies of the people.” The media campaign, coordinated by the

Manzanita’s Dave Dillon curates Northwest film series

Nosferatu, a 1922 classic horror film based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, might seem an unlikely start for a film series that prides itself on being all Pacific Northwest, all the time. The silent movie was the first offering, eight years ago, in

MusicWatch Weekly: hot summer jazz

What began as an informal neighborhood musical soiree has blossomed into one of Portland’s jazz treasures. The fifth annual Montavilla Jazz Festival  at Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark, is headlined by the Grammy-nominated team of primo pianist Randy Porter’s Trio with jazz

Steampunked in WashCo

By MICHAEL SPROLES The underground science fiction movement of steampunk has been steaming full speed ahead into the public eye since the 1980s, in books, movies, video games, music videos, and much more. For both fans and the unfamiliar, the Washington County

‘Bodies’ review: Pride is a verb

“One of the most common questions I get is ‘what is pride?’,” said Pride Northwest Executive Director Debra Porta at the Q&A following Resonance Ensemble’s June concert, Bodies. “It’s difficult to put into words.” This echoed Porta’s words from the beginning of

Gallery Theater: 50 years, 340 plays, thousands of stories

Gallery Players of Oregon has been cranking out plays in downtown McMinnville since 1968, which means we’ve arrived at the 50th anniversary. That kind of endurance for any artistic project is worth celebrating. I cannot hide my enthusiasm about it, and you

Art on the Road: Trieste pilgrimage

TRIESTE, Italy – Scores of people come to this ancient seaport town each year to pay homage to James Joyce, who wrote his Ulysses here. The city accommodates them by putting up plaques at about every corner, bridge, staircase, churchyard ever touched by his

Oregon Bach Festival review: vision vacuum

By TOM MANOFF You can’t really assess what was at this season’s Oregon Bach Festival without acknowledging what wasn’t: erstwhile artistic director Matthew Halls, the multi-talented conductor whose questionable dismissal last year was widely covered throughout the arts world. Would this new

Tomorrow, tomorrow: We love ya

“Never work with animals or children” was the sage actorly advice from legendary actor and comedian W.C. Fields. Luckily for us, Clackamas Repertory Theatre steered far from this piece of advice with its production of Annie at Clackamas Community College’s Osterman Theatre

Joan Tower: ‘The voice is in the risks’

I love Joan Tower’s music. It’s right there in the Goldilocks zone: serious but not stodgy, zealous but not brash, subtle but not understated, big and bold but also immediate and intimate, fun and exciting and weird but also somber, emotive, complex,

Carrington-Coltrane-Spalding: Celebrating Geri Allen

by PATRICK McCULLEY The February 22 PDX Jazz Festival concert at Portland’s Newmark Theatre was originally intended to showcase the music of the ACS Trio. But because of the untimely death of pianist Geri Allen (the “A” in ACS, Allen-Carrington-Spalding) the previous

The Anonymous Diaries

A few weeks ago, I met and interviewed an actor at a coffee shop near Waterfront Park. They were charismatic, stylish and radiated supreme confidence and generosity. I would have relished the chance to find the right words to capture their personality,

Violin virtuoso Charles Castleman pays Linfield a kingly visit

If you haven’t heard of the Castleman Quartet, don’t feel bad. This summer violin-development program has been going nearly half a century, but until recently, it was confined to the East Coast, where violinist Charles Castleman first presided over it as a

MusicWatch Weekly: August catch-up

Keeping up with even the segment of Oregon’s increasingly busy music scene ArtsWatch can afford to cover (and we’d love to do more, if our readers and Oregon music institutions will help us pay for it) is nearly impossible when the season’s

Saints and sinners toss the dice

During intermission Sunday afternoon at Broadway Rose’s mostly swell revival of Guys and Dolls, a high-powered musical-theater vehicle driven deftly by Ryan Reilly’s mellifluous Sky Masterson and Emily Sahler’s comic knockout of a Miss Adelaide, I found myself thinking, oddly, of the

Venus in Fur: The (Play Within the) Play’s the Thing!

The sound of dissonant strings swells as audience members file in and find seats. Folks flip through programs and sip wine. But an uneasy tension looms as the audience settles in for David Ives’s Venus in Fur, now playing at Twilight Theater.

Aallotar review: collaboration, commitment, courage

At Aallotar’s July 29 concert at the beautifully austere Nordia House, the Finland/Minnesota duo played with an intensely graceful stage presence against a lovely backdrop, through plate glass windows, of the Nordic culture center’s patio garden. There and at the band’s next show

Chamber Music Northwest review: middle-age crazy

Chamber Music Northwest, in its 48th season this summer, may be solidly middle-aged in people years, but unlike a lot of solidly middle-aged people, and as the Wall Street Journal noted last month, it’s becoming more and more interested in what’s new

Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival: in vino violins

by ANGELA ALLEN Pinot noir and salmon surely make a felicitous match, yet imagine an even happier marriage: Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59 No. 2 paired with J. Christopher Wines’ 2016 “Lumiere” Pinot Noir. “Both can certainly be enjoyed for

DanceWatch: a month of movement

Maybe this isn’t common knowledge, but warm weather is best for dancers. It cuts down on the time we have to warm up to dance and makes our muscles ooey gooey and stretchy, which is perfect for dancing. I love warm weather

‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ review: back from the dead

by BRUCE BROWNE and DARYL BROWNE I’ll admit, I’ve been negligent about my concert attendance of late. My reasoning, I suppose, is that I needed a good long rest. But now having roused myself to attentiveness I have heard that I perhaps

DramaWatch Weekly: On the Proscenium

Michael Mendelson long has been one of Portland’s busiest and most accomplished actors, but even by his standards he has a packed calendar for the coming theater season. He’ll head east to the Midwest later this month to help Nebraska Rep kick

Dancing in the Underworld

With its glorious melodies , menacing harmonies, and inclusion of music for dances that actually drive the plot rather than functioning as interludes giving singers a chance to catch their breath, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s 1762 opera Orfeo ed Eurydice has inspired some

VizArts Monthly: Big news in various forms

The big, big news in the Portland arts community is that soon-to-be defunct Marylhurst University’s Art Gym isn’t gone forever! According to the press release issued by the Oregon College of Art and Craft, “all Art Gym operations, collections, and upcoming exhibitions

Portland Chamber Orchestra Valentines Day The Reser Beaverton Oregon
Portland Playhouse What I Learned In Paris Portland Oregon
Portland Center Stage Young Americans Portland Oregon
Boom Arts Okinum Hampton Opera Center Portland Oregon
Tualatin Valley Symphony Family Concert Featuring Star Wars NW Christian Church Tigard Oregon
White Bird Dance Trinity Irish The Reser Beaverton Oregon
Portland Piano International Solo Piano Series Portland Oregon
White Bird Dance Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Portland Oregon
Profile Theatre Welcome to Arroyo's at Imago Theatre Portland Oregon
High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
push/FOLD at the Reser Beaverton Oregon
Triangle Productions Me & Tammy Portland Oregon
Eugene Ballet Petrushka with Orchestra Next Hult Center Eugene Oregon
Oregon Children's Theatre Dragons Love Tacos Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Portland Oregon
Portland State University College of the Arts
Future Prairie Artist Collective Portland Oregon