BodyVox Pearl Dive Live Dance Portland Oregon
December 2019

MusicWatch Holidays: Auld lang syne

New Year’s Eve, like Death, is the great equalizer. We all celebrate the solstice-adjacent holidays differently–Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, Festivus, Hogswatch, and so on–but those of us who follow the Gregorian calendar all come to the end of 2019 at more or less

Sue Dixon, Portland Opera's new general director. Photo by Gia Goodrich.

Music Notes: Comings, goings, stayings

• Portland Opera has named Sue Dixon the company’s sixth general director, replacing Christopher Mattaliano, who departed in June after 16 years. She’s served the company in other capacities since 2014. PO also temporarily assigned Mattaliano’s artistic direction responsibilities to Palm Beach

A writer’s journey

In which our coast correspondent learns the secret to publishing a novel is to never, never, never give up.

Portland Sacred Harp performed shape note music in October. Photo by Daniel Heila.

Singing across the centuries

Excoriated musical Americana lives on with Portland Sacred Harp’s shape note singing convention.

Tony Starlight. Photo by Dave Degroot.

MusicWatch Holidays: Naughty and nice

Ho ho ho! Oregon First Winter is fully upon us: the snow and ice and seasonal depression haven’t hit in full force yet, but it’s finally cold and rainy enough to talk about holiday music. Let’s get started with an old favorite:

The Right Brain for learning

The revolutionary mission of an innovative program in the schools: to transform learning through the arts.

Embracing creativity

This week, singer-songwriter-composer Gabriel Kahane arrived in Portland to start his position as Creative Chair for the Oregon Symphony–a job he’ll hold for three seasons, organizing a variety of concerts and working with the beloved hometown orchestra to expand its embrace of

Memories of Michael Bowley

Artist Michael Bowley died the week before Thanksgiving. He never sought the spotlight, never showed in a commercial gallery, but Paul Sutinen remembers him vividly.

PSU Opera staged the new opera "Mirror Game." Photo by Joe Cantrell.

A game of reflections

Mirror Game, a new opera commissioned by Portland State University’s Opera program, made its world premiere Nov. 29 in PSU’s Lincoln Hall Studio Theater. The opera is an intriguing effort to bring women into the limelight in a male-dominated tech world. The

Letter From Seattle: Holiday Edition

Seattle stages offer a variety of Christmas treats, but the big gifts are Broadway-aspiring musicals such as “Shout Sister Shout!”

Hank Willis Thomas: How to unmake race

Hank Willis Thomas’s retrospective asks us to consider the mechanisms that conspired to make race so we can unmake it in the future.

Brooklyn trio Moon Hooch exhibit by Justin Hautbois. Photo courtesy of the band.

MusicWatch Semi-Monthly: Unholy daze

Bah, humbug! It’s too early for Christmas music, don’t you think? Just because December is upon us, with its flakey promises of snow, doesn’t mean there isn’t a nice pile of early unholiday presents waiting. We’ve got a good dozen or two