Oregon Cultural Trust
Picture of Angela Allen
Picture of Angela Allen
Angela Allen
Chelsea Janzen at Black Walnut 6/20/2019

Punk Papageno in Wine Country

July’s three-week Aquilon Music Festival in Willamette Valley wine country debuted in summer 2018, and this year, concert-goers might have a better time pronouncing its French name.  “AK–will-on,” explains Chelsea Janzen, who will sing Pamina in the festival’s centerpiece opera, The Magic

‘La Finta Giardiniera’: early blossoms

Story by ANGELA ALLEN Photos by JOE CANTRELL The obscure La Finta Giardiniera (The Fake Gardener) is making its modern-day debut twice in Portland in four months. The opera is Portland State University’s spring presentation (the final show is at 3 pm

‘Il Trovatore’: clarity amid complexity

by ANGELA ALLEN Il Trovatore (The Troubadour) at Seattle Opera’s McCaw Hall Hall through Jan. 26, is a death-soaked, secret-infused and passion-obsessed opera. Giuseppe Verdi’s gory tale of revenge and jealousy is one juicy piece — when it doesn’t stumble like a lame

Autumn Leaves: PDX Jazz’s fall season

by ANGELA ALLEN  Sold out. It’s no surprise that the piano-driven Tord Gustavsen Trio’s Sept. 30 concert sold out weeks ago. But you still have more chances to catch cutting-edge jazz in Portland this fall, courtesy of PDX Jazz. Gustavsen and his

‘Tango of the White Gardenia’: breaking the code

by ANGELA ALLEN For know-it-all critics and discerning music-goers, “community opera” can be code for bad music, lousy singers and shabby production. Not this time. Tango of the White Gardenia, a collaboration of Cascadia Chamber Opera (previously Cascadia Concert Opera) and Lincoln City

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

‘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

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

Chamber Music Northwest review: unexpected stars

By ANGELA ALLEN If you think jazz and marching-band musicians are the sole owners of the johnny-come-late instrument developed in the mid-1800s by Belgian Adolphe Sax, you’re not hearing enough saxophone music. In two of last weekend’s Chamber Music Northwest concerts, four

Growing Voices

By ANGELA ALLEN “I’m not feeling the high note now,” says Karsten George, shaking his head while rehearsing at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall one late-May afternoon. He’s singing a song from Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and he isn’t quite nailing the

‘Aida’ and ‘Rigoletto’: lush Verdi

Two stunning Giuseppe Verdi operas in one West Coast weekend are a treat, unless grandeur is not your thing. Portland Opera’s Rigoletto, which opened May 4 at Keller Auditorium and continues with performances on May 10 and 12, and Seattle Opera’s Aida, with a two-week run

Cécile (McLorin Salvant) review: first-name basis

by ANGELA ALLEN Ella and Bessie and Billie (and Cher and Pink and Prince and Madonna). But let’s stick to jazz. Now there’s Cécile. She has two other names (McLorin Salvant) but she earns the first-name-only tag. She is the It Girl

‘Albert Herring’ review: keeping it fresh

by ANGELA ALLEN British composer Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring is a challenging opera for both performers and audiences accustomed to the usual Romantic classics. Though funny, it proved a serious undertaking for the Portland State University Opera this week at Lincoln Performance

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