Portland Opera To Go has finished another wonderful tour. This year's The Magic Flute, by Mozart, was a wonderful success. Our intrepid band of musicians toured all over Oregon, and Soutwest Washington, from coast to coast and from North to South. We were everywhere from Vancouver, WA to Klamath Falls, OR, we were on the coast in Astoria, OR all the way to Ontario, OR.
The group had a great time while playing to a total of over 18,000! POGO hit 55 venues over the 12 week tour and of those 19 had never gotten a POGO performance before. This production really focuses on the hero story in The Magic Flute of Tamino and his trials to win the freedom of his lady love. With Papagano at his side, our hero was successful in all of his trials and won the hand of Pamina.
POGO's mission is to bring arts learning and performance to children and areas that don't have much access to this type of programming. This year they sure did! 63% of the schools we visited were Title 1 schools! 25% of the schools they went to were considered "very rural" with a population of less than 10,000 in the school district. About 1/2 of the schools were in and around the Portland Metro area and half were out and about in the rest of Oregon.
Portland Opera To Go did well this year to fulfill the mission of bring the arts and music to as much of our state as we can in one season. We look forward to seeing you next year! Stay tuned for more on our upcoming tours!
The tour has begun. January 14, 2013 our intrepid singers have departed on their tour. Criss-crossing the state of Oregon and into SW Washington, our tour will reach all over the state and should reach about 20,000 during their travels.
We have a wonderful production of THE MAGIC FLUTE this year that was adapted by the director. She was working to make this script highlight the journey of our hero, Tamino. While keeping in the best and most recognizable tunes and characters, Kristine McIntyre has done a wonderful job again!
Stacy Murdock has returned to our ranks for his 9th season with POGO! Ainsley Soutiere as Pamina, Tour Manager Samm Hawkins, our amazing pianist David Saffert and Dru Rutledge as Papagena have also returned. We have some new faces as well. Welcome to our hero Anthony Ballard as Tamino, Claudia Chapa as 3rd Lady, Kevin Bertin as Sastro and Ksenia Popova as The Queen of the Night.
The enclosed picture is of our Papagano and one of our young audience members as Papagano searches for his Papagana. Stacy is always so engaging with our audiences, we are very fortunate to have him continue to return.
We will be having Public Performances here at the Hampton Opera Center on March 22 and 23rd!
Ainsley Soutiere, our Pamina and 4 year veteran of the program, will be writing the blog for us. She is both a wonderfully talented performer, and a delightful person! I do hope you will take a moment from time to time to hear about your generous gifts at work. I have posted the blog link below.
The benefit was a huge success! Portland Opera does a one-night concert each year. We call it our Big Night Concert and Street Fair. This season, it was on September 22, 2012. The festivities started at 5:00pm and we were going until 11:00pm! It is in support of our Portland Opera To Go program. This season, the amount raised was over $10,000 more than last year. While last year was our inaugural year, this year we really hit our stride. The event includes a concert, a gala celebration, and a free and open to the public street fair.
We saw about 1100 more people this year than we did last year. All of those people, well over 3000 of them in all, heard about the work that Portland Opera To Go does. It is really wonderful to see the support for arts education that exists here in the city of Portland. So many people giving to help support arts education!
Below is a picture of the event at the Ira Keller Fountain in Downtown Portland filled with over 1100 of our closest new friends. They are waiting to see the 40 foot wide screen come to life at the concert is just about to begin. In true Portland Style, we had food carts to make sure everyone had plenty to eat.
So you can see our short informational video as they saw it during the concert, the You Tube link that helps to really understand what POGO does is there as well.
Thank you for your time and attention.
"I learned that putting people in fire places are bad." - Kether, after watching the 2012 POGO Tour of Hansel and Gretel.
Summer has arrived. While the kids are out enjoying the summer months and the sun, we are wrapping up the 2012 tour and booking the 2013 tour!
The tour in 2012 saw over 15,000 bright smiling faces. Many of those had never seen an opera. Portland Opera To Go did more than 50 performances, many of them in rural towns that don't really have access to the arts due to their distance from a major metropolitan area. 95% of our teachers used the study guide to help teach Oregon Educational Standards to their students.
In 2013, Mozart's The Magic Flute will be leaving on tour in late January. Alexis Hamilton, our Education and Outreach Coordinator, is booking schools and performances to make sure that our 2013 tour is better than ever. We have returned to our pre-recession tour length in a fiscally responsible way. We are continuing to search for funding to maintain the overall reach of the tour.
With only 4 more months to go before that yellow truck leaves the Opera, we are finding singers and musicians that more accurately represent the more ethnically diverse audience we are reaching. This year, we add a Spanish version of our study materials. Portland Opera To Go continues to grow and learn, just like our audience.
See you at the show!
“Seriously, it was fabulous. The program was designed for children, so they had their own seating area right up front, while we sat towards the back. The woman who led the program was entertaining and taught the children appropriate opera behavior….The performance was great…and my two busy, noisy boys were captivated. The entire time.”
--Parent who attended a McMenamins performance
Portland Opera To Go works to reach out to under-served schools and communities. One goal of our program is to bring arts and culture to areas of Oregon with little access to that type of activity. Twenty-five percent of schools visited were in very rural Oregon cities and towns. We went outside the Portland Metro area to towns like The Dalles, Waldport, Tillamook, Nehalem, Halfway, and Ontario to name a few. Seventy-two percent of schools visited were Title I schools and fifty-three percent of children receiving services were in free or reduced lunch programs--an indicator of poverty. This exceeded our Title I goal which helps us to see we reached children in the greatest need fo arts and culture experience.
Overall, Portland Opera is committed to diversity. The demographic breakdown of all students visited in 2012 was: 63% Caucasian; 8% Asian/Pacific Islander; 16% Hispanic; 2% Native American; and 7% Black, not Hispanic.
Portland Opera To Go completed its 2012 winter tour in March 2012. In all, more than 14,000+ children in 55 performances including 41 elementary schools, all 8 McMenamin's locations, and other performance locations across Oregon enjoyed an English-language production of Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" and in-class residencies. In so doing, we increased the number of students we reached by 3700 over 2011. Study guides, designed for teachers with little formal arts training, provide approved lesson plans bench-marked to Oregon Department of Education learning guidelines. 90% of participating teacher used at least one lesson plan in their classroom and indicated that curricular materials were appropriate for their students.
Here are samples of what parents and teachers had to say about this year's outreach:
“Every single person involved was spectacular! It’s an experience my kids and I, and I’m sure many others at the school, will never forget. A number of parents, as well as other people from this school district, sent emails to me expressing gratitude for bringing this kind of cultural experience to our children. They all realize the value of this kind of outreach and impact it has on kids.”
-- Third grade teacher, Pleasant Valley Primary
“I have never seen an opera before. So to me this was a new thing. I always thought opera was boring. But you showed me that opera can be pretty fun. Oh by the way you guys are talented!”
-- Elementary student
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