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Jess Crawford


PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera. Jess Crawford is our primary blogger. Jess spends much of her time eating enormous amounts of cake, making long lists of books she'll probably never read, and challenging people to arm-wrestling contests. During the day (and sometimes at night) she is Portland Opera's music librarian. She writes more about her escapades at her personal blog:
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Handel: The opposite of boring


Rinaldo rehearsals are mostly finished now. We had a very grueling last 7 days -- I personally worked an 80 hour week and I know the production staff did the same -- but now the show is fully on its feet, and might I say, it is SO MUCH FUN. There might have been a moment during last night's piano dress rehearsal -- the first time we get full costumes, makeup, wigs, and (for the most part) lighting -- when I actually leaped out of my chair in excitement. (I was up in the spot booth running supertext so it wasn't too disruptive). I won't tell you what caused me to do it because it would ruin a tremendously wonderful moment for you, but guys: this show is so cool.


As you can imagine, we are all pretty tired by this point, yours truly included, so I only want to talk a little bit today about what you can expect to hear during our performances of Rinaldo. Most of the arias you will hear in this opera are in ABA format. In the A section, you hear the 'main' melody, in which the singer sings the main idea, with 'idea' being both musical and textual in nature. Then you hear the B section, which frequently changes, say, to the minor key relative of the A section's major key. The text of the B section is frequently in contrast to the A section: a character's waffling back and forth between ideas. Then the A section returns.