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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.

The Grand Tour

Today I thought I'd take you on a tour of our office, to give you a taste of where we work every day. If you've never been down here, our office is on the SE waterfront, nestled between OMSI to the north and the Portland Spirit dock to the south. We have a beautiful view of the river (or, right now, of construction for the new bridge -- more on that later) and front door access to the esplanade and Springwater Corridor.

Get yer walkin' shoes on, kids, we're going on a trip!

Welcome to Portland Opera!

The Grand Tour Blog- Front Entrance

The Grand Tour blog- Front Door

Above our front walkway, we recently had a set of solar panels installed. These south-facing panels offset our own electrical use -- and they look pretty cool.

The Grand Tour blog- Solar Panels

Inside the front door, you can watch the energy pour in!

The Grand Tour blog- Solor Display

In the lobby, two employees discuss the construction outside.

The Grand Tour blog- The Lobby

On our first floor are our rehearsal spaces, Box Office, Patron Services, costume shop, and one of the kitchens, as well as an entire room of additional costume storage, rooms for costume work (dyeing, laundering, etc), and our physical plant room. We also have four practice rooms down here. And the snack machines.

We just received a grant to upgrade our kitchen, and it is BEAUTIFUL.

The Grand Tour blog- New Kitchen

The Grand Tour blog- Kitchen

Inside the costume shop is magic.

The Grand Tour blog- Costume Shop

The Grand Tour blog- Princess Costume

The Grand Tour blog- Teacup

The Grand Tour blog- Fabric


There is a ton of neat stuff in the costume shop. An entire room full of hats, jewelry, aprons, spats, ties, feathers -- you name it. A kid into dress-up could have a field day. (This kid = me).

The Grand Tour blog- Boxes

The Grand Tour blog- Boots

The Grand Tour blog- More Boxes

The Grand Tour blog- Hats

The Grand Tour blog- Lockets

There are some strange things too. I would imagine this is a fat suit, but nobody is around in the shop today to confirm. I was tempted to put it on over my outfit.

The Grand Tour blog- Mystery Fat Suit

Sharing a hallway with the costume shop are our two main rehearsal rooms: the music studio (currently set up for an event)...

The Grand Tour blog- Music Studio

…and the staging studio (currently used as a holding space).

The Grand Tour blog- Staging Studio

Our building used to be the Fox 12 building, and these two studios were the broadcast studios. We've modified them some over the years we've been in here, but generally they were, from the get-go, a pretty good fit as opera rehearsal spaces. Plus, they have a cool feature:

The Grand Tour blog- On Air

(We do use it to signal that we're in rehearsal, but today I just turned it on for fun.)

Outside the studios is our new bike rack! This is our third one; we have one inside and one on the other side of the building as well. Unfortunately no bikes were available for comment at the time of this photo.

The Grand Tour blog- Bike Rack

The City of Portland is a tenant on the second floor of our building. They've been working on the Big Pipe Project for 5 years now.

The Grand Tour blog- City of Portland

One of the art pieces on the walls leading up to the third floor reminds me of ribbon candy.

The Grand Tour blog- Ribbon Candy

On the third floor, we have an AWESOME deck overlooking the river. The sun shades were installed a few years back.

The Grand Tour blog- The Deck

The Grand Tour blog- The View

Currently, we're also overlooking the transit bridge project.

The Grand Tour blog- The View 2

Inside, our walls are lined with show posters from previous seasons.

Portland Opera Hallway photo

Portland Opera Hallway 2 photo

Portland Opera Comic Art photo

We mostly keep it classy, but we might occasionally have a wicked sense of humor.

The Grand Tour blog- Softball Trophy

The Grand Tour blog- Softball Trophies

(Trophies from our company softball team)

The Grand Tour blog- The Leg

(The leg appears in the middle of the floor every once in awhile. Occasionally it's jutting out from a closed door. It's the marketing department's doing.)

We also like to show team pride.

The Grand Tour blog- Team Pride- OSU

The Grand Tour blog- Team Pride- UofO

Occasionally we have fun in the break room.

The Grand Tour blog- The Coffee

The Grand Tour blog- Word Game

And here's the music library. It doesn't look like much, does it?!

The Grand Tour blog- Music Library

But inside those cabinets is a WHOLE LOAD of music.

The Grand Tour blog- Music Librarian Shelf

My desk is pretty much always covered in sheet music. Sometimes I joke about building myself a fort.

The Grand Tour blog- Jess' Office

Oh!! I almost forgot: the most important place:

The Grand Tour blog- The Copier

Our massive copy machine! I LOVE HER. Helpful hint: if the librarian is not at her desk, she is here. Or she is downstairs, trying on the princess dress.

This concludes our building tour for the day! Thanks for joining us -- see you next week.