One of our strategic goals is to explore different opera experiences that may serve new and existing audiences in new ways, while continuing to honor the traditional repertoire that our art form is built upon.
Throughout last season, we continued to partner artistically and strategically with community and peer organizations. You can read about our artistic collaboration with Shaun Keylock Company during When the Sun Comes Out; and in addition to this type of local collaboration, we've forged ahead with national partners as we continue to share best practices for inclusion in our field.
In April of 2021, we announced a collaboration with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Columbus, and the producing team of Up Until Now Collective to bring a short video series titled, "Soul (Signs): An Opera Playlist" to Boston Lyric Opera's digital streaming channel operabox.tv. This video series is a collaboration between deaf and hearing artists combining vivid cinematography, American Sign Language, captions, and singing to create a rich opera experience.
In March of 2022, we partnered with The American Opera Projects and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of NYC to commemorate International Transgender Day of Visibility as part of an ensemble of opera companies who have presented the opera As One. The one-day concert and panel discussion, titled "AS ONE: THE WORK CONTINUES..." featured cast members from Portland Opera's 2018 production, and was livestreamed for free (taped in front of a live audience) around the world.
Outside of these formal partnerships, we continue to partner with area universities and colleges to increase the frequency of artist connections through master class work, onsite internships, and mentorship. In February and March of 2022, the External Affairs team welcomed an intern from University of Portland to join the company and front of house team for When the Sun Comes Out and The Central Park Five.
And we continue to build on the lessons we learned during the pandemic. In 2021, we held over 50 public events and performances; and none of these were in a traditional “operatic setting” on stage. We joined in activating downtown Portland with Pioneer Courthouse Square's Polka Dot Downtown concerts at numerous locations. We brought our Opera a la Cart to Hoyt Arboretum, Shute Park, Cartlandia, the SE waterfront, and all around the region. We partnered with Oregon Symphony to celebrate the return of the Waterfront Concert, with featured singers from Portland Opera. We created a venue for our outdoor production of Frida; and shared Songs for the Summer at Old Moody Stages. We teamed up with the Rose City Rollers to create unique live opera roller-skating events with Skatemobile. We created a special Opera a la Cart Lunch & Play event at city parks around town, in partnership with the Portland Parks Lunch and Play program to build Opera Elements to children and families.