Community Voices

Explore community projects, creative learning activities, and ways to engage.


Frida Inspired Street Art
Watch our video about this project here:

Closed captioning is available on this video by selecting the "CC" in the lower right-hand corner of the player.

Like so many plans laid for 2020, the global pandemic disrupted our original partnership with IdeAL PDX, which were to have coincided with a very special event for our production of Frida. But as is often the case, a beautiful phoenix rose from the ashes of that project, including five different organizations and culminating an a wonderful community effort.

When Portland Opera was at last able to finalize our partnerships with OMSI and Oregon Ballet Theater and knew we would be able to move ahead with a live, outdoor production of Frida, we knew that we wanted to involve the amazing artists of IdeAL PDX. We had kept in touch with Jessica Lagunas throughout the uncertainty—though we didn't know when we could do something together or what it would result in—until we were approached by Prosper Portland.

Prosper Portland wanted to activate Tillikum Plaza as part of their plan to recharge Portland public life and revitalize our communities, and part of that activation included a street mural. We were thrilled and IdeAL PDX really came through with a design with lightning fast speed. Meetings with the great teams at Portland Bureau of Transportation, City Repair, Prosper Portland, and IdeAL PDX led us to an ambitious but do-able timeline.

After three days of prep by IdeAL PDX and City Repair, we welcomed the community to a twelve hour, sunshine filled, day of art-making, community building and a surprise performance by the incredible Huehca Omeyoca band. It was an exhausting, unforgettable day that resulted in a new and, dare I say, iconic, example of public art for the City of Portland.

The artwork was designed by IdeAL PDX artists: Yathzi Turcot, Jessica Lagunas, Daniel Santollo "TEKPATL," Alex Valle, José Solis, and William Hernandez and the collaboration was made possible by support from the Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC).


Opera Activities

In spring of 2020, our education team put together some at-home learning activities that add a little opera sparkle to arts education. 

Let's get creative! Explore the activities.

Opera Elements

In response to the pandemic, Portland Opera has partnered with Portland Public Schools and Gresham-Barlow School District to create Opera Elements, a series of 3 virtual lesson plans and activities for students.  Made up of both synchronous and asynchronous activities, these lesson plans focus on 3 main topics: the voice, the building blocks of opera, and composing.

Access Opera Elements here!

Students will have the opportunity to learn more about the different voice types with the Portland Opera Resident Artists and Manager of Education and Community Engagement, Alexis Hamilton, create their own arias, and learn more about composing from Portland Opera’s Co-Artistic Advisor and Composer, Damien Geter.


Opera Jokes

We think that staying connected is important during COVID-19. So, in March of 2020 we launched a project to share a bit of joy, by offering cheesy opera or music jokes, delivered via phone or email by a member of Portland Opera's staff. To date, more than 500 jokes have been delivered! 

You can use this form to request a joke for yourself or someone else, and we'll let them know you were thinking of them. 

If you would like to send a joke to someone else, list their name and contact info here.

Select your joke.


As I Am: Celebrating Trans Identities

As part of the Portland premiere of As One in 2019, we teamed up with photographer Gia Goodrich to commission a project featuring transgender members of our community. In addition to a three-part video series, and full-length interviews, we co-created a lobby display at the Newmark Theatre, in partnership with Portland'5 Centers for the Arts. For each performance of As One, volunteers from this project introduced themselves and welcomed audiences from the stage. 

As One tells one story: Hannah's story—and this project was created to help celebrate more.

We are so grateful to Demian Dinéyazhi', Ella & Joy, Jack StockLynn & Jay D. Rae-StockLynn, James Barnes, Kerry Yamauchi, Lana Blue Zeitler, Portland Opera Board Member Linda Brown, Nico Serra, Robert Dynamite, Tyler Isaman, and Vivian Gottfredson—for helping us share their experiences and stories. 

View the entire As I Am series. 


Blob Opera

Sometimes we all need a break. Check out Google Arts & Culture Blob Opera to play with four operatic voices.  

Let's blob about it. 


Industry Resources

OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera.

OPERA America 

Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) works to enrich our region's communities through arts and culture through access, funding, public art, advocacy, and arts education. 

Regional Arts & Culture Council

The mission of the Black Opera Alliance is to empower Black classical artists and administrators by exposing systems of racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the industry and challenging institutions to implement drastic reform.

Black Opera Alliance


Community Engagement Working Group 

As part of our strategic plan, we've created a Community Engagement Working Group to build connection and stronger communities for all. Our Community Engagement committee meets weekly with community members, artists, educators, and stakeholders to develop a meaningful civic, social, and artistic practice for Portland Opera’s future.

Current community partners in this working group include Jenny Stadler of PHAME Academy, Jonathan Garcia of Portland Public Schools, and Dr. Leroy Bynum of Portland State University. In addition, the working group is comprised of Portland Opera Board members Curtis T. Thompson, MD, Linda Brown, Diana Harris, Hugh Harris, Christine Lewis, Carole Morse, and Greg Tibbles; as well as staff members Daniel Biaggi, Sue Dixon, Alexis Hamilton, and Tracy Wenckus

We’re working on adapting some of our current programs and initiatives, as well as adding new activities and opportunities for engagement. 

If you have a question or idea to share with us, please email the team.