For more than 20 years, Portland Opera to Go (nicknamed POGO) has shared opera experiences with communities around the region.
In the fall of 2021, Portland Opera to Go will present the opera, In My Own Words/En Mis Palabras by Roger Ames and Jeffrey Gilden. This English and Spanish bilingual opera, created for 7th through 12th graders, is about coming-of-age and finding your voice.
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.
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.
Each year, the Portland Opera to Go company performs 50-minute versions of operas for students. These are sung in English, or English and Spanish as bilingual productions. Some favorite past productions have been The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel, The Elixir of Love, The Barber of Seville, and La Bohème. The company travels over 5,000 miles throughout Oregon and southern Washington to spark the imaginations of students, educators, and teachers. So far, more than 240,000 people have engaged with Portland Opera to Go.
“The children loved it. It never ceases to amaze me how well the children engage... And it does my heart good to see [them] enjoy it so much. By allowing the children to interact, you give them a voice”
Performances happen in school gyms, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms, and community centers—all with full costumes and portable scenery. Integrated in-class workshops are available as part of the POGO experience, as well as teacher guides highlighting curricular connections aligned with state standards.
We believe that the arts are an essential part of every student's development. Our program focuses on schools with economic and geographic barriers to accessing performing arts experiences. Over 50% of schools visited are Title I schools in rural communities. We've shared POGO performances in Oregon and Washington—as well as parts of California, and Idaho.
Every year, we share two performances of POGO at The Hampton Opera Center in Portland. Families can easily park, and attend this friendly performance together. You can find details and ticket information about POGO performances at the Hampton Opera Center on our calendar.
We would love to share the magic of opera with you! If you are an educator interested in bringing Portland Opera to Go or Opera Elements to your students, please contact Alexis Hamilton, Portland Opera’s Manager of Education and Community Engagement by emailing ahamilton@Portlandopera.org.
Portland Opera to Go is generously supported by U.S. Bank, BNSF Foundation, EAI Information Systems, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, PGE Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, The Standard, Schnitzer Steel Industries, John and Carol Steele, The Wheeler Foundation, Winderlea Vineyard & Winery, and from individuals like you, who want to see this program grow and thrive.
With additional support from: