September 3, 2019

Press Release: Portland Opera To Go presents La Bohème

Portland Opera is thrilled to present a 50-minute version of Puccini’s La Bohème as the 2019 Portland Opera to Go production. This accessible and romantic Puccini opera concerns the fortunes of four young men, whose lives are changed forever when one of them, the poet Rodolfo, falls in love with the girl upstairs. For almost 20 years, Portland Opera to Go has travelled throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington presenting an opera adaptation targeted to students. Beginning on September 25, POGO will present nearly 50 performances, in venues including school gyms, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms and community centers.

This adaptation of La Bohème is ideal for students in 7th through 12th grade and retains all the humor and pathos of Puccini’s original opera, with modular scenery and age-appropriate staging. In addition to the performance, Portland Opera offers an arts integrated curriculum and classroom visits.

The cast of La Bohème features Sergio Manzo as Schaunard, Aaron Jenkins as Rodolfo, Travis Lucas as Marcello, Johann Schram Reed as Colline, Lauren Yokabaskas as Mimi, and Ivy Zhou as Musetta. The cast is accompanied by Emily Baltzer on piano. This production of La Bohème was created and directed by Kristine McIntyre, with costumes by Portland Opera’s Costume Director Christine A. Richardson, and sets by Polly Robbins. Stephen K. Gardner is the Tour Manager.

“Our kids were thoroughly engaged and completely transfixed by the performers!” shared an educator from Gresham. “Please know what an incredible difference this makes in their lives.  For probably all but one or two of the kids, this was their first-ever experience of live opera –what a fabulous way to introduce them to this amazing art form. They will never forget this.”

“We know that opera isn’t an art form on everyone’s radar” says Alexis Hamilton, Portland Opera’s Manager of Education and Outreach. “POGO is great because we have the opportunity to give kids a frame of reference for opera before they think they don’t like it because of a cartoon spoof of it.  And it’s not just kids who get an introduction to opera with POGO.  Parents and teachers come up to us all the time and tell us that this was their first introduction to opera—and that they loved it.  As one kid said to me after a public performance, ‘Opera Rocks!’  It’s fun to think that POGO got him rockin’!”

Portland Opera to Go provides engaging, accessible artistic educational programming for students, focusing on schools with economic and geographic barriers to accessing fine arts experiences. Over 50% of schools visited are Title I and are located in rural communities. To integrate the experience, POGO also provides in-class workshops and a 100+ page teacher’s guide, including curriculum connections that highlight clear learning goals and creative activities for students.

Portland Opera to Go is generously supported by EAI Information Systems, NW Natural, PGE Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Rutherford Investment Management & Lamb Family Foundation, Schnitzer Steel Industries, The Standard, John and Carol Steele, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, The Wheeler Foundation, and Winderlea Vineyard & Winery.

In addition to touring to schools throughout the region, Portland Opera to Go will present the following public performances:

PUBLIC PERFORMANCES

Saturday, October 5 | 2 – 3pm
Walters Cultural Center
527 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR
$5 suggested donation

Monday, October 14 | Noon – 1pm
Portland 5, Antoinette Hatfield Hall
1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
Free admission

Saturday, October 26 | 2 – 3pm
Tigard Public Library
13500 SW Hall Blvd, Tigard, OR
Free admission

Saturday, November 23 | 2 – 3pm
Chehalem Cultural Center
415 E Sheridan St, Newberg, OR
Free admission

Saturday, December 7 | 1 – 2pm
Hampton Opera Center
211 SE Caruthers St., Portland, OR
Tickets will go on sale on October 7: $5 for kids under 12, $10 general admission

Saturday, December 14 | 1 – 2pm
Hampton Opera Center
211 SE Caruthers St., Portland, OR
Tickets will go on sale on October 7: $5 for kids under 12, $10 general admission

About Portland Opera

Portland Opera exists to inspire, challenge, and uplift our audiences by creating productions of high artistic quality that celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera.

Since 1964, Portland Opera has contributed to the cultural, artistic, and economic landscape of the city and region that we love. Wecelebrate the beauty and breadth of the opera repertoire with performances that take place in the Keller Auditorium, Newmark Theatre, and the Gregory K. and Mary Chomenko Hinckley Studio Theatre at the Hampton Opera Center. The company is also a committed educational partner, touring fully staged operas to schools and community centers throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington region each year, in addition to a host of other efforts designed to make opera accessible for all.

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MEDIA:
Interviews, press comps, artist biographies, and more information available upon request.

Contact:
Silja Tobin, Marketing & Communications Manager
Portland Opera
503-417-0574
press@portlandopera.org