Portland Opera to Go's Shizue: An American Story

World Premiere

Composed by Kenji Oh

Libretto by Dmae Lo Roberts

This performance is an optional addition to season subscriptions. Single tickets will go on sale in August.


This fall, Portland Opera is proud to present the next installment of the Our Oregon Project, Shizue: An American Story, which illuminates the remarkable life of Shizue Iwatsuki. From a wealthy family trained in the arts of poetry and ikebana, Shizue married Kamegoro and followed him to his orchard in Hood River, Oregon. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans, she experienced both hope and horror in America—from the luscious taste of fresh strawberries from their fields to the injustice in America’s incarceration camps. But through it all, Shizue rose above and reached beyond, embodying the concept of gaman, which means “enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.”


Portland Opera’s Our Oregon project commissions youth operas that highlight the experiences of Oregonians through a variety of lenses. This unique multi-year project began in 2022 with Beatrice: a 50-minute youth opera inspired by the life and story of Beatrice, Morrow Cannady, and it will continue in future seasons with operas about Latinx and Native American Oregonian heroes. After the world premiere, this show embarks on a two-month, multi-city tour.


50 minute, no intermission
English with English captions
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About the Composer and the Librettist

Learn more about Composer Kenji Oh and Librettist Dmae Lo Roberts, the duo behind our world premiere.

Learn more.
Portland Opera to Go

Discover more about our educational program Portland Opera to Go and the fall tour in 2024.

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Support this Program

Donate today to support our Portland Opera to Go program.


Production Information

For more than 20 years, Portland Opera has shared opera with audiences throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. In a typical year, POGO company members travel over 5,000 miles, to connect with approximately 13,000 K-12 students. To date, Portland Opera to Go has shared opera with more than 285,000 students and community audience members.

Shizue: An American Story is sung in English and will be presented in full costume, with a portable set designed to tour schools and community venues.

Tickets will be sold as Pay what you Wish, with a minimum price of $5.00 and a suggested price of $35.

Dates, programming, artists, and details are subject to change.


Captions: For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance includes live English captions projected above the stage.

Audio Description: For patrons who are blind or have low-vision, the Saturday matinee performance will include a live audio description of the action and dialogue onstage.

American Sign Language: For patrons who are deaf of hard of hearing, both performances will include ASL interpretation.

If you require wheelchair accessible and/or companion seating, or have any other hearing or vision needs, please call us to purchase tickets so that we can ensure your visit to the theatre is an excellent one.

When We Gather

When We Gather

Our commitment to cultural equity continues to inform our audience policies and experiences. When we gather, it must be with respect and with care for the entire community.  

Let us be clear: there is no place for bigotry, discrimination, hate, harassment, or intolerance at Portland Opera.  

Behaviors that are disrespectful, discriminatory, or not aligned with our policies for attendance (including health and safety and firearm policies) will not be tolerated, and audience members may be asked to leave the premises and/or be prohibited from returning in the future. 

Thank you for joining us in creating a safe and welcoming Portland Opera space for everyone.  

Community sponsors


Portland Opera to Go is generously supported by the BNSF Foundation, Drew & Sue Snyder, PGE Foundation, Reser Family Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Trust, Roundhouse Foundation, RW Naito Foundation, The Standard, John & Carol Steele, with additional support from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the Arts Education & Access Fund.

Portland Opera is grateful for the ongoing philanthropic support from our individual patrons and generous donors, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Arts Education & Access Fund.