We are delighted to release our third edition of Toi, Toi, Toi, a magazine for Portland Opera, made in collaboration with Artslandia. We created this magazine in celebration of the community that produces, builds, supports, performs, and enjoys the magic of opera.
What does “toi, toi, toi” mean?
Theater has historically been steeped in superstition, and you may know it is considered bad luck to say “good luck” backstage. Actors say “break a leg!” Dancers say “merde!” In opera, we say “toi, toi, toi!” We don’t know exactly where it came from, but most people believe the phrase is adapted from the tradition of spitting to ward off evil spirits. The old practice has developed a modern edge, and it is now common to see the phrase as a signoff on an email or attached to a hashtag on social media (#toix3!).
There is an inherent joy in this operatic well-wishing that we hope this magazine embodies. We’ve filled these pages with stories—stories that show the wide range of people who come together to bring the magic of opera experience to life. This magazine is about you, our community, and we hope you’ll find yourself reflected in these pages.