Portland, OR. Portland Opera announced its plans for the remainder of the 2020/21 season. The Opera’s pivot will feature a series of virtual recitals from the company’s artistic home in Southeast Portland, an outdoor opera experience, and productions broadcast via the company’s new digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen. Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s opera Frida will be the first broadcast in March of 2021. The Onscreen production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore (seen above) will follow. It will be a semi-staged concert, focusing on the music, performed in a landscape of video projections. Il Trovatore has been dubbed, “a tour de force” and tells the story of a mother, burned at the stake as a witch.

The plan for these digital performances is to have a suggested access fee of $50 and patrons will have digital access for 45 days.

“The global pandemic has challenged us: to be problem-solvers, to adapt to new technologies, and to deepen the ways that serve the community,” says General Director Sue Dixon. “Our newly reimagined 20/21 season celebrates the resiliency of the creative spirit with live music and local collaborations—while prioritizing health and wellness for our audiences, artists, and company.” 

Here are some of the opera’s options:

20/21 Resident Artist Series
January – February, 2021 | Select Thursdays at 7 PM
Streaming online for free; this recital series features Resident Artists sharing solo pieces, duets, and ensemble works

FRIDA (onscreen)/Robert Xavier Rodríguez
Digital access will be available for 45 days, starting on March 20, 2021 on the digital channel, PortlandOpera Onscreen.

Photos courtesy of Long Beach Opera, by Keith Polakoff.

Photos courtesy of Long Beach Opera, by Keith Polakoff.

JOURNEYS TO JUSTICE/Curated by Artistic Advisor Damien Geter
Digital access will be available for 45 days, starting on April 16, 2021 on the digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen. These compositions are about love, justice, and experiences of being a Black American.

From Portland Opera:

Multnomah County, where Portland Opera is headquartered, entered Phase I reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic on June 19th, and remains in Phase I—along with neighboring Washington and Clackamas counties—until public health indicators permit progression to Phase II. Public performances with audiences are permitted only in the final phases of the state’s reopening plan.  As part of the company’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of the staff, artists, ensemble, and audience members, Portland Opera has engaged a team of medical advisors to review all safety procedures and protocols, ensuring the company is in line with the best and current medical advice on an ongoing basis. To learn more about Portland Opera’s comprehensive response to the global pandemic, visit portlandopera.org. 

Currently being developed in tandem with a new website and ticketing platform, the Portland Opera Onscreen channel will launch in February 2021. Until that time, digital content and performances will be available on PortlandOpera’s Vimeo and YouTube channels. The company plans to sustain the digital channel for future seasons as an option for patrons, and is developing these new digital offerings based on patron feedback from recent surveys, strategic planning input, and Town Hall meetings. Tickets for special outdoor performances, as well as digital passes for these productions, will be available beginning in February of 2021. 

The company continues with plans to offer an adjusted Portland Opera To Go program, which is Portland Opera’s statewide, school-based arts education tour for K-12 students. Due to the pandemic, this program is shifting to connect with regional schools in a new digital format, starting in January 2021. The company is following state health guidelines and school district mandates in carrying out this program. Opera staff members are working with educators to adjust the program to meet unique digital needs, and to develop supportive relationships during these challenging times.

As a result of this reimagined season, three originally announced productions of Puccini’s Tosca, the Big Night concert, and a double bill of Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank and Heggie’s For a Look or A Touch will no longer be programmed this season. A message announced this news to 2020/21 season subscribers and members yesterday. Ticket holders are encouraged to email [email protected] in order to share their preferences for refunds and donated tickets, and opera staff members will be reaching out to everyone in the next couple of weeks. Portland Opera continues to work with artists, musicians, and creative teams to navigate these changes and develop the 21-22 season—which will be announced in early 2021.