Portland, OR. Portland Center Stage‘s annual gala, Metamorphosis, was held virtually on February 20th and raised over $315,000. 551 guests attended this online celebration of theater. Delphon “DJ” Curtis Jr. performed as Hedwig for a sing-a-long of “Wig in a Box” as seen above. (Video stills by Mikey Mann, courtesy of Portland Center Stage.)
The evening was emceed by Artistic Director Marissa Wolf, Associate Artistic Director Chip Miller, and auctioneer Johnna Wells. The event was also a celebration of the life of Diana Gerding, who died November 9th, 2020 and was one of PCS’s most ardent supporters. Below is a video about her life:
The program featured five performances, including a dance piece choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie and musical performances from Quinlan Shea Fitzgerald, Joe Kye, Edna Vázquez, Larry Owens, and Josh Kight.
Khalia Campbell performs a solo dance piece choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie set to Nina Simone’s “The Desperate Ones.” Video still by Mikey Mann, courtesy of Portland Center Stage.
Larry Owens performs Stephen Sondheim’s “Take Me to the World” for the 2021 PCS Gala. Video still by Mikey Mann, courtesy of Portland Center Stage.
Quinlan Shea Fitzgerald performs “Soar,” the song she composed for the 2021 PCS Gala, accompanied by Joe Kye. Video still by Mikey Mann, courtesy of Portland Center Stage.
Edna Vázquez performs the song “Lo que pasó, pasó” for the 2021 PCS Gala, with ASL interpretation by Sarika Mehta. Video stills by Mikey Mann, courtesy of Portland Center Stage.
From Portland Center Stage:
We were so thrilled and deeply grateful for the huge outpouring of support from our community. Thanks to the many supporters who bid on auction items, bought raffle tickets, and made donations — PCS raised a phenomenal $315,000!
The gala was the kickoff for Soaring Together, a fundraising campaign dedicated to making sure that PCS has the resources needed to soar back on stage as soon as it’s safe to gather for live theater. Donations of all sizes continue to be deeply meaningful to PCS right now. (The link to donate and the video we debuted for Soaring Together can be found at pcs.org/donate.)
Portland Center Stage is the largest theater company in Portland, and among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994. Portland Center Stage’s home is at The Armory, a historic building originally constructed in 1891. After a major renovation, The Armory opened in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue in the country, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. An estimated 160,000 visitors attend The Armory annually to enjoy a mix of classical, contemporary and world premiere productions, along with the annual JAW: A Playwrights Festival, and a variety of high quality education and community programs.
Portland, OR. “Kids are at home, parents are home-schooling, and we believed we could help,” explains Norman Hunyh, the Associate Conductor of the Oregon Symphony. It was because of the dearth of summer activities for kids that Symphony Storytimewas born. In each episode of the new virtual series, a narrator reads a classic children’s book while members of the Oregon Symphony provide background music and sound effects. Assistant Principal Oboist Karen Wagner and host Amy Haroldson (seen in the photo above) tell the story of a “Top Cat” who doesn’t want to share his house and favorite things. (photo credit, Jacob Wade).
A lesson on the featured background instrument makes these 15-minute episodes both entertaining and educational. On June 25, the first episodes of Symphony Storytime were released. One was called “Mole Music,” and features the Cello. When Mole finally learns to play the violin, his music has an effect more magical than he will ever know. Written by David McPhail. Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Marilyn de Oliveira, assistant principal cello.
Assistant Principal Oboist Karen Wagner and host Amy Haroldson perform for the Oregon Symphony’s new children’s program, Symphony Storytime (Jacob Wade).
Hunyhprovided the artistic vision for Symphony Storytime by setting educational objectives and establishing the flow of each piece, among other responsibilities. Hunyh described this project as “new and exciting territory”.
Assistant Principal Second Violinist Inés Voglar Belgique (Jacob Wade)
Assistant Principal Cellist Marilyn de Oliveira (Jacob Wade)
Each story was chosen because it meant something special to the musicians.
“I really like [Mole Music] because it talks about how music changes Mole’s life, and it also shows us how music can change the world around us,” says cellist Marilyn de Oliveira in the first episode.
Guitarist and vocalist Edna Vazquez and percussionist and host Sergio Carreno maintain social distance on set. Hunyh’s top priority was the health and safety of musicians and staff. (Jacob Wade)
Many participants in the project are native Spanish speakers, such as guitarist and vocalist Edna Vázquezwho performs in the Symphony Storytime episode “Necesito un Abrazo”, which helped inspire the creation of unique Spanish episodes. The Spanish episodes are not translations of the English episodes, rather their own stories, intended to support and engage the Latinx community.
Symphony Storytime’s first release included “Mole Music”, “Top Cat”, and “Goodnight Bob”in English featuring cello, oboe, and percussion, respectively.“Necesito un Abrazo” and “Ve, Perro. ¡Ve!”were released in Spanish, featuring guitar and violin. More episodes will be released on July 2 and July 9.
The power of music to unite and inspire is boundless. Music lifts us higher on our most joyful days, and draws us together in challenging times. As soon as it’s safe, we’ll be back – performing for you in our concert hall and reaching out to children and adults across our region.
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