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Portland Opera To Go Presents the World Premiere of BEATRICE

This 50-minute youth opera is inspired by the life and story of civil rights activist Beatrice Morrow Cannady.

Portland Opera To Go Presents  the World Premiere of BEATRICE

Tickets are on sale for the world premiere of Beatrice, by composer Dave Ragland and librettist Mary McCallum, commissioned for the fall 2022 Portland Opera to Go (POGO) tour. Beatrice is a 50-minute youth opera inspired by the life and story of Beatrice Morrow Cannady, a prominent leader in Oregon's cultural community and civil rights movement of the early 1900s.

The piece has been written for middle school audiences, with curriculum focused on fourth through ninth grades. Beatrice will premiere with two public performances at the Hampton Opera Center on September 17th at 7:30 PM and 18th at 2:00 PM and will then tour schools and community centers throughout the state and region.

Beatrice will be directed by stage director Lava Alapai whose recent credits include School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, a co-production of Artists Repertory Theatre and Portland Center Stage, and The Chinese Lady at Artists Repertory Theatre. The cast will feature mezzo-soprano Naomi Steele as Beatrice Morrow Cannady, Ty Chiko as Edward Cannady, Hannah Goodman as the Woman, and Brendan Tuohy as the Man. Lex Marcos is the set designer, and Wanda Walden is the costume designer.

"When we think about Portland, we imagine this ultra-liberal city as progressive and open to all. We forget how we got here-the people who bravely stood before us," shares stage director Lava Alapai. "Beatrice Morrow Cannady was a pioneer in our civil rights movement, on whose shoulders we stand. Although far from done, her work in the community is little known and deserves to be celebrated. I'm looking forward to telling her story and serving her legacy by introducing her to the next generation."

This opera is part of a multi-year project to commission original operas highlighting the experiences of Oregonians and will be followed by operas about Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American, and Latinx communities. All will be developed with K-12 schools and communities in mind and toured throughout the state and region in subsequent years. Additional information about the commission can be found in this press release.

For over two decades, Portland Opera to Go (or POGO) has shared inclusive arts experiences with students, educators and community members around the region. In a typical year, POGO company members travel over 5,000 miles, to connect with approximately 13,000 K-12 students. Performances happen in school gyms, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms, and community centers-all with full costumes and portable scenery. Integrated in-class workshops and teacher's guides, highlighting curricular connections aligned to state curriculum standards, are available each year. This tour will follow a similar format, launching with this world premiere performance at Portland Opera's Hampton Opera Center.

To date, Portland Opera to Go has shared opera with more than 285,000 student and community audience members living in Oregon, southwest Washington, northern California, western Idaho, and northern Nevada; with a focus on schools with barriers to accessing the arts. School performances are being booked now for the fall semester. Educators interested may contact Alexis Hamilton at ahamilton@portlandopera.org.

Tickets are on sale now. Adult standard tickets are $35.00, and Student/Youth tickets are $10.00. Tickets may be purchased at portlandopera.org or via phone. A limited number of Arts for All tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis for these two performances, starting August 29th.

Beatrice will be sung in English with projected English captions. The running time will be 50 minutes, with no intermission.

The performance on September 18th will include an audio description of the visual and physical events on stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance is visually translated with English text projected above the stage.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit portlandopera.org or call Patron Services at 503-241-1802. For more information, patrons may also contact the Opera Concierge at concierge@portlandopera.org, Monday through Friday from 10AM-5PM.

Portland Opera to Go is generously supported by The Standard, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Trust, PGE Foundation, John & Carol Steele, and the BNSF Foundation with additional support from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the Arts Education & Access Fund.

Portland Opera appreciates the ongoing support of our generous donors, The Collins Foundation, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, 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, special support from The CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, and The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.

Learn more about how to support the Portland Opera to Go program here.




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