Opera In Portland’s Director Park

Portland is a great city for finding cheap or even free entertainment (free is my favorite price).  All summer, Portland hosts concerts in the park.  Different parks have different bands performing every night of the week.  But concerts in the park aren’t the only free entertainment to be had.  There are live theater performances, book readings, lectures, the occasional free pass to a film (if you know where to get it!), and much much more.   Micah and I went to see Trek in the Park back in August, and Mayor Sam Adams spoke before the performance–a lot of ‘whereas”-es and after running out of breath several times from reading them out loud from a very long piece of paper, he officially dubbed August 19th as Trek in the Park Day.  I posted a ton of photos from that adventure on my facebook page.

The Tower of Babel episode.

This last Sunday, we went downtown to Director Park to watch the Portland Opera  publicly rehearse their performance they’ll be premiering on September 22nd.

The lady on the left who is in the dark suit with her arms akimbo is the maestro. For the life of me, I can’t remember her name!

We brought a picnic lunch consisting of hamburger sandwiches, cherries, plums, yogurt, tortilla chips and diet ginger ale.

Chips for everybody, cherries, diet ginger ale, and a couple of water bottles completed our picnic.

I love opera.  It amazes me that the human voice can go through the contortions that opera singers make them go through.  Even more amazing, they sing beautifully in foreign languages that they may or may not even speak!  The maestro was up there correcting them when they mispronounced words.

I’ve never gotten to see a full on opera before, but have seen Pavarotti perform, back when he was still alive (of course–I doubt his ghost is still doing performances).  It was the most amazing auditory experience I have ever had.  I was twenty-five and single and probably would have bedded him if he had waggled his shaggy mug my direction.  A man with a beautiful voice and who radiates charisma is attractive, no matter what he looks like.  I also have seen selections of famous operas via Portland POPS, which is a part of the Portland Opera Theater, which travels and does outreach to communities all over the state, bringing opera to the masses.

Seeing this rehearsal really made me wish I could afford the cheap seats tickets for the season’s four performances.  $95 for four isn’t bad, but we have other things we need to spend our money on.  The most expensive tickets for the season were almost a grand per ticket!  Wow, that’s a lot of pocket change!

But back to this particular performance–Micah enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

In addition to listening to the lovely music while munching on our picnic, we also got a bonus treat.  People watching!  There was quite a diverse group of people comprising the audience.  Old people, young people, children, hippies, professional types, you name it.  The family in the picture below made do a triple take….

And when we weren’t people watching, we fed the pigeons.

Willow tosses gravity defying bread. See it hanging out up there at the top of the pic?

I even tried to get artsy-fartsy with some of my photographs.  Like in the following one, I tried to play with the reflection in the lenses of my sunglasses to get a neat cityscape.

Whoa. I need to trim my nose hairs.

I liked the effect of the clouds in this shot.

All in all, we had a really fun time!  I’m continually amazed by the quality and quantity of wonderful things to do on the cheap/free here in Portland, especially in the summer.  This is the first year we’ve really taken advantage of some of these opportunities, and now I wonder why.  Well, when I was working and going to school, I just didn’t have time.  But now I do, and it’s been a great source of fun and bonding with the family, not to mention a good way to de-stress.

And free is a very good price!  You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time.  🙂

What kind of fun free things do you have going on in your city?  (I’ll be taking notes, so when I finally get to walk across America, I can take advantage of some of them….)


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