bending genres or just producing good art?

Last night the Oregon Symphony performed a concert with Rufus Wainwright as the opening salvo of the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s (PICA) 2010 Festival of Time-Based Art.  When our first rehearsal with Rufus was approaching, I really had no idea what to expect.  Would this be one of those uncomfortable collaborations where the orchestra is just elaborate window dressing that lends the headliner some upscale cred?  Gratefully, the answer was an emphatic NO! Continue reading “bending genres or just producing good art?”

coming soon: rufus!

Rufus Wainwright

Yes, in partnership with PICA’s Festival of Time-Based Art (T:BA:10), the Oregon Symphony is presenting Rufus Wainwright on Thursday, September 9th. I know next to nothing about Wainwright (neither he nor his father), but everyone I know has been wildly excited about this collaboration, so it should be a singular event.  I did catch him on the E! network show Chelsea Lately at few days ago – here’s the segment:

why recordings matter

Basically, look at the response of the New York Times critic to the just-issued recording of Glass’ Orphee by the Portland Opera.  It is recognition on an international level to the work by Anne Manson, and the Portland Opera and its orchestra.  Tomassini essentially gives the recording credit for bringing the work to a level of respectability it had previously lacked.  That’s heady praise for an opera company the size of Portland’s.  Imagine what a recording of the Oregon Symphony at the height of its powers in worthy repertoire could bring back to Portland – or for that matter, playing on stage at Carnegie Hall.  Well, you won’t have to imagine the Carnegie part – that comes up May 12, 2011.  If only a recording could soon follow.