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PSU Opera goes to China

The PSU Opera recently traveled to China for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform at two universities in Suzhou, Portland’s sister city.

It happened in December with their production of “The Place Where You Started,” an opera that was written specially for the PSU program. The Confucius Institute at PSU arranged the trip.

The opera’s beginnings happened when PSU opera director Christine Meadows was looking for a lesser known work for last year’s fall production. She happened to strike up a conversation with California composer Mark Lanz Weiser, and before she knew it, Weiser offered to compose an entire opera just for PSU performers. 

He teamed up with librettist Amy Punt to create the modern opera about a frustrated writer who rediscovers her creativity while talking to her gardener, an exiled Latin American intellectual. 

“Mark and Amy allowed us to be a part of their creation every step of the way,” Meadows says. “What a gift to our students, to have roles written for them!” 

The China trip – which included the cast, crew and directors – took place after the opera had a successful run on campus.

Portland State has won awards from the National Opera Association and is the only university in Oregon that produces a full opera each year. Don’t miss PSU Opera’s spring production: two one-act Puccini works, “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi.” Tickets are on sale now for all shows, scheduled for the evenings of April 21, 25, 28 and 29 and the afternoons of April 23 and 30. 

Homepage photo: Choir members in Shanghai, China