Portland Opera to Go Tour to World Premiere ‘Beatrice’

By Nicolas Quiroga

Portland Opera has commissioned composer Dave Ragland and librettist Mary McCallum to create a new opera for the “Portland Opera to Go tour” this fall.

“Beatrice,” a 50-minute work which will be inspired by the life and story of Beatrice Morrow Cannady, will bow on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Hampton Opera Center. The work has been written for middle school audiences in mind. The opera will be directed by Lava Alapai and stars Naomi Steele as Beatrice Morrow Cannady, Ty Chiko as Edward Cannady, Hannah Goodman as the Woman, and Brendan Tuohy as the Man.

“Beatrice Morrow Cannady’s life’s work is a component of black history that needs to be told. I am honored to participate in creating an opera based on the life and story of someone who is a dynamic display of vision, determination, activism and community care,” said composer Dave Ragland in an official press statement.

The aim of Portland Opera to Go is to commission original operas that highlight the experiences of the inhabitants of Oregon and that will later be extended to include portrayals of Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American and Latino communities.

POGO connects with over 13,000 K-12 students, with performances taking place in school gyms, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms and community centers. To date Portland Opera has shared opera with over 285,000 students and community audience members living in Oregon, southwestern Washington, northern California, western Idaho, and northern Nevada.