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Here are some notes on this and that and the other thing - including Portland Opera, SilentHike and Big Bounce America

COURTESY PHOTO: BIG BOUNCE AMERICA - The Big Bounce America brings the 'World's Largest Bounce House' back to the Portland area, setting up in Sherwood, Sept. 14-22. The bounce house itself is 10,000 square feet.Opera moves

The Portland Opera has been developing a five-year strategic plan with the consultation of the Metropolitan Group in the wake of financial losses since 2015-16, the drawing down of its endowment, and the exit of Christopher Mattaliano as general director. And, it has announced some changes moving forward.

The opera, which also has worked with Opera America, has developed three strategies, including for immediate impact, moves that include:

• Shelving the ill-fated summer season to return to a September-May schedule, starting in 2020-21, "in response to overwhelming community, audience and patron feedback," an opera report said.

• Seeking out a venue mix that reflects the desire for grand and intimate experiences while improving gross margin, and continuing a repertoire that balances classic and contemporary works.

• Investing in technology and systems in order to build clearer paths for ticketing and donation operations and company functionality.

The second, longer-term strategy involves transforming and defining an artistic point of view that reflects the community, curating collaborations or commissions that harness local creativity and spirit, and exploring different experiences that may serve new and old audineces in new ways. A third strategy, for fundamental progress, strengthens the Portland Opera by building on existing efforts to connect with the community and deepen relationships, such as with volunteering/support and activating equity, diversity and inclusion.

The opera is searching for a permanent artistic director. Sue Dixon has replaced Mattaliano in an interim role; Mattaliano still serves as artistic consultant.


Imagine going on a hike and wearing headphones — that's not so unusual, but the organizers of SilentHike want you to take off on a hike with music and mindfulness in Forest Park.

The meditative musical experience takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Forest Park.

It's a new concept from MindTravel, an immersive music/meditation experience company created by composer and concert pianist Murray Hidary. In a SilentHike session, MindTravelers wear wireless headphones and embark on a hike with music and guidance and thoughtful commentary from Hidary — music, words, silence and visual cues work synergistically to help participants connect with themselves and the world around them.

Hikers are to meet at the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, 4000 S.W. Canyon Road. For details and tickets:

The Big Bounce America

It's in the Guinness Book of World Records for "World's Largest Bounce House," and it returns to the Portland area, Sept. 20-29. Specifically, The Big Bounce America tour and its 10,000-square-foot bounce house and 900-foot-long inflatable obstacle course and more will be set up at the Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center, 28303 S.W. Baker Road, Sherwood. It'll be open to the public Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 14-15 and Friday-Sunday, Sept. 20-22.

UPDATE: The original dates had been Fridays-Sundays, Sept. 20-22 and Sept. 27-29, but organizers changed the dates because of popular demand.

For more: the

Sotomayor coming

The Multnomah County Library and Portland Community College will host a recognizable guest at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. It's U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who'll be in Portland to celebrate the release of her new children's book, "Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You."

The public is invited to the free event at the gymnasium at Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave. Tickets are available at

There'll be a conversation moderated by iHeart Radio and KATU-TV lifestyle host Tra'Renee Chambers, followed by an audience question-answer session and book signing. Sotomayor's books will be available for purchase from Broadway Books at the event.

Sotomayor and artist Rafael Lopez created a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique, and she writes about children with all kinds of challenges.

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