Bits & Pieces
Portland Gay Men's Chorus holds its 40th anniversary gala, "What We Do for Love," Saturday, Nov. 2, and the famed choir will announce its next artistic director.
Look for the new leader to take the chorus in a newer, younger and more progressive direction, said Rick Jung, the group's executive director.
"We are hiring someone who lights up the room with his energy," said Jung, without revealing his name. "As we grow as an institution, he brings a new spark to the organization and a new perspective.
"We still have singers who have been with us for 40 years, and that's remarkable. Every year we attract new singers who are younger and bring newer perspectives, who can bridge the generational divide that comes with such a diverse chorus. Our chorus continues to evolve with our singers."
Indeed, PGMC now includes women, transgender individuals and straight men, which account for about 20 percent of the chorus of 100-125 people.
"As with any community, you have to evolve and change with the times," Jung said. "Our evolution has been to be more inclusive." The chorus had been built on fighting discrimination against gay men, he added, so it only made sense to evolve away from restricting others from joining.
Jung said the gay men's chorus wants to continue to spread the message of "what it means to be an LGBTQ member of the world," an extension of its work hosting the Beijing Queer Chorus and then touring China in recent years.
Tickets ($190) remain for the PGMC gala, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at The Loft at 8th Avenue, 2010 S.E. Eighth Ave. For more: www.pdxgmc.org. There'll be a silent and live auction and a cabaret performance by PGMC. The event will be emceed by former KGW-TV news anchor Tracy Barry.
Already working in an interim role, Sue Dixon has been made general director at Portland Opera. She took over the duties from Christopher Mattaliano in July.
Dixon joined Portland Opera in 2014 as director of develop-ment and then became director of external affairs in 2017.
Portland Opera will return to a September-May schedule for the 2020-21 season and is working on executing a five-year strategic business plan.
"I know, firsthand, what it takes to achieve strategic organizational growth," Dixon said. "My passion is for connecting people with excellent and meaningful artistic and cultural experiences, and that comes with a commitment to community. I am confident that Portland Opera can navigate our financial challenges as we embark on the strategies outlined in our plan. We have an amazing team in place, we have extraordinary artists and musicians whose work remains at the heart of our company, and we have patrons, advocates and supporters who care so deeply about this beautiful artform in our region. They deserve a healthy and thriving Portland Opera."
The Cascade Blues Association will holds its 2019 Muddy Awards at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St.
Performers include Johnny Wheels & The Swamp Donkeys, Rich Layton & Tough Town, Tevis Hodge Jr., Vintage Soul and Terry Robb, as well as the annual Muddy All Star Band with Ben Rice, Lisa Mann and more.
Admission is $10. For more: www.albertarosetheatre.com.
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