The Portland Opera has just posted some images from their recent Comic Artists Night—it's in a goofy slide show that I can't figure out how to embed, but you can click here to look through 'em. I think this is a great thing that the Portland Opera does—local comics artists are invited to bring their sketchbooks to a dress rehearsal, then the work is displayed in an art show during the run. It's a surprising, affirming partnership between a performing art that can seem impenetrably highbrow, and a medium that some people persist in assuming is only for kids and nerds; the artists really seem to enjoy it, and the images generate never fail to make opera seem more accessible. (They need to implement a system for attributing their images, though—somebody lemme know who drew the one I'm using here, and I'll credit it.)

This year Portland Opera also threw in a Twitter component, inviting influential Twittererers to tweet the dress rehearsal. I'm no fan of this particular gimmick; marketers have figured out that if you call someone "influential" and give 'em a free ticket they'll shill for you, but that doesn't mean it's fun to watch. ("dark iPhone photo! Contextless observation! #pdxcandide") That said, #pdxcandide did trend in Portland during the experiment, which probably counts it as a success from the Opera's standpoint.