- Portland Opera
Portland Opera is a professional
operacompany located in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is a member of Opera America. [ [http://www.operaamerica.org/about/membership/states/or.asp OPERA America — The National Service Organization for Opera ] ] Founded in 1964the 2007/08 season marks the company's 43rd season. Currently, Portland Opera presents four fully staged opera productions during an annual season that includes repetoire from the Baroqueperiod up to today. This years season includes productions of Bizet's " Carmen", Handel's " Rodelinda", Rossini's " La Cenerentola", and Verdi's " Aida". Next year the company will expand their season to include five productions: Verdi's " La Traviata", Beethoven's " Fidelio", Britten's " The Turn of the Screw", Cavalli's " La Calisto", and Verdi's " Rigoletto". [ [http://www.portlandopera.org/ Portland Opera ] ]
Portland Opera was founded in 1964 by General Director and conductor Henry Holt. Holt served as director until 1966 when Herbert Weiskopf assumed the position. Weiskopf died in 1970, and Stefan Minde became the new director of the company. Minde remained director until his retirement in 1984 at which point Robert Bailey became director. Bailey led the company until his retirement in 2003 when Christopher Mattaliano was named the Company’s fifth general director.
Throughout its history Portland Opera has been highly innovative in making opera more accessible to a diverse audience. In 1984, Portland Opera was the second company in the U.S. to use projected English translations, a practice that has since become standard within the world's opera houses as a means of enhancing the theatrical experience for those viewing operas sung in unfamiliar languages. In 1994, Portland Opera became the first opera company in the United States to develop a separate subscription series of nationally touring Broadway shows. Today it is the only company to offer full seasons of both Broadway and opera productions, using this additional Broadway revenue stream to enhance its ability to produce increasingly sophisticated opera productions.
Portland Opera has also been praised for its productions of rarely seen operas and premiere productions. In 1982 the Company presented the world premiere of
Bernard Herrmann's " Wuthering Heights", and in 1990 the world premiere of Christopher Drobny's " Lucy’s Lapses". In 1996, the company staged the US premiere of Reynaldo Hahn’s " The Merchant of Venice" and in 1997 the US premiere of Prokofiev’s " The Love for Three Oranges". In 2001, Portland Opera collaborated with Klagenfurt Operaof Austriac for a production of Jacques Offenbach's " La Belle Hélène", marking the companies first collaboration with a foreign opera company. In 2003 the company presented the west coast premiere of William Bolcom’s " A View from the Bridge".
In July, 2003, the Company moved into
The Hampton Opera Centerwhere, for the first time in company history, music and staging rehearsals, coaching facilities, costume shop, and administrative offices are all housed under one roof. The new facility now houses the 168-seat Portland Opera Studio Theater, which has allowed the company to expand its performance repertoire to include an annual production of intimate chamber opera, featuring the Portland Opera Studio Artists. All other Portland Opera performances occur in the 3,000-seat Keller Auditoriumin downtown Portland.
* [http://www.oregonlive.com/music/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/entertainment/1205709914285600.xml&coll=7 The Oregonian March 2008]
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