- Resident Artists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2012
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
(Portland, Ore) - Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano today announced the details of the 2013/14 Season, the Company’s 49th and one in which Mr. Mattaliano celebrates his tenth as General Director. “I am incredibly excited about our 2013/14 Season and I’m thrilled to be celebrating my 10th Anniversary as General Director of Portland Opera,” said Christopher Mattaliano. “It has been a rich and fulfilling decade.”
A season where all four operas deal with passion pushed to the extreme—“When Passions Collide”—features two all-new productions andseveral significant company debuts. Highlights include an all-new production of Strauss’ Salome as well as the Company premiere of an all-new production—and collaboration with San Francisco Conservatory of Music—of Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. Also making its premiere at Portland Opera is Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, featuring the directorial debut of Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch. Other season debuts include acclaimed sopranos Elizabeth Futral and Kelly Cae Hogan. A number of Company favorites will return, including Robert Orth, David Pittsinger, Ryan MacPherson, Peter Volpe and last season’s Don Giovanni, Daniel Okulitch.
“At Portland Opera, we are passionate about what we do and indeed, passion plays a fundamental role in opera,” Christopher Mattaliano said. “And this season that’s exactly what we’ll explore. What happens when passion is all consuming? When passion goes too far.”
Kicking off the season in September is the third annual Big Night Concert, Street Fair and free outdoor simulcast.
In 2011, Portland Opera’s first ever Big Night Concert exceeded all expectations! It was a ‘big night’ in many ways: a great hit with both the audience inside Keller Auditorium and the hundreds sitting out under the September sky, watching the concert simulcast on a screen hung on the front of the theater.
This season’s spectacular Big Night Concert will feature two important Portland Opera debuts: soprano KELLY CAE HOGAN (who will later sing the role of Salome in November), and tenor RICHARD R. FURMAN (who will sing the role of Narraboth in Salome in November). Furman caused a sensation in his recent Seattle Opera debut as Florestan in Fidelio. Joining them will be the renowned Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra, and our celebrated Resident Artists. The concert will include a brand new lineup of arias, choruses, and orchestral works, including timeless and beloved pieces as well as a few you may never have heard! The night promises to deliver all that is big and beloved in opera: gorgeous music, soaring voices, a full orchestra – all onstage together for one glorious night a year. Conducted by Portland Opera Music Director GEORGE MANAHAN, all proceeds from the concert will benefit Portland Opera’s Outreach and Education programs, which bring opera to students throughout the state of Oregon and southern Washington.
Richard Strauss’s 1905 opera was scandalous at its premiere, and subsequently banned from opera houses in several countries. Today, it is recognized as a 20th century masterpiece, though it’s never lost its power to shock (and thrill) its audience.
The opera tells the tale of passion pushed beyond the breaking point. Salome is a princess of ancient Judea, whose stepfather, Herod, has promised her half his kingdom in exchange for a sensual dance. After she has complied, she asks instead for the head of their prisoner, John the Baptist, on a silver platter. Horrified, but bound by his vow, Herod has the prophet beheaded, presenting Salome her reward in a final, unforgettable scene.
Not seen at Portland Opera for over 20 years, an all-new production will be created by director Stephen Lawless (The Marriage of Figaro, 2011). Sung in German with English translations projected above the stage.
In the title role is soprano KELLY CAE HOGAN (Big Night, 2013) who appears regularly as Gerhilde in Die Walküre at the Metropolitan Opera. Of her Salome, Opera Now declared, “lovely Kelly Cae Hogan’s powerful voice carried the drama.” Opera News praised her Gerhilde saying she has “an exceptionally warm quality ... the music poured out beautifully and meaningfully.” The Washington Times said her Brünnhilde had “great power” and The Washington Post said of her performance, “Hogan thrills with pure, pinging high notes.”
Also making their Company debuts are tenor ALAN WOODROW as Herod and mezzo soprano ROSALIND PLOWRIGHT as Herodias. Of his Herod at English National Opera, The Times said, “Woodrow’s magnificent performance comes near to dominating the evening,” and The Sunday Telegraph said he “nearly stole the show.” As Herodias, The Evening Standard said “Plowright is regal, the voice appropriately harsh, the demeanor superbly disdainful,” and Opera Today declared her a “persuasive, vocally secure Herodias.”
Returning as Jokanaan is the dashing bass baritone DAVID PITTSINGER (Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, 2011; the title role in Don Giovanni, 2006). He also appeared in Portland as Emile de Becque in the touring Broadway production of the acclaimed South Pacific. Of his Don Quichotte, Opera News said “Pittsinger provided a flexible, rotund basso of unusual beauty and delicate coloration,” and praised his Don Carlo’s “gorgeous tone and elegant phrasing.”
Stage Director STEPHEN LAWLESS returns after making a very successful debut here in 2011 directing an acclaimed The Marriage of Figaro. The New York Times said his direction of Don Giovanni at Metropolitan Opera showed “care and intelligence … the kind of true theater that opera in general … does not often approach.”
Music Director GEORGE MANAHAN (Don Giovanni, Big Night 2012; Big Night 2011; The Barber of Seville, 2010; Così fan tutte, 2010; Rigoletto, 2009; Rodelinda, 2008; Macbeth, 2006) returns to the podium. Of his conducting for New York City Opera, The New York Times said that “George Manahan conducted and got from his players the kind of heartfelt involvement unthinkable in the City Opera orchestra pit 20 years ago.”
Gaetano Donizetti’s crowning achievement, Lucia di Lammermoor, with its ravishing melodies and vocal thrills, is a tragic masterpiece well-loved by audiences for almost two centuries. Along with Rossini and Bellini, Donizetti is one of the great geniuses of the Italian bel canto period in opera. He was a prolific composer, writing an astounding 75 operas.
Lucia di Lammermooris a story of passion driven to madness. Based on Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor, it is a psychologically gripping opera whose music captures the eerie, repressed emotional life of the tale. Lucia, a woman tricked by her brother into renouncing her beloved, submits to an arranged marriage to save her family’s fortune. At the wedding, she snaps, descending into madness and serving up one of opera’s most spectacular—and bloody—mad scenes. The mental unrest of this dark drama and its undeniable celebration of the human voice are why audiences still flock to it today.
Last produced at Portland Opera in 2004, our production was originally created for Minnesota Opera by James Robinson, a director known for his fresh approach to classic operas. His previous work at Portland Opera includes Così fan tutte, 2010; La Traviata, 2008; Norma, 2007; Nixon in China, 2006; The Abduction from the Seraglio, 2005; and Turandot, 1995.
Internationally acclaimed coloratura soprano ELIZABETH FUTRAL makes her Portland Opera debut in the title role. The New York Times called Ms. Futral “vocally luminous, emotionally vulnerable and brilliant,” praising her “mesmerizing combination of vocal elegance and expressive ferocity.” Praised by The New York Times for his “impressive … bright-voiced tenor,” SCOTT RAMSAY makes his Portland Opera debut as Edgardo. As Edgardo, The Chicago Sun Times declared “his flexible voice very attractive … he brought a passionate intensity to the role.”
Bass PETER VOLPE (Sparafucile in Rigoletto; 2009; Banquo in Macbeth, 2006) returns as Raimondo. The New York Times called him “a robust bass,” and Opera News said, “Over the years, Volpe has garnered praise for his dark, dynamic bass and his ability to make a character come alive.” Also returning is baritone WESTON HURT (Father in Hansel and Gretel, 2010 and Ford in the upcoming Falstaff) as Enrico. Hurt has been called both “a fervent, virile baritone,” by Opera News for his Father in Hansel and Gretel and “a strong baritone,” by The New York Times for the War Requiem with the Julliard Symphony.
Making his Company debut directing the action is DOUG SCHOLZ-CARLSON, who has directed Lucia at both Austin Lyric Opera and Pittsburgh Opera. Portland Opera Music Director GEORGE MANAHAN conducts.
Portland Opera’s annual production in the intimate Newmark Theatre has become an audience favorite, selling out consistently since 2009. In 2014, an all-new production of Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morroco will debut. A collaboration with San Francisco Conservatory of Music, it will be locally designed by Portland’s Curt Enderle (sets) and Sue Bonde (costumes).
Originally composed in 1971, Postcard From Morocco is a whimsical look at life’s journey that has been called sweet, lyrical, funny and stimulatingly perplexing. The libretto is based on A Child’s Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson and the opera—with its loosely defined plot that calls to mind the plays of Samuel Becket and Luigi Pirandello—explores the imaginations and psyches of seven travellers waiting for a train.
The opera will feature the 2013/14 Resident Artists (to be announced at a later date). Returning Stage Director KEVIN NEWBURY is known for two very popular Portland Opera productions: Nixon in China, 2006, and Galileo Galilei, 2011. Opera News declared his work “intelligent, fluidly paced … [it] reflects his considerable experience at top regional opera companies,” and The New York Times said his Die Liebe der Danae was “directed with imagination and emotional nuance.”
Who can refuse an evening at the opera that includes a gaggle of fetching ladies, a brigade of bumbling policemen, a very long-winded General ... and pirates?
The effervescent music of Gilbert and Sullivan will ring through Keller Auditorium in the Company debut of The Pirates of Penzance! The story concerns Frederic, a young man celebrating his 21st year, who is about to end his apprenticeship with a surprisingly kind band of pirates. He meets and falls in love with Mabel, but discovers that, because he was born on February 29, his work with the pirates must continue until his 21st birthday... 63 years from now! When the pirates come to steal away all of Mabel’s beautiful and unwed sisters, the situation unravels into comic chaos.
Portland Opera’s staging of this comic adventure on the high seas is based on the 2011 Oregon Shakespeare Festival hit production and reimagined for the Keller Auditorium stage by OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch, who makes his Portland Opera debut. Under Rauch’s direction, the sparkling OSF production was praised by The Oregonian as “an effortlessly free-wheeling romp.” The scenery is designed by Michael Ganio, and the costumes by OSF resident costume designer Deb Dryden. Also from the Ashland production is conductor Daniel Gary Busby.
The dream cast of The Pirates of Penzance boasts the return of three remarkable singers. It also features the debut of two new singers, as well as the highly regarded Artistic Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Always a big hit in Portland, baritone ROBERT ORTH (most recently Voltaire/Pangloss/Cacambo/Martin in Candide, 2012; Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, 2010; Nixon in Nixon in China, 2006; Trombonok in The Journey to Reims, 2004, amongst many) returns as Major-General Stanley. Orth has been hailed by Opera News as a “fixture in contemporary opera.” He has also been called “the supremely talented” by Opera News, “superb” by The Wall Street Journal, and “a tour de force” by Opera magazine. The Houston Chronicle said (of Orth’s Nixon), he “sings lyrically and passionately.”
Returning as The Pirate King is bass baritone DANIEL OKULITCH (title role in Don Giovanni, 2012). As the Don, The New York Times said Okulitch“sings with richness, vigor and subtle lyricism and brings a dark, brooding quality to the character.” New York Magazine said he “sings Giovanni with an irresistible bass-baritone that helps explain why women would be drawnto an oleaginous sociopath.” Tenor RYAN MACPHERSON (Ferrando in Così fan tutte, 2010; Heurtebise in Orphée, 2009; Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, 2009) returns as Frederic. In several reviews The New York Times has made particular note of his voice, calling it a “bright tenor voice” and MacPherson a “sweet-toned tenor.”
Called “a bright, appealing soprano” by The New York Times, American soprano TALISE TREVIGNE makes her Company debut as Mabel. Also making her debut is mezzo soprano CINDY SADLER as Ruth. As Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, The New York Times praised Sadler’s “deep voice, distinctive diction … [she] made every phrase count.”
Making his Company debut as stage director is Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director BILL RAUCH.
Current subscribers will receive renewal packages for the 2013/14 Season beginning January 18, 2013 and have until March 1, 2013 to renew their subscriptions. Subscription renewals guarantee best patron seating, priority preference for seat change requests, along with special subscriber benefits and savings.
Subscriptions can be renewed:
Full five-show packages—available for as little as $145—go on sale to the general public in February.
Learn more about the 2012/13 Season here.
PORTLAND OPERA’S BIG NIGHT
POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO | Dominick Argento
|Guest soloist||Kelly Cae Hogan*|
|Guest soloist||Richard R. Furman*||Friday, Mar. 21, 2014|
Sunday, Mar. 23, 2014
Thursday, Mar. 27, 2014
Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014
|Portland Opera Chorus & Orchestra|
|Portland Opera Resident Artists|
SALOME | Richard Strauss
|Stage Director||Kevin Newbury|
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE | Gilbert & Sullivan
|Friday, Nov. 1, 2013|
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
|Friday, May 9, 2014|
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Saturday, May17, 2014
|Salome||Kelly Cae Hogan||Mabel||Talise Trevigne*|
|Herodias||Rosalind Plowright||Ruth||Cindy Sadler*|
|Herod||Alan Woodrow*||Frederic||Ryan MacPherson|
|Narraboth||Richard R. Furman||The Pirate King||Daniel Okulitch|
|Jokanaan||David Pittsinger||Major-Gen. Stanley||Robert Orth|
|Sgt. Of Police||Kevin T. Burdette|
|Stage Director||Stephen Lawless||Conductor||Daniel Gary Busby*|
|Stage Director||Bill Rauch*|
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR | Gaetano Donizetti
|*Portland Opera debut|
|Friday, Jan. 31, 2014|
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
|Stage Director||Doug Scholz-Carlson|