"Great Women of the Stage" Drive Another Successful Season at Portland Opera

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Portland Opera’s recently concluded 2007/08 “Great Women of the Stage” Season set high water marks in numerous areas and propelled the company to its tenth financially successful season in the last eleven years.

Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano, in making the announcement, paid special tribute to the many Portland Opera supporters—individual donors, subscribers, ticket buyers, foundations, corporations, governmental agencies, as well as the board of directors and staff—without whom the season would not have been nearly as successful.

“We are extremely proud of continuing our fiscally responsible tradition,” Mr. Mattaliano said.  “However, in recapping a season, it must be noted that financial success is driven by the work a company produces.  We believe our financial success is the result of the community’s extremely positive response to what we are putting on stage and the recognition of the positive effect of that work on their lives.”

The season, which marked Mr. Mattaliano’s fifth season as General Director, included Carmen with Jossie Perez and Richard Troxell, Angela Niederloh’s triumphant Cinderella, the reintroduction of Baroque opera to our stage with Rodelinda and a powerful performance from Lisa Daltirus in Aida, along with a Young Artist studio production of Albert Herring.

The 2007/08 season is expected to yield a surplus of approximately $1 million.  The exact details of the season’s financial successes and balance sheet will be released in late September or October, following the completion of the Company’s annual audit.

The surplus is attributable to a number of key factors.  Chief among them was the Company’s success in attracting building gifts.  As a result of those gifts, the $4.1 million in financing associated with the 2003 purchase of The Hampton Opera Center was substantially reduced to below $1.5 million, thereby enhancing the balance sheet and reducing the future interest payments associated with the mortgage.

The season—and its first-ever Sunday matinee series—proved very popular with audiences who crowded the Keller Auditorium with increased numbers of subscribers and regular ticket buyers.  A 5% increase in full subscriptions and avid attendance for the 26-performance schedule drove ticket sales over the $3 million mark for the first time in Company history.

Other 2007/08 financial highlights include increases in the annual fund from donors at the $2,500 + levels as well as the receipt of $1 million in grants from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust to fund technological and capital improvements to The Hampton Opera Center that increase the Company’s artistic, marketing and fundraising capacities.

Britten’s Albert Herring added another sold-out run to the Portland Opera Studio theater series, prompting the Company to move the 2008/09 Studio production of Cavalli’s La Calisto to the beautiful 900-seat Newmark Theatre, where it can fulfill the large demand for tickets and retain the kind of intimacy that fans have come to enjoy.

“We are also extremely proud of our efforts beyond our stages,” Mr. Mattaliano continued.  “As contributing partners in our lively community, we—like so many of our sister arts organizations—have helped nurture an appreciation for the arts in a wide variety of ways.  And we intend to continue building on those efforts with each passing season.”

Those efforts during the 2007/08 season included a highly successful Portland Opera To Go tour of a 50-minute, English version of Puccini’s La Bohème to 33 communities throughout Oregon and SW Washington.  Also included on that tour was the popular new “Opera Improv.”  The tour joined forces with the Oregon East Symphony in Pendleton where tour performers sang a full-length, original language performance of La Bohème as a fundraiser for the Symphony’s library which was destroyed in a fire last year.

Portland Opera will open its 2008/09 “Life on the Edge” Season on September 26 with Verdi’s La Traviata.  The season also includes Beethoven’s Fidelio, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Cavalli’s La Calisto, and Verdi’s Rigoletto.  

Subscriptions to the 2008/09 season, with packages beginning at $78.00, are still available. Regular tickets for La Traviata go on sale to the general public on August 10.


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