News & Announcements

NEA Opera Honors

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has established its first individual arts award in 25 years, the NEA Opera Honors. The awards, which celebrate lifetime achievement and individual excellence, will be presented on October 31 at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, DC, with performances by the Washington National Opera and members of its Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists program, conducted by Placido Domingo. NEA chairman Dana Gioia says that the new award "recognizes that American opera has truly come of age with our singers, musicians, composers, directors, designers and opera companies who are second to none in the world." OPERA America, the national nonprofit service organization, is the NEA partner in the Opera Honors program. In this inaugural year of the award, Washington National Opera is also a partner.

The first NEA Opera Honors are being given in four categories: singer, composer, advocate and conductor. Soprano  Leontyne Price is known for her elegant musicianship, her generosity to young singers and her remarkable recording legacy. Composer Carlisle Floyd has had a long and distinguished career; his many memorable operas include Susannah and Of Mice and Men. Advocate winner Richard Gaddes, the general director of the Santa Fe Opera and co-founder of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, is known for challenging, adventurous programming. James Levine, who has led the Metropolitan Opera premieres of work by composers from Mozart to Weill and the world premieres of American operas by John Corigliano and John Harbison, has also fine-tuned the Met orchestra into one of the world's leading ensembles.

For more information, visit, and

"Would You Like an Aria with Those Fries?" Brown Bag Series October Topic: Beethoven's Fidelio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2008
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
download pdf


“Would you like an aria with those fries?”
Beethoven’s FIDELIO

Beethoven’s first and only opera, Fidelio, is a classic rescue story with a breathtaking last minute liberation. A work of great beauty and significance, Fidelio was composed when Beethoven was facing the agonies of losing his hearing and longed to free himself from the cage of his deafness. The themes expressed in Fidelio were very personal to him. He identified strongly with the ideas of faith, determination, and the reward of patience during this period of personal crisis. His triumphant score represents a magnificent tribute to freedom, fidelity and the indomitable human spirit.

Join Portland Opera Chorus Master Rob Ainsley and the Portland Opera Studio Artists as they provide background and musical highlights from this stunning work, not seen at Portland Opera for nearly 30 years.

Fidelio opens November 7 at Keller Auditorium. For more information, visit


La Traviata Performance Photos!

With the 2008/09 season-opening production of La Traviata set to open on Friday, September 26, we're happy to share some of the most powerful moments of the production!  Photos courtesy Cory Weaver.



Violetta and Alfredo

Act I.  Love blooms between Violetta (soprano Maria Kanyova) and Alfredo (tenor Richard Troxell).



Act I.  But suddenly Violetta has second thoughts about giving up her lively world and sings the famous "Sempre Libera."


Germond and Violetta

Act II.  She eventually gives in to that love, sharing her life with Alfredo, only to hear from Alfredo's father (baritone Richard Zeller) that she must abandon that love.


Germond and Alfredo

Act II.  Alfredo gets the same message from his father.


Violetta and Alfredo

Act III.  And so the two have parted ways.  But in this powerful scene, the lovers reunite.  Alas, Violetta is clearly very ill.


Violetta dies in Alfredo's arms
Act III.  The final moment as Violetta dies.


More information about La Traviata here.

Don’t have tickets?  They’re going fast.  503-241-1802 to get yours now!

Photos from the La Traviata rehearsal hall.

Rehearsals are wondrous places where singers, conductors, and directors work incredibly hard for weeks to bring a production like Traviata to stage.  Here, they refine all the elements--musical and theatrical--that will thrill us in a few weeks in the Keller Auditorium.



La Traviata rehearsal photo La Traviata rehearsal photo
Richard Zeller as Germont explains to Violetta (Maria Kanyova) why she must let go of his son, Alfredo. It's a powerful moment as she realizes that Germont is right and that she must turn away from the man she truly loves.
La Traviata rehearsal photo La Traviata rehearsal photo
But it's no easy thing as she realizes what life will be like without him. Tenor Richard Troxell (Alfredo) waits his turn.
 La Traviata rehearsal photo La Traviata rehearsal photo
Germont (Richard Zeller) now tries to convince his son, Alfredo, that he too must turn his back on love and leave Violetta behind. Like Violetta, he is crushed under the weight of society's inability to understand and accept their love.


More information about La Traviata here.

Don’t have tickets?  They’re going fast.  503-241-1802 to get yours now!

Meet the 2008/09 Portland Opera Studio Artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 12, 2008
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
download pdf



Hannah Penn Sharin Apostolou Brendan Tuohy Jonathan W. Kimple Jose Rubio