David Salerno Owens

David Salerno Owens

Committee Chair; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant, Portland Metropolitan


Describe your role with Portland Opera

I recently became a member of the Board of Directors for Portland Opera in October 2020, helping to lead the Equity Task Force through its work with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Previously, I had been an Ambassador Board member for Portland Opera, which works to brings young professionals to the arts, from September 2016 to September 2020.

How did you get involved with the opera?

Several years ago, a good friend asked me to if I enjoyed the arts, and most specifically the opera.  After acknowledging that I did, she asked me to join the Ambassador Board to help recruit other professionals as myself to the opera.  Ever since then, I have been delighted to be a part of helping Portland Opera in any way I can to bring the joy of the opera to others.

What is your favorite Portland Opera memory?

It wasn't until I arrived in Portland, nearly into my early 30s, when I first experienced my first opera. My wife took me to see Aida and I was entranced by the set design, costumes, performers, and music.  It was truly an eye-opening experience for me that I have not lived to regret one bit.

What would you like our audience to know?

Opera has been a transformational experience for me in that even if a particular performance isn't performed in English, the emotions of the performers, the beauty of the set designs, the ambiance of the stage, and even the particular notes of arias can translate in any language.  I have really felt a connection through opera with each of the seasons I have been a part of over these many years.

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