Kate Strohecker



Describe your role with Portland Opera

I came into the chorus in 2010. My first production was Pagliacci and Carmina Burana, starring a beautiful boa constrictor named Sunny. To date, Sunny has been one of the most interesting creatures I've met on stage, but the opportunity as a chorister with Portland Opera to sing among world famous singers, meet and interact with them face-to face has been one of the most satisfying experiences in my life.  

What music/book/movie/show/poem/place/moment is currently inspiring you?

I'm proud to live in Portland, where we insist  through unified gatherings and peaceful protests that we are heard, and that change is needed. I'm inspired to be part of an organization such as Portland Opera that has taken a sincere look at the statement the arts make in our culture, and have made deliberate changes to become more inclusive, and to ensure that the spectrum of repertoire is made wider by performing works that are not yet in the "standards" we know and love. I'm inspired to learn and perform new works by up and coming composers with strong messages for the world of today.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young, I wanted to be a brilliant civil rights attorney who could speak for those whose voices were not being heard. Over time, my sense of self as a singer embodies those same goals.  I believe music can fill spaces that words alone can not complete.

In my free time, you can usually find me...

I am close to completing an academic degree besides working full time, so free time is precious, and I like to be outdoors. I am either sailing on the Columbia River in a tiny sailboat, zooming up and down the highway on a lightning white Vespa.

What has your favorite quarantine activity been?

I've been learning to play the recorder, which has been terrific for my technical musical skills as well as keeping my breath in good condition for singing. The best time to return to school for another degree is during quarantine. I couldn't be more blessed with constant due dates and moving calendars. I have no time to be lonely or feel isolated.

What is your favorite Portland Opera memory?

I've met hundreds of extremely talented, kind and giving people through the performances over the years. I will never forget the generosity and exquisite skills of some of the artists, including those who live right here in the northwest.  I've learned that it takes many kinds of people doing a wide array of work with implicit expertise both on stage and off to make a production work, and I am reminded that life is the same.  Of all the things in my life that I've accomplished, my tenure in the chorus is high on the list.


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