Hillary Oseas

Hillary Oseas

Principal Viola



Describe your role with Portland Opera

I'm principal violist, and I started the job in 2012.

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

I love science fiction. At the heart of great science fiction is always the story of humanity, what it means to be human, and what it means to strive toward the better angels of our nature. I think we could all use a heavy dose of that right now! I recently read (and reread, they were that good) two books by Adrian Tchaikovsky: Children of Time and Children of Ruin. Tchaikovsky masterfully tells stories that unfold over epochs, exploring themes of evolution, human nature, and language, for starters. I loved these books and hope you will too!

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

Something different every week! But mostly, I wanted to be a musician.

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

Doing yoga and/or running! I love the feeling I get from having a really strong body, so I work hard to keep it that way. I'm planning on doing a yoga teacher training in spring 2021, I would love to be able to teach others how to care for their bodies as well.

What has your favorite quarantine activity been?

Actually, taking care of my kids. They have been keeping me tethered to reality through all of the uncertainty. But also, yoga! I've been working on handstands. I haven't gotten very consistent yet, but it's really fun. It's also extremely effective when you need to distract young children from bickering with each other, to just suddenly be doing a handstand. Works like a charm.

What is your favorite Portland Opera memory?

I cannot possibly name just one. Portland Opera means so much to me! It was the first job that I got that gave me real confidence about my decision to try and be a professional musician. I have performed some of my favorite music in the world, with colleagues that have become so much more than just coworkers over the years. I love them and miss them. I'm grateful to Portland Opera for giving me opportunities to push myself musically in more exposed roles than I would normally pursue, and one opera that was particularly meaningful to me was the Philip Glass chamber opera we performed in summer 2019, In the Penal Colony. Because it was so small, just string quintet, two singers, and conductor, and we played it so many times, I really felt that I made a deep connection with the music, and with my colleagues.


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