James McLennan

James McLennan

Assistant Concertmaster
Describe your role with Portland Opera

I am Assistant Concertmaster of the orchestra. I have been with the Portland Opera since the Fall of 1991.

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

I'm inspired by stories of people overcoming adversity, physical disability, or persecution to rise above any challenge and become something greater. Stories of people who never give up, never quit, and have the heart to dig deep... and to spill their guts and give everything they've got to achieve a greater good. For these people are  heroes and are the best there is...they are my idols.

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

I wanted to be an astrophysicist and professional scuba diver. (What a combo!) I got halfway there though...In addition to my career in music, I am a Dive Control Specialist/Divemaster with Scuba Schools International and have been affiliated with Adventure Sports Scuba in Gresham, Oregon since 1997.

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

Working on my cars! I have a collection of muscle cars (Camaros, Mustangs, and Corvettes) and love tinkering around with them. I am currently restoring a C4 Corvette I purchased from my uncle. My previous restoration project was my beloved gold 1973 Mustang Mach 1 I have owned since High School. She's a real beast and I'm quite proud of her! (Her name is Eleanor)

What has your favorite quarantine activity been?

Working out, working on my cars, and scuba diving! What else is there?

What is your favorite Portland Opera memory?

I was Concertmaster of the orchestra years ago for the production of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia. I remember this was a December production and, as I recall, I was asked to stay and be part of the post concert question and answer session--immediately following the afternoon concert. When the concert concluded, however, there was an abrupt announcement that the session had been cancelled due to inclement weather. I left the hall to face several inches of snow on the ground and a hair raising 2 hour trip home! The snow didn't affect our performance though, it was wonderful!


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