The curtain rises on a new opera company in Portland
Opera producer and international director Christopher Mattaliano today announced the creation of OrpheusPDXan opera company created especially for Portland audiences and designed to be part of the community in a variety of ways.
In the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, Orpheus’ singing and playing are so beautiful that even the wild beasts of Hades are moved to tears. Portland’s new opera company, OrpheusPDX, aspires to do the same, to touch the soul of the community through the power of great music and theater.
“It’s a very exciting time,” said Mattaliano, Founder/General and Artistic Director of the new company. “I love opera and I especially love Portland. I look forward to adding to the cultural vitality of this great city. Portland offers a huge variety of entertainment options for lovers of classical music, dance , visual art and especially theatre. Opera the amateur has fewer options; we have Portland Opera and a few small adventurous companies. OrpheusPDX will complement the work done by our colleagues and offer Portland opera fans, new and established, a year-round opera season and the chance to appreciate opera from a variety of new perspectives.”
Mattaliano went on to explain that the idea for a new opera company was born out of conversations with Portland-area art lovers and philanthropists. “It was their encouragement and support – in every sense of the word – that led to the creation of this company,” Mattaliano said. He had just signed with a new agent and was beginning to accept managerial commitments when the pandemic brought things to an abrupt halt. During the pandemic-related leave, he had time to think about the idea of a new business and how to balance high artistic quality with the size and scale of the company’s operations. business that would be sustainable with the funding available.
In addition to the two operas produced during the summer months and presented in the 475-seat Lincoln Hall, OrpheusPDX will create a regular community of artist-singers, conductors, directors and designers in residence each summer. As a result, audiences will come to know more intimately the work of these artists over time in various settings, to know them as regular members of the community, and to see their work evolve with each season. “We hope to create a unique and special bond between the community and the resident artists of OrpheusPDX each summer,” said Mattaliano.
After its inaugural season, OrpheusPDX intends to establish a training program in 2023 for 12 gifted young singers selected by national audition. The professional artists engaged by OrpheusPDX – the singers, conductors, directors, designers – will provide ongoing singing lessons, vocal and dramatic coaching, and masterclasses in all aspects of opera production to students. selected for the training program. “I love working with talented young singers. I’m very lucky to have a career based both in the world of professional opera and in the conservatory,” Mattaliano said. In addition, local student instrumentalists will be selected to play in the opera orchestra, supervised by professional musicians.
“This new venture provides a way to give back to the community that has given me so much,” Mattaliano said. “It brings together two of my greatest loves – producing high quality professional opera and providing a rich learning experience for gifted young singers and instrumentalists.”
For more information and to sign up to receive all future OrpheusPDX news, customers should visit www.orpheuspdx.org.