The Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Northwest Regional Finals took place on Sunday afternoon, March 4th when eleven singers competed for prize money and a chance to advance to the National Semi-Finals round in New York in April. This group of eleven had advanced from four Regional MONC competitions: Oregon, Washington, Idaho/Montana, and Vancouver, BC (who had come from all parts of Canada). The always exciting event was held in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, a perfect recital venue within the confines of Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.
As always, the judges, Edward Berkely, Gregory Henkel and Bénédicte Jourdois, had their work cut out for them as all of the competitors displayed considerable artistry and stage presence. Nevertheless, they did what they were there to do and selected a soprano, Ashley Dixon as the first-prize winner of $5,000. As one of a dozen Regional winners from across the United States, Ms. Dixon will go to New York in April for musical preparation under the guidance of the Met’s music staff. The 12 then audition on the Met stage in the National Semi-Finals on April 22nd. All National Finalists remain in residence at the Met for another week, receiving additional coaching by the Met staff, before competing in front of a public audience and a distinguished panel of judges in the Grand Finals Concert on April 29th.
The judges awarded two second-place prizes (of $3,000) to Shane Hanson, a countertenor, and soprano Jasmin White. You’ll recall that Ms. White was one of three competitors that advanced from our own, Oregon Auditions, last October, and thrilled her audience at the opening luncheon of our 2017-18 Season.
While the judges were deliberating, the concert-goers were treated to two arias by Australian bass-baritone, Daniel Sumegi, who was in town to sing in Seattle Opera’s production of Beatrice and Benedict. Mr. Sumegi’s opera career began in 1988 and he has sung in many of the world’s leading opera houses, including the Met. His perspective on what it takes to have such a career was both enlightening and entertaining.
Portland Summerfest may have a few seats available for the Charlotte Pistor Recital Saturday afternoon, February 24th at 2:30 pm. The event features an afternoon of Mozart and Viennese Operetta performed by popular American soprano Charlotte Pistor, who currently makes her home in Salzburg. The recital will be held in a private home in Eastmoreland. The fundraiser ticket price is $85 per person. Confirmed tickets will contain the location of the event. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3205534
Angel of the Amazon, Opera About Slain Nun, Sr. Dorothy Stang is coming to Portland State University Lincoln Performance Hall LH75, on February 28, 2018, at 10:00 am.
The opera depicts Sr. Dorothy’s life-long work with the poor, helping them sustainably farm the Amazon Rainforest. Sr. Dorothy was an advocate for the Brazilian people who were targeted by loggers and landowners. On February 12, 2005, Sr. Dorothy was martyred in Anapu, Para, Brazil.
Angel of the Amazon, composed by Evan Mack, the opera premiered in NYC in 2011. Since 2015, it has toured across the United States, including San Francisco, San Jose, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Nashville.
“The opera’s mission is to connect people to Sr. Dorothy’s story on an emotional level. My hopes are that through the power of story telling and music, audiences will make a greater bond to Dorothy’s story and life work helping the poor.”—Evan Mack.
Mezzo Soprano Heather Jones will sing the role of Sr. Dorothy. Baritone, and Portland native José Rubio reprises his role as Luiz from the premiere production of the opera. Composer, Evan Mack will be at the piano. The performance will feature Ivy Zhou, Beth Madsen Bradford, Brendan Tuohy, and Damien Geter.
Sunshine in January Luncheon 1-26-18
We may have had more lovely weather than usual this month, but our luncheon next Friday will remain a musical ray of sunshine.
Grace Skinner, mezzo soprano, recent graduate of PSU school of Music and Erik Standifird, baritone, third year student at PSU School of Music will perform arias, art songs and more.
Our room venue within Multnomah Athletic Club will be the West Ballroom on the main floor, starting at 11:30 am for social, and lunch at noon. Cost for the luncheon and program is $35.
If you have not made your reservation, the deadline is Tuesday, 1/23/18 at noon.
For any last-minute changes, please call Patricia Cavanaugh directly. Remember, walk-ins without a reservation will be charged $40.
Don’t miss The Opera House, a new film by award-winning documentary filmmaker Susan Froemke, surveying a remarkable period of the Metropolitan Opera’s rich history and a time of great change for New York.
Featuring rarely seen archival footage, stills, recent interviews, and a soundtrack of extraordinary Met performances, the film chronicles the creation of the Met’s storied home of the last 50 years, against the backdrop of the artists, architects, and politicians who shaped the cultural life of New York City in the ’50s and ’60s.
Four Portland area cinemas will air the documentary about Lincoln Center. Check local listings for times on Saturday, February 13, and Wednesday February 17.
Multnomah Cinemas, across from Lloyd Center;
Clackamas Town Center Cinemas;
Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton; and
Century Eastport off SE 82nd St
Professor Christine Meadows shares the success of PSUs Opera production of 'Cinderella'
"The singers delivered an outstanding performance that put a smile on the faces of the audience," says James Bash in Northwest Reverb, praising the production's "charming ingenuity" and "excellent humor."
I was extremely pleased with our students' performances. See below for more photos from the production.
Please join us in April for our mainstage production of "Albert Herring," Benjamin Britten's lighthearted comedy. I hope to see you in the audience!
Vollum Professor of Voice
Director of Opera
Members and their guests will have a chance to hear members of the PSU Chamber Choir perform at our Holiday Event on Sunday, December 3rd from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm.
PSU Chamber Choir won top prize in the Bali International Choir Festival among 124 choirs, won a major victory in Italy and recently released a third CD, "The Doors of Heaven." The CD has stayed on Billboard's chart of best sellers for two months. The work is a haunting one by Latvia's Eric Esenvalds and he requested to Naxos that the Portland State Singers were the ones he wanted to record an album of his music.
The choir’s international competition awards and the success of their multiple CDs draw attention to the university’s choral program and increase the number and quality of applications, both to the program and to the performing choirs.
Portland Opera Guild's Board of Directors voted recently to give a grant to the PSU Chamber Choir to help their excellent program and in appreciation for their appearances at our programs.
Jasmin White, a winner of the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions for the Northwest Region is our featured performer for the Luncheon! She will be accompanied by accomplished pianist, Michael Barnes.
View our upcoming luncheons and events below and make your reservations. Don't miss our on these wonderful events!