(from the February 2016 Coloratura)
The 2016 Portland Opera Season will run from May into August: no more cancellations due to Saturday ice storms! The new season includes new productions of operas by Tchaikovsky and Rossini, as well as works by Mozart and Sondheim in “internationally acclaimed designs.” An expanded Street Fair program and collaboration with other local Arts organizations will also characterize this Summer Season.
The opening performance, on May 6, 2016 at the Keller, is Mozart’s profound and delightful The Magic Flute. In announcing the new season last spring, General Director of Portland Opera, Chris Mattaliano, stated“I’m especially excited that our production of ‘Flute’ features the acclaimed scenery and costumes designed by Maurice Sendak.” Evening performances of the Mozart opus will be given on May 6, 12, and 14, with a matinee on the 8th of the month.
In June, a classic American work that is “truly operatic in scope,” Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, will receive six Keller performances, on the evenings of the 3rd, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th, with a matinee on June 5th. Sweeney Todd was born on Broadway and won a Tony for Best Musical in 1979. Internationally renowned baritone David Pittsinger returns to Portland Opera to sing the title role, and will be joined in the cast by local favorite, Susannah Mars, and a number of Portland Opera Resident Artists past and present.
July will feature two great operas at the Newmark Theater: Tchaikovsky’s wonderful opera based on a Pushkin “novel in verse,” Eugene Onegin and Rossini’s delightful romp, L’italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers). Mr. Mattaliano admits to being extremely proud that the Onegin cast will include two “wonderful young singers who can believably portray the drama, jealousy, and passion of 20-somethings in love.” These are Jennifer Forni, who will sing the opera’s heroine, Tatiana, and Alexander Elliott, who will be portraying the opera’s title role. Ms. Forni was a Resident Artist here from 2009-11 and sang the role of Micaëla, to critical acclaim, in Bizet’s Carmen last season. The very talented Mr. Elliott was a Portland Opera Resident Artist baritone from 2014-15. Evening performances of Onegin will be given on July 8, 14, 15, 23, and 26 with matinees on July 10 and 17.
Rossini’s side-splitting L’italiana in Algeri, will conclude the 2016 season in late July and August, offering music of great vitality and charm in addition to its Marx Brothers like plot. World renowned Director Christian Räth will make his Portland Opera debut directing this new production created especially for the 2016 Festival. Similar to Onegin, L’italiana will be performed seven times, evenings on July 22, 27, 29, and 31, and on August 4 and 6, with matinees on the 24th and 31st of July.
You’ll note that these two July (and August) productions will feature the very first rotating repertory performances, allowing patrons to experience two great opera masterpieces on consecutive evenings as do many Opera Festivals worldwide.
Subscription packages and individual tickets are still available at the Portland Opera Box Office. To get yours, go online to http://www.portlandopera.org or call (503) 241-1802.