“The art form of opera has always been shaped by time, and we are excited to be part of its evolution,” shares Sue Dixon, General Director. “This season, we are thrilled to usher in new works, continue to share cultural touchstones, and share opera experiences on and off the stage, bringing our mission, vision, and values to life.”
And the Portland Opera isn’t the only arts organization gearing up. This fall promises to be an exciting season for arts enthusiasts, with a wide range of events and experiences to enjoy. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store from some of the city’s most prominent nonprofit arts organizations:
Oregon Symphony’s new season is getting underway. Featuring world-class musicians and a repertoire spanning classical to contemporary, this is a musical event not to be missed. Keep an eye out for special guest soloists and conductors throughout the season. First up: SEPTEMBER 30–OCTOBER 2, 2023 Mahler’s First Symphony.
Oregon Ballet Theatre:
Here’s a video about the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s upcoming season.
Portland Center Stage has a production of HAIR, September 30 – November 5, 2023
“Let the sunshine in! With an iconic score that changed pop culture forever, HAIR is as relevant today as it was when it radicalized a generation in 1968. This revolutionary rock musical tells the story of a group of counter-culturalists whose worlds are shaken when one of them receives his draft notice for the Vietnam War. Exploring ideas of identity, free love, community, global responsibility, and peace, HAIR reminds us that history is never far away — and that our collective voice is a powerful tool for change.”
Be sure to check each organization’s website for specific dates, ticket information, and any COVID-19 safety protocols that may be in place. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of Portland’s thriving arts community this autumn!
More about the Portland Opera’s season from the Opera:
Mozart’s comic masterpiece, The Marriage of Figaro, kicks off the season. Set in 18th-century Seville, the adventures of Figaro and Susanna unfold with wit and delight in this satire about nobility and power. Although written over 230 years ago, this empathetic comedy is an enduring example of Mozart’s sublime music, layered with a narrative that reflects on today’s society, too. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed at Keller Auditorium on October 28, November 3, and November 5 (matinee), 2023. The performances will be sung in Italian with English captions.
Next, the company will share an evening of music, song, and poetry entitled Enchanted Woods: Shakespeare & Song. Celebrating the anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio, audience members enter Shakespeare’s woods: a literary place of transformation, love, and magic—with a program inspired by 20th century adaptations of his works. This production is curated in partnership with “Shakespeare’s First Folio: 1623–2023”, a public humanities project at Portland State University in collaboration with other regional arts organizations recognizing and celebrating Shakespeare’s legacy. This unique experience will include a “picnic” of feasting and libations, with cabaret-style seating. Enchanted Woods: Shakespeare & Song will take place at the Gregory K. and Mary Chomenko Hinckley Studio Theatre at the Hampton Opera Center on February 2, 3, 4m, 9, 10, and 11m, 2024. The performances will be sung in English with English captions.
Continuing the season, Portland Opera will present The Snowy Day, an opera in one act based on the beloved children’s book by Ezra Jack Keats. This heartwarming opera, with music by Joel Thompson and libretto by Andrea Davis Pinkney, follows the adventures of young Peter as he explores his snowy neighborhood, encountering new friends and unexpected wonders along the way. The Snowy Day is a perfect introduction to opera for young people, and a bittersweet reminder for audiences of all ages about impermanence and the wonders of youth. First premiered at Houston Grand Opera in 2021, Portland Opera’s production of The Snowy Day will mark the West Coast premiere, and the second production of this opera—continuing the company’s commitment to staging and supporting new works. The Snowy Day will take place at the Newmark Theatre on March 16, 22, and 24m, 2024. The performances will be sung in English with English captions. The matinee on March 24th will be family-friendly, a new way of welcoming the next generation of opera lovers to experience the beauty and joy of opera.
Finally, to mark the centennial of Giacomo Puccini’s passing, Portland Opera will close the 2023/24 season with Puccini: In Concert. Puccini’s works are arguably some of the most popular in opera, with more than 500 productions of La Bohème being performed around the world each year. This one-night-only concert will feature the enduring compositions from La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, and Tosca on May 11, 2024, at Keller Auditorium. The performances will be sung in Italian with English captions.
In addition to mainstage programming, the 23/24 season will see continued progress toward the company’s strategic goal of curating collaborations or commissions that harness the creativity and spirit that is unique to this place. In the spring of 2024, Portland Opera will workshop the company’s commission of a new opera, Jubilee, by composer Damien Geter (Portland Opera’s interim Music Director and co-Artistic Advisor) and Librettist Lorene Cary. Connecting the heroic story of the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers with their current Grammy-winning descendants, Jubilee investigates Black legacy, love, death, trauma, and joy. Jubilee will be written for 8 operatic soloists and a 15-piece orchestra and will premiere in March 2026. In the coming weeks, the company will also announce a series of additional projects in development—including information about the next installment in its multi-year commitment to commission new operas about unsung Oregonian heroes for the Portland Opera to Go educational touring program, and special artist-curated public programming in addition to the mainstage subscription season. During the 23/24 season Portland Opera will also collaborate with the creative team of The Factotum, from Lyric Opera of Chicago, to support the development of this excellent and exciting new opera for a future season; as well as continue supporting the development of a new production based on Stephen King’s The Shining. Additional details about these exciting projects are forthcoming.
While new works remain in development, in fall of 2023 the company’s Portland Opera to Go educational division will present a 50-minute adaptation of Rossini’s La Cenerentola for communities throughout the region. Full of whimsy, comedy, and delight, Cinderella is the perfect first opera for kids and adults alike. This lively adaptation of Cinderella is ideal for elementary school students, with modular scenery and age-appropriate staging that focuses on multicultural and international versions of the Cinderella story. In addition to the performance, Portland Opera to Go offers an arts integrated curriculum and classroom visits.
Portland Opera will continue to share opera for free in unexpected places, with Opera a la Cart— Portland Opera’s award-winning mobile performance venue. The cart will be found around town in community gathering places throughout the summer months, at farmers’ markets, city parks, neighborhood festivals, street fairs, wineries and other public events through the Portland metro area and region.
After scaling down and adjusting the Portland Opera Resident Artist program during the pandemic, the company is delighted to welcome a new class of Portland Opera Resident Artists for the season, extending the program back to its 8-month cycle. The incoming roster of artists will be announced soon and will also include the new position of Resident Artist Collaborative Pianist. Portland Opera is grateful to supporters of the Resident Artist program, Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, James Cox and Brenda Nuckton, Eleanor Lieber Auditions Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, Drs. Fernando and Dolores Leon, George Rowbottom, Drew and Sue Snyder, The Monday Musical Club of Portland, and Carol Turtle, for helping the company support this mission critical program during the ramp out of COVID impacts.
In addition to resident artist program, in 2021, Portland Opera piloted a new program to move the art form forward by providing career advancement opportunities for individuals who have been historically underrepresented in the world of opera, in both administrative and artistic roles. The 2023 Fellowship announcement is forthcoming, along with opportunities for community partnerships and free public performances.
Portland Opera continues a company-wide transformation for strategic growth and fiscal sustainability in the context of COVID interruptions and financial challenges. As a result, this year’s programming represents a smaller season that aligns with the company’s values as fiscally responsible stewards of Portland Opera and its future. To learn more about mission, vision, values, cultural equity, inclusion, diversity, or strategic planning progress, please visit portlandopera.org.
Portland Opera 2023/24 Season Casting
The Marriage of Figaro
October 28, November 3, 5m, 2023
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay
Sung in Italian with English captions
The performance is approximately 3 hours, performed with one intermission.
|Composer||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|Librettists||Lorenzo Da Ponte|
|Figaro||Jesús Vicente Murillo|
|Doctor Bartolo||Matthew Burns|
|Also featuring the Portland Opera Resident Artists|
|Scenic Designer||Cameron Poreous|
|Costume Designer||Christine Richardson|
|Lighting Designer||Connie Yun|
The adventures of Figaro and Susanna unfold with wit and delight in this satire about nobility and power. Count Almaviva is determined to woo Susanna, who is engaged to Figaro—a servant in the household. The betrothed will do whatever it takes to navigate the Count’s advances; and the Countess—fed up with her husband’s infidelities—joins in the chaos, too. This empathetic comedy of twists and turns features sublime musical moments, a healthy dose of irreverence, and is a joyful reminder of our shared humanity.
Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro sparkles with arias, duets and trios that have captivated audiences for centuries, including “Voi che sapete” and “Sull’aria.” Experience this grand and traditional production, set in 18th century Seville, with the dazzling sounds of the Portland Opera chorus and orchestra.
Scenery & properties provided by Arizona Opera.
Enchanted Woods: Shakespeare & Song
February 2, 3, 4m, 9, 10, 11m, 2024
The Gregory K and Mary Chomenko Hinckley Studio Theatre at the Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers Street
Sung in English with English captions
The performance is approximately one hour and 40 minutes, performed with an intermission.
|Composed by||Various composers|
|Curator & Featured Artist||Katrina Galka|
|Also featuring the Portland Opera Resident Artists|
|Musical Direction||Nicholas Fox|
Enter Shakespeare’s forest: a place of magic, love and transformation. Here, to honor Shakespeare’s first folio, we’ll be immersed in an evening of story and song inspired by 20th century adaptations of his enduring works. Through sweet melody and poignant poetry, we’ll celebrate the natural magic of the bard—to honor that which enchants us still, four hundred years later.
Join us in the forest for a picnic, and toast to the magic of Shakespeare! This immersive experience will include cabaret-style seating, libations, as well as savory and sweet treats. We’ll soak in beautiful melodic and tonal music including works by Benjamin Britten, Betsy Jackson King, and other celebrated composers, as we travel through A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, The Tempest, and more.
Featuring voice, piano, and a woodwind quintet from the Portland Opera Orchestra
The Snowy Day
March 16, 22, 24m, 2024
7:30 PM | 2PM Family friendly matinee
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland
Sung in English with English captions.
The performance is approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes performed without an intermission
|Composed by||Joel Thompson|
|Libretto by||Andrea Davis Pinkney, based on the book by Ezra Jack Keats|
|Mama||Lianna Wimberley Williams|
|Also featuring the Portland Opera Resident Artists|
|Director||Omer Ben Seadia|
|Scenic Designer||Amy Rubin|
|Costume Designer||Jessica Jahn|
Smiling snowmen, snow angels, and warm bubble baths: experience the magic of Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved children’s book come to life on the opera stage. The Snowy Day follows the adventures of young Peter as he explores his neighborhood on a snowy day, making new friends and encountering unexpected wonders along the way.
With music by Joel Thompson and libretto by Andrea Davis Pinkney, the west coast premiere of this new opera is a celebration of imagination, nature, and friendship. The Snowy Day is a perfect introduction to opera for young people, and a joyful reminder for audiences of all ages about impermanence and the wonders of youth.
Commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera
Premiered by Houston Grand Opera in December 2021
Special thanks to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Puccini: In Concert
May 11, 2024, 7:30PM
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay Street, Portland
Sung in Italian with English captions.
The performance is approximately 90 minutes, performed without an intermission.
|Also featuring the Portland Opera Resident Artists
One hundred years after his death in 1924, we celebrate a one-night-only concert
featuring Giacomo Puccini’s enduring compositions. Experience the drama and passion of these cultural touchstones and iconic music, brought to life by an exciting ensemble of featured guest artists.
The performance will feature selections from Tosca, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and more! The Portland Opera Orchestra and Chorus will take center stage in this unforgettable celebration of one of the world’s most beloved composers.
Subscriptions for Portland Opera’s 23/24 season are available now; and single tickets will be on sale on August 8, 2023. For more information, and to purchase subscriptions, visit portlandopera.org, or call Patron Services at 503-241-1802.
Portland Opera is grateful for the ongoing philanthropic support from our individual patrons and generous donors, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Arts Education & Access Fund, special support from The CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, and The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program,
Dates, programming, artists, and details for Portland Opera’s 23/24 season are subject to change.
Contact: Silja Tobin, Manager of Marketing and Communications; [email protected]
Interviews and more details are available upon request.