Portland Opera’s General Director Announces He Will Step Down After 16 Years

Christopher Mattaliano implemented many community-focused initiatives during his tenure.

Portland Opera is going in a new direction.

Christopher Mattaliano is stepping down as general director after running the  company for over a decade, though he will stay on as an artistic consultant.

"I was incredibly fortunate to become Portland Opera's General Director in 2003, and the past 16 years have been among the most satisfying and meaningful years of my life," Mattaliano said in a press release.

Sue Dixon, Portland Opera's Director of External Affairs since 2017, was announced as acting interim general director until the company hires someone else for the job.

In the statement, Mattaliano said he felt the time was right to step down following the completion of a new strategic plan that will "build Portland Opera's future." Mattaliano did not respond to WW's request for further comment.

Mattaliano implemented many community-focused initiatives during his tenure. He created the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program to give stage time to emerging singers. He also started Opera a la Cart, an outdoor performance series, and Portland Opera To Go, allowing Portland public schools to schedule a 50-minute performance of The Barber of Seville so students can experience opera in person, likely for the first time.

Mattaliano also successfully expanded Portland Opera's season to run year-round, instead of the typical fall-winter or spring-summer circuits.

For now, you can catch some of the final performances under Mattaliano's reign—Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera runs until the end of the month, and Philip Glass's In the Penal Colony plays until mid-August.

Related: "As One" Is the First Story With a Transgender Protagonist in Opera, But it Still Excludes the Most Important Voices.