Stage director and opera producer Christopher Mattaliano, who was Portland Opera’s general director from 2003 to 2019, has announced the creation of OrpheusPDX, a new Portland-based opera company.
“This is a very exciting time,” Mattaliano stated in a press release. “I love opera and I especially love Portland. I look forward to adding to the cultural vitality of this great city.”
OrpheusPDX’s first two productions will be Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, which is based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Performances of both operas will be held this August at Lincoln Performance Hall. The selection of the 472-seat theater is part of the company’s commitment to staging uniquely intimate opera productions.
Mattaliano, who serves as OrpheusPDX’s artistic and general director, believes that the new company will fill a gap in the city’s opera scene, which is primarily dominated by Portland Opera.
“Portland offers a very wide variety of entertainment options for lovers of classical music, dance, visual art, and especially theater,” he said. “The opera lover has fewer options; we have Portland Opera and a few smaller, adventurous companies. OrpheusPDX will complement the work being done by our colleagues and give Portland’s opera fans, new and established, a year-round opera season and the chance to enjoy opera from a variety of new perspectives.”
Each summer, the company will boast a team of singers, conductors, directors and designers in residence. There are also plans to create a training program for 12 young singers (who will be recruited through nationwide auditions) in 2023.
“This new company provides a means to give back to the community that has given so much to me,” 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.”
Tickets for L’Orfeo and The Fall of the House of Usher can be purchased here starting April 26. Prices range from $50 to $110.