LSM Newswire

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

PORTopera to Replace “Don Pasquale” with 15th Anniversary “Grand” Concert


PORTopera to Replace "Don Pasquale" with 15th Anniversary "Grand" Concert

PORTLAND, Maine -- PORTopera, Maine's only professional opera company, will celebrate its 15th Anniversary with a series of events in the spring and summer of 2009, culminating in a grand opera concert featuring a full orchestra and singers from its past productions. The concert will take place at Merrill Auditorium July 30 at 7:30 pm.

This grand opera concert, scheduled for one night only, will replace the company's originally scheduled performances of Donizetti's Don Pasquale. The company's Board President, Donald L. Head discussed the decision, saying, "As we anticipate continuing financial uncertainty, we are eliminating the risk a full opera production poses, replacing it with an alternative event that celebrates our 15 years of producing world-class opera for audiences in Maine." Head also acknowledged that Maine's opera fans, the thousands who have attended PORTopera's productions over the years, would rightly expect a special event signifying that PORTopera will continue to be an important player in Maine's, and New England's, cultural scene.

"We plan to return for our 16th season with a fully staged production of an opera in 2010," added Head. "We will not lose track of our mission: to present great operatic masterpieces in Maine."

PORTopera's Artistic Director, Dona D. Vaughn, plans to announce the performers and program details as soon as they are finalized. Robert Moody, Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, will conduct.

In addition to the grand opera concert on July 30, PORTopera will continue with its long-standing tradition of supporting Maine's operatic talent through its Maine's Emerging Artists program. This program, presented in five locations last year (Portland Museum of Art, Portland; University of Maine at Augusta; Salyard's Center for the Arts, Conway, NH; The Temple, Ocean Park; Deertrees Theatre, Harrison) is led by Ellen Chickering, the Director of the Opera Workshop at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. Auditions for the 2009 production have been held and plans are underway for this annual traveling production.

Other 15th anniversary events include an Anniversary Celebration kick off on April 3rd, a gala dinner-dance and auction on June 5th, the company's traditional President's Dinner on July 30, and summer and fall fund-raising recitals. For information on these events, call 207-879-7678 or visit

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