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PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera.
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Week Five: Putting it Together: Design it!

Logan is taking our Summer Opera Education Class: "Putting it Together."  We asked her to share her experiences throughout this 8-week interactive class.  Updates will be posted weekly.  Enjoy!

Week Five: Putting it Together: Design it!

Tonight, we had the chance to ask questions and gain insight on set design through a talk show-like interview between Portland Opera’s General Director Christopher Mattaliano and Set Designer Curt Enderle. We learned about the process of designing a production, how creative ideas get flowing, and we even got a sneak peak for this season’s production of Postcard from Morocco by Dominick Argento.

The first question asked was of course, “What is a set designer?” The obvious answer is, “The one who designs the set” but there is much more to it than that: props, scenery, mechanics, lighting, etc. are all part of this ambitious position. Mr. Enderle gave us a brief description of how he came into set design beginning in his undergraduate study. He originally studied business, but became involved in collegiate stage productions and workshops and fell in love with theater and pursued that field of study as well. By studying both theater and business, Mr. Enderle gained knowledge and skills that are perfectly suited for a set designer, such as art history and fine arts classes, computer programming languages, computer science, etc. It seemed to me that these skills were divided into two different categories of art and engineering, however they are fused together to help bring drama and music to life. Because Mr. Enderle mastered that fusion of art and engineering, he had a firm grasp on how to use backgrounds, props … to help the narrative move forward in a production.

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