Portland Opera Offers Unique Summer Adult Education Class: Putting it Together


CONTACT: Ingrid Arnett, 503-417-0574.

DOWNLOAD: this press release as a .pdf here.

Portland Opera Offers Unique Summer Adult Education Class:

Putting it Together  


(Portland, OR) –Portland Opera will once again offer its highly interactive class Putting it Together from August 5-September 23at The Hampton Opera Center. This comprehensive, eight-week class offers a hands-on understanding of how an opera company brings an opera to the stage.  


“This program was designed to strengthen community and give people a greater appreciation of opera and the amazing folks who create it,” says Portland Opera’s Manager of Education and Outreach, Alexis Hamilton, who designed Putting it Together. Students will meet and get to know many members of the Portland Opera staff including General Director Christopher Mattaliano.


Students meet every Tuesday from 7-9pm. Each week a different topic is explored in depth, by starting with the basic history of opera and then delving into the behind-the-scenes process not normally open to the public. Students will find out what it is like to write, design, build, and rehearse an opera. They will also watch a vocal coaching and learn about the singers’ preparation process.   


August 5      Break It Down

This first class explores a brief history of opera and the building blocks and conventions of the art form. Instructor: Alexis Hamilton.


August 12     Plan It

Clare Burovac, Director of Artistic Operations, will lead a discussion and explain how Portland Opera’s General Director and Senior Staff decide on a season. Students will then get to plan their own season. Instructors: Alexis Hamilton, Clare Burovac.


August 19     Write It Part 1 

Learn all about librettos and famous librettists and then break into small groups and create part of a libretto from a familiar story. Local composer John Vergin will talk about what to consider when writing a libretto.


August 26     Write It Part 2: Hear It  

Hear the scenes created during the previous class set to music and sung by opera singers.  Instructors will talk about the challenges and opportunities the scenes posed and discuss the differences between the spoken and sung product. Instructors: Alexis Hamilton, John Vergin. Singers TBD.


Sept. 2         Design It

In this class, a director and a set designer discuss the process of getting from the concept through the design phase of a new production. Students will see renderings for sets and costumes and will be able to ask questions of the design team. Instructors: Alexis Hamilton, Christopher Mattaliano, designers TBD.


Sept. 9         Build It

In a panel discussion format, students learn the process a Technical Director, Props Supervisor, and Costume Shop Manager go through to make designs on paper a reality. Instructors: Bearclaw (Technical Director), Cindy Felice (Props Supervisor), and Frances Britt (Costume Shop Manager).


Sept. 16       Prepare It

In the first half of this class, students watch a vocal coaching and ask questions about the preparation process from the perspective of both the singer and the conductor.


In the second half, students meet one of the Portland Opera’s Production Stage Managers to discuss what a Stage Manager does before, during, and after an opera. Instructors: Alexis Hamilton, Nick Fox (Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor). Stage Manager and singers TBD.


Sept. 23       RehearseIt

Students have the unique opportunity to watch Portland Opera General Director—and stage director—Christopher Mattaliano direct a scene. Instructors: Christopher Mattaliano, Alexis Hamilton, others TBD.


Putting it Togetheris limited to 30 participants and is appropriate for high school age and above. Classes take place August 5-September 23 from 7-9pm at The Hampton Opera Center. The cost for the eight-week class is $160 and it is expected to fill, so prompt reservations are recommended. To register, please contact Alexis Hamilton at ahamilton@portlandopera.org or go to http://www.portlandopera.org/summerclass.


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