FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2012

CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508




Saturday, September 22, 2012, 7:30 PM  |  Keller Auditorium


All Proceeds to Benefit Portland Opera’s Education and Outreach Efforts


(Portland, Ore) – Portland Opera’s 48th Season begins once again on a spectacular note with a jam-packed evening the audience won’t soon forget.  Last season, BIG NIGHT, the Company’s first ever concert of opera’s greatest hits and the free simulcast outdoors exceeded all expectations.  A hit with both the audience inside Keller Auditorium and the hundreds sitting out watching the concert simulcast on huge screen hung on the front of the building; it was a big night in many ways. The season’s concert will again feature all that is big and beloved in opera—the hits, the voices, the choruses, the orchestra.


A surprise last year — and a BIG hit — the pre-concert STREET FAIR returns with emcee Sasha Roiz from Grimm and musical treats that include the Vagabond Opera and theRose City Swing Band. There will be plenty of bike racks and food carts  (Bro Dogs, Fuego de Lotus, Taco Pedaler, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream) on hand too. The  post-concert showing of The Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera will take place again simply because it was so much fun last year.


Headlining the evening of the world’s favorite opera arias, duets and choruses from opera’s favorite composers including Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Wagner are: soprano JENNIFER FORNI; tenor JONATHAN BOYD; baritone MICHAEL TODD SIMPSON; conductor GEORGE MANAHAN and the Portland Opera RESIDENT ARTISTS.  Add to that, the local stars of Portland Opera—the stellar Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra—all together on the Keller stage.


“We’re pulling out all the stops for an evening of unabashed opera celebration,” says Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano, “with everyone’s favorite arias, duets, choruses and orchestral pieces.  It will definitely be an evening not to be missed.  And just as exciting,” he continued, “is the fact that all proceeds will support our education programs which are among the best in the nation and a great source of pride for us and our community.”


The concert benefits the very important work of the Portland Opera Education and Outreach Department, whose efforts provide the largest presence in Oregon schools of any arts organization in Portland.  Portland Opera reaches more than 50,000 people each season with a variety of Education and Outreach programs including Portland Opera To Go, Student Dress Rehearsals, Student Rush Tickets, Family Friendly Public Performances, workshops and public lectures.


In addition to the BIG NIGHT concert, Portland Opera is also throwing a gala fundraiser titled NOTTE GRANDE (Big Night in Italian).  Tickets include a pre-concert cocktail reception and dazzling after party with the evening’s stars.


The artists at this season’s concert will all be familiar to the city.  Tenor JONATHAN BOYD (Candide in Candide, 2012, Jacquino in Fidelio, 2008, Tamino in The Magic Flute, 2007, Sam in Street Scene, 2005).  Opera News declared him “a standout and having a ravishing mezza voce.”  Baritone MICHAEL TODD SIMPSON (Marcello in La Bohème, 2009) won recent praise from the Seattle Times as “an appropriately fiery Marcello.”   And former Portland Opera Resident Artist, soprano JENNIFER FORNI returns to Portland Opera for the first time.  She makes her Metropolitan Opera debut next spring in Parsifal.


A popular conductor with Portland audiences, GEORGE MANAHAN (Big Night Concert, 2011, The Barber of Seville, 2010, Così fan tutte, 2010, Rigoletto, 2009, Rodelinda, 2008, Macbeth, 2006) returns to the podium.  Of his conducting for New York City Opera, The New York Times said that “George Manahan conducted and got from his players the kind of heartfelt involvement unthinkable in the City Opera orchestra pit 20 years ago.”  Also singing are PORTLAND OPERA RESIDENT ARTISTS soprano LINDSAY OHSE, mezzo soprano CAITLIN MATHES, baritone ANDRE CHIANG, bass NICHOLAS NELSON and introducing tenor MATTHEW GRILLS who makes his Company debut at the concert.



Jennifer ForniSoprano
Jonathan BoydTenor
Michael Todd SimpsonBaritone
Lindsay Ohse†Sprano
Caitlin Mathes†Mezzo Soprano
Matthew Grills†*Tenor
André Chiang†Baritone
Nicholas Nelson†Bass Baritone
Christopher MattalianoHost
George ManahanConductor
With the Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra
†Portland Opera Resident Artist

* PortlandOpera Debut
PERFORMANCE Saturday, September 22, 2012: 
Street Fair, 5:00 PM, Concert, 7:30 PM, Movie, 9:00 PM

(Calendar Editors Kindly Note)

Open Chorus Rehearsal at Director Park

As Portland Opera prepares to celebrate the opening of its 2012/13 Season, it invites the public to an open chorus rehearsal in Director Park featuring the acclaimed Portland Opera Chorus.  Interim Associate Music Director & Chorus Master Michelle Alexander will lead the 65-strong group through the open rehearsal, giving attendees the chance not only to hear the glorious music but also to see the kind of detailed work that goes into professional opera chorus preparation.

9/9/12       3-5pm | Director Park (between SW Taylor & Yamhill and 9th & Park)  | Free


Big Night Preview

9/13/12      Big Night preview on "Northwest Previews," All Classical 89.9 fm at 6pm.



BIG NIGHT CONCERT  |  September 22, 2012  |  7:30 PM

CONCERT Tickets  |  $20 - $100

NOTTE GRANDE GALA  |  $200  (Includes exclusive cocktail party before the concert and party afterwards with the stars. Email nottegrande@portlandopera.org for more information.)          


BY PHONE:       Portland Opera Box Office, 503-241-1802, Toll-free 866-739-6737, (Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm). Ticketmaster, (800) 982-ARTS (days, evenings, and weekends).  
IN-PERSON:Portland Opera Box Office, 211 SE Caruthers St. (just south of OMSI, off Water Ave.) Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm.  Ticketmaster outlets,
GROUPS:10 or more save up by calling Group Sales at 503-295-3509.
6:00 RUSH: Students/Military $10 per ticket, Seniors $20 per ticket, 1 hour prior to show only, all available unsold seats. 1 ticket per person, valid ID required


For other information about tickets or the concert, click here.

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