40 years of Portland Opera: Reflections on retirement


The season is over! Forgive my absence last week; to be honest, I was just plain old worn out. It seems every year we forget that just after the season closes, we could all use a few days to catch our collective breath. I often say we claw our way to closing night, because by the end of the season we're all very tired. With the seemingly constant Falstaff hijinks, 'tired' was kind of an understatement this year. Sorry to see the season go (no opera until the fall?!), but also happy to have a normal schedule for awhile.


And hey, three-day weekends! Those are great. Watching movies! Being home for dinner! Sometimes it truly is the little things.


As the season closed, we said farewell to a few beloved, long-time opera folks. Our principal accompanist, Tom Webb, leaves us to move about as far away as possible -- Australia! -- to be with his partner. Rae Minten, who has been a much beloved face in our costume shop -- and also, incidentally, our awesome yoga teacher! -- leaves to pursue a new career in the healing arts. Long-time violinist Dolly Clarizio retires this season, having been a member of the orchestra since 1966. 1966!!!! Finally, one of our choristers, Martin Tobias, has just retired after 40 years singing with us.


Marty has written us a synopsis of his time here, which I find profoundly fascinating, having only been with the company for 8 seasons. It seems kind of trivial to say, but things have changed a lot in 40 years! I'm particularly struck by the number of remarkably cool/weird productions we've done over the past four decades. Menotti directed here! Who knew?! And I am so sad I wasn't here for Love for Three Oranges, which is so totally up my alley.




as seen by retiring chorister Martin Tobias