Portland Opera Presents the Portland Opera Premiere of Cavalli’s LA CALISTO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2009
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508

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March 13, 15m, 19, 21, 2009 . NEWMARK THEATRE

The popular Studio Artists production moves to the Newmark Theatre!


La CalistoIn a significant development for its popular annual Studio Artists production, Portland Opera moves the production to the Newmark Theatre with the Company premiere of Cavalli’s La Calisto. The move retains the all-important intimacy audiences have enjoyed in the Studio Theater at the Hampton Opera Center, and accommodates the growing demand for tickets for the annual Studio Artist’s work. The production debuts in the new venue March 13, 2009 with additional performances March 15m, 19 and 21.

The production features the return of Portland favorite Angela Niederloh who delighted audiences in the title role of Cinderella in 2007 and Gerald Thompson, who stole the show as the countertenor Unulfo in Rodelinda in 2008. The production also marks an exciting collaboration with Portland Baroque Orchestra and its Artistic Director, Monica Huggett. PBO—marking its 25th Anniversary this year—will assemble a 17th century Venetian band that includes period strings, cornetti, recorders, theorbo, lirone and other period instruments of the era.

“There is a lot to be excited about,” says Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano. “The opera itself is a wild, wacky romp—fresh, tuneful, wildly imaginative and very entertaining. And I’m very thrilled about the collaboration with the Portland Baroque Orchestra. We are fortunate to have Cavalli’s gorgeous, ethereal music brought to life on period instruments by the acclaimed PBO.”

In the recent surge of popularity of 16th and 17th century opera, Cavalli’s work has been one of the most exciting discoveries. A student of Monteverdi, he composed over thirty operas. They are all at a consistently high level, with a vocal diversity above and beyond his mentor’s. They are the best representation of Venetian musical tastes of the period—gorgeous, ethereal, and remarkably fresh even today.

Based on two different, intertwining stories from Greek mythology, La Calisto is a tale of love, requited and unrequited, and the prices paid when the sometimes fickle Gods meddle in the mortal world. Interestingly, the two characters capable of deep love and genuine feeling without duplicity are not the Gods, but the human characters, Calisto and Endymion, and in this La Calisto is a pointed social commentary. The gods give free reign to all of their baser passions, taking advantage of those less powerful. But the opera is far from tragic. There are moments of buoyancy and vocal virtuosity with rollicking, sometimes bawdy, humor leavening the human characters’ obvious confusion and pain.

The La Calisto cast will be familiar to Portland audiences. All five of this year’s talented young Studio Artists: soprano SHARIN APOSTOLOU (Annina in La Traviata, title role in Rodelinda, High Priestess in Aida, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, 2008; Clorinda in Cinderella, Frasquita in Carmen, 2007) sings the title role; mezzo soprano HANNAH S. PENN (Flora in La Traviata, Nancy in Albert Herring, 2008; title role in Carmen, Tisbe in Cinderella, Mercedes in Carmen, 2007) sings Diana; tenor BRENDAN TUOHY (Prologue in The Turn of the Screw, 2009; 1st prisoner in Fidelio, Gastone in La Traviata, title role in Albert Herring, 2008; Remendado in Carmen, 2007) sings Pane; baritone JOSÉ RUBIO (Baron Douphol in La Traviata, 2008) sings Mercurio; and bass Jonathan Kimple (2nd prisoner in Fidelio, 2009; Marquis d’Obigny in La Traviata, 2008) sings Giove. Portland Opera is pleased to have one of the original Studio Artists, KENDRA HERRINGTON (Shepherd Boy in Tosca, title role in The Rape of Lucretia, 2005; Lady in Waiting in Macbeth, Nancy T’ang in Nixon in China, Siebel in Faust, Penelope in The Return of Ulysses, 2006; Clotilde in Norma, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, 2007) returning to sing Linfea. Also returning is Portland favorite—and Portland native—mezzo soprano ANGELA NIEDERLOH (title role in Cinderella, Third Lady in The Magic Flute, 2007; Marchese Melibea in The Journey to Reims, 2004); as Guinone; countertenor GERALD THOMPSON (Unulfo in Rodelinda, 2008) sings Endimione; soprano ANNE MCKEE REED (First Spirit in The Magic Flute, 2007) as Il Destino and BOBBY JACKSON (Antonio in The Journey to Reims, 2004; Gypsy in Il Trovatore, 2002; Sciarrone in Tosca, Lucas in The Student Prince, 1998) sings Silvano. Maestro ROBERT AINSLEY (Albert Herring, 2008; The Return of Ulyssess, 2006) conducts and NED CANTY makes his Portland Opera debut directing the action. The all-new sets are by CURT ENDERLE, with costumes by SUE BONDE and lighting by DON CROSSLEY.

The 2008/09 Season marks the fourth year of the increasingly heralded Portland Opera Studio Program, in which some of the nation’s finest young singers join the company for an intensive, nine-month training program. These singers take on many of the season’s smaller roles on the mainstage, perform in recital, and are featured in the yearly Studio Artists production.


For plot synopsis, detailed cast bios, and plenty of other information, visit www.portlandopera.org.



Calisto/L'Eternita Sharin Apostolou†
Giove (Jove) Jonathan Kimple†
Diana/Jove in Diana Hannah Sharene Penn†
Pane (Pan)/La Natura Brendan Tuohy†
Mercurio (Mercury) José Rubio†
Giunone (Juno) Angela Niederloh
Endimione (Endymion) Gerald Thompson
Il Destino/Satirino(Satyr)/Furia 1
Anne McKee Reed
Linfea/Furia 2 Kendra Herrington
Silvano (Sylvano) Bobby Jackson
Conductor Robert Ainsley
Stage Director Ned Canty*
Lighting Designer Don Crossley
Costume Designer Sue Bonde
Scenic Designer Curt Enderle

* Portland Opera debut
† Portland Opera Studio Artist



Music: Francesco Cavalli
Libretto: Giovanni Faustini; Based on the myth of Callisto from
Ovid’s Metamorphosis.
Lyrics: Sung in Italian with projected English translations.
World Premiere: November 28, 1651, Teatro S. Apollinare, Venice.
Portland Opera Premiere: March 13, 2009
Performances: March 13, 15m, 19, 21, 2009

All performances begin at 7:30pm, with the exception of the 2:00pm matinee on March 15th.



(Calendar Editors Kindly Note)

Destination Opera
This insider’s look at La Calisto explores its relevance beyond the stage. A local panel of experts—from psychoanalysts to professors of literature—will join Alexis Hamilton, Manager of Education and Outreach, to debate and discuss La Calisto.
2/24/2009, 7:00pm
Sherman Clay Piano, 131 NW 13th Ave., Portland, OR 97209



3/5/2009 La Calisto Preview, 6pm, on “Northwest Previews,” All Classical 89.9 fm.
3/8/2009 La Calisto Preview, 2pm, Multnomah County Central Library, FREE.


Opera Insights
These free and informative sessions, led by musicologist Bob Kingston, focus on the music and history behind the evening’s opera in ways that make the evening’s performance even more satisfying.
1 hour prior to each performance. First Balcony Level. FREE.


Back Talk
Immediately after each opera performance, audiences are invited to join General Director
Christopher Mattaliano and an interesting variety of guests that will include fresh-from-their-dressing-room performers, directors and conductors for a 20-30 minute Q&A. FREE. Orchestra Level.





Friday, Thursday, Saturday performances at 7:30pm, Sunday Matinee at 2:00pm


Regular tickets start at $25.00 and can be purchased:

BY PHONE: Portland Opera Box Office, 503-241-1802, Toll-free 866-739-6737,

(Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm).
Ticketmaster, 503-790-ARTS (days, evenings, and weekends)


ONLINE: www.ticketmaster.com


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
Portland Center for the Performing Arts (SW Broadway & Main.


6:30 RUSH: Students/Senior/Military, $10 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 production of
La Calisto, please visit our website at: www.portlandopera.org.