FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 12, 2011
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
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A Company First!

(Portland, Ore) – Portland Opera’s 47th season begins September 24 on a spectacular, star-studded note with a Company first—a concert dubbed BIG NIGHT.  The concert will be simulcast live—and free—on a huge, 20x40ft. screen hung on the front of Keller Auditorium for the street fair crowd partying in Keller Fountain Park. The evening represents Portland and its opera fans very nicely because everyone loves a concert of opera’s most beautiful music; whether Portlanders want to dress up and go inside to hear their opera, or prefer a more casual approach with food carts, the open sky and a couple of bands. Best of all, people that are unfamiliar with opera will have a wonderful time too. Rockabilly favorites,The Twangshifters will get everyone—opera fan or not—in the mood.  Electric Opera Company and Opera Theater Oregon will also be on hand to kick up a little non-traditional opera dust.

“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.  I’ve always wanted to start our season with something festive and celebratory,” he continued, “and 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 block between 3rd & 4th and Market & Clay in downtown Portland will bustle with activity not often seen on a Saturday night. The street fair begins at 5:00 PM and boasts the sounds of The Twangshifters, Electric Opera Company and Opera Theater Oregon’s Five Minute Faust.  There will be food carts, a wine and beer garden, and a couple of surprises.  In addition, after the concert and simulcast, the Marx Brothers comedy, “A Night at the Opera,” will be shown.  So pack up the picnic bag and blanket and make a night of it.

Soprano MARIA KANYOVA, tenor ROGER HONEYWELL and conductor GEORGE MANAHAN headline an evening of favorite opera arias and duets from the world’s most popular operas.  Add to that, the local stars of Portland Opera—the stellar Portland Opera Orchestra and Chorus— together on the Keller stage for the first time.

All proceeds from the evening will support our education programs.


Keller Fountain Park (3rd Ave. will be closed)

5-7:15 PM    Street Fair begins
Entertainment | Twangshifters, Electric Opera Company, Opera Theater Oregon
Food Carts | Oregon Ice Works, Bro Dogs & Slice Brick Oven Pizza, Beer & Wine garden
Macy’s Marx Brothers Big Heads

7:30 PM        Big Night concert & simulcast begins
Mayor Sam Adam’s welcoming remarks

9:15 PM        Notte Grande Gala (post concert Gala) begins inside Keller Auditorium
Marx Brothers film “A Night at the Opera” is shown outside

11:00        Event ends.


Maria Kanyova            Soprano                
Roger Honeywell*         Tenor    
Brendan Tuohy            Tenor
Lindsay Ohse †*             Soprano
Caitlin Mathes    †*         Mezzo Soprano
André Chiang     †*        Baritone
Nicholas Nelson †         Bass Baritone

Christopher Mattaliano        Host
George Manahan             Conductor                 

With the Portland Opera Chorus and Orchestra

* Portland Opera debut
† Portland Opera Studio Artist

For additional information.

PERFORMANCE         Friday, September 24, 2011, 7:30pm

(Calendar Editors Kindly Note)

Open Chorus Rehearsal at Director Park
As Portland Opera prepares to celebrate the opening of its 2011/12 Season with Big Night concert, it invites the public to an open chorus rehearsal in Director Park featuring the acclaimed Portland Opera Chorus.  Associate Music Director & Chorus Master Robert Ainsley will lead the 70-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.

09/18/11      3-5pm | Director Park (between SW Taylor & Yamhill and 9th & Park)  | Free

Big Night Preview

09/15/11    Big Night preview on “Northwest Previews,” All Classical 89.9 fm at 6pm.


BIG NIGHT  |  September 24, 2011 | 7:30 p.m.

BIG NIGHT (concert only)         $100, $75, $50

NOTTE GRANDE GALA         $250
(includes exclusive cocktail party before the concert, best seats in the house and party afterwards with the stars.)

Tickets can be purchased:

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).

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). 

GROUPS:     10 or more save up to 25% by calling Group Sales at 503-417-0573.

RUSH TICKETS: 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.

This free Simulcast of the Big Night Concert has been made possible through a generous grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, and Metro.

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