Portland Opera's production of GALILEO GALILEI to be commercially recorded.


CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508





Orange Mountain Music to make the first-ever commercial recording of

Philip Glass’ 2002 opera, Galileo Galilei


Portland, Ore. –  Portland Opera has announced plans to record their upcoming production of the west coast premiere of Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei.  The second commercial recording for Portland Opera—and its first 21st century opera—it follows the Company’s historic recording of Philip Glass’ Orphée in 2009; a recording voted “Ten Best of the Year” by Opera News.


Portland Opera now turns from the full-scale drama of Orphée to the intimacy of Galileo Galilei—a chamber opera for nine singers and 15 instrumentalists. Composed in 2002, it is Glass’ 18th opera with a libretto by the noted American writer and director Mary Zimmerman. Based on the life of the Italian astronomer, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), it’s presented in one act consisting of 10 scenes without a break.


Orphée was a wonderful experience and a highlight in Portland Opera’s 47-year history,” said Portland Opera General Director Christopher Mattaliano. “Having Philip Glass here energized both the Company and the community.” 


After the recording, Mattaliano asked Glass about his chamber operas and was sent the score for Galileo Galilei.  “I’m very excited to be doing this in the Newmark Theatre” said Mattaliano, “and with the recording,” he continued, “to introduce to the world, a great work by a great living composer.  It is a source of tremendous pride for our staff, board, orchestra, and guest artists to be involved in such an important, historic project.”


“We’re very fortunate to have Anne Manson back to conduct Galileo,” said Mattaliano.  The New York Times reviewed Orphée and declared, “An excellent recording. . . . The vibrant Ms. Manson works effectively to bring transparency and balance to the orchestra, without the loss of plush colors and harmonic intensity.”


Mr. Mattaliano was also clear in his appreciation for the cooperation from all of the unions involved—the American Federation of Musicians, the American Guild of Musical Artists, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.  “This recording would not have been possible without their welcome and appreciated participation,” he said.


Michael Riesman, music director and principal keyboardist of the Philip Glass Ensemble, will produce the CD for Orange Mountain Music. Orange Mountain Music’s mission is to archive all of Philip Glass’ music so that as many of his compositions as possible are available commercially. The commercial release of Portland Opera’s Galileo Galilei is currently set for late 2012 complete with libretto and production photographs.  Orange Mountain Music is distributed by harmonia mundi usa.



Galileo Galilei opens Friday, March 30 in the Newmark Theatre, with additional performances on April 1m, 3, 5, 7.  All five performances in the Newmark Theatre will be recorded live.  


The production—and the recording—features the following artistic cast:

LINDSAY OHSE+Maria Celeste, Duchess Christina
CAITLIN MATHES+Maria Maddalena, A Scribe
ANDRÉ CHIANG +Younger Galileo, Salviati
NICHOLAS NELSON+Pope Urban VIII, Cardinal Barberini, Simplicio
JOSÉ RUBIO^Cardinal 3, Priest
JOHN HOLIDAY*Cardinal 1, Oracle 1
MATTHEW HAYWARDCardinal 2, Servant, Oracle 2
ANNE MCKEE REEDSagredo, Marie de’ Medici, Eos


+ Portland Opera Studio Artist

^ Former Portland Opera Studio Artist

* Portland Opera debut


Portland Opera singers are members of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AFL-CIO) the labor union representing professional singers, dancers and staging personnel in the United States.