2009/10 Studio Artists Set to Arrive in August


CONTACT:  Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508

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Portland Opera is all set to welcome new members—a tenor, soprano and mezzo soprano—to its Studio Artist program.  They arrive in August and join the returning baritone to begin the fifth year of a program that has become a very successful and well-regarded program.  These talented young singers, in residency in Portland for the entire season, have also proven to be very popular with Portland audiences, both through their Portland Opera performances and their outreach efforts in the city.

“We are delighted to have such a talented group of young artists with us this season,” Mr. Mattaliano said.  “It will be a pleasure to share their talents with our public in many appearances throughout the community—at the Keller Auditorium, in the Newmark Theatre for Trouble in Tahiti, and at various venues and special events throughout the region.”

In 2005, the Company established the Portland Opera Studio program, designed to train the next generation of opera singers by providing a “bridge” from the conservatory world to the professional stage.  Selected at auditions around the country, young singers fresh from some of the nation’s finest vocal conservatories and music academies join the company for a rigorous nine-month training program during which they are featured in their own production.  Their training also includes voice, language and movement lessons and supporting roles in Company mainstage productions.

The Studio Artists yearly production has become a highly-anticipated event in Portland, delighting audiences with rarely heard works and beautiful young voices.  Previous productions include Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (2005), Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses (2006), Britten’s Albert Herring (2008) and Cavalli’s La Calisto (2009).


The 2009/10 Portland Opera Studio Artists                   


Returning for his second year in the  program is Portland native, baritone JOSÉ RUBIO.  He was born in Portland and grew up in Vancouver, WA.  He saw his very first opera, Rigoletto, at Portland Opera in 1998, so it was fitting that last season he played Marullo in Rigoletto and covered the title role.  During the 2008/09 season he also sang Baron Douphol in La Traviata and Mercury in La Calisto.  Prior to joining the Studio Artists, his roles included Rappaccini in La Hija de Rappaccini for the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and Marcello in La Bohème for Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca in Italy.  Also at Cincinnati College, he sang Bailli in Werther, Pausanias in Une Education Manqueé, and Son Beau-Pere in Le Pauvre Matelot.  His other credits include Big Bad Wolf in Three Little Pigs for Rising Star Opera Theater, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Betto in Gianni Schicchi for Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, and Colline in La Bohème for Tacoma Opera.  In 2002 he sang for the opening day of the Legislative Session in Olympia, WA and also for Archbishop Desmond Tutu Convocation in Seattle, WA.   He received his Masters of Music from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from University of Washington. This season Jose’s roles include Schaunard in La Bohème, Policeman in Orphée, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti and Fiorello in The Barber of Seville.  He will also cover the title role in Orphée.

Also from the Northwest is Soprano JENNIFER M. FORNI who hails from Puyallup, Washington.  Her credits include Nannetta in Falstaff and Coryphee in Alceste for Santa Fe Opera.  She covered the roles of Kitty in Anna Karenina, Berta in The Barber of Seville and sang 1st Nursemaid in Street Scene at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.  At the Maryland Opera Studio she sang Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin.  For Oberlin Opera Theatre she sang Mme. Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites and Minerva in Orpheus in the Underworld.  In concert she was the Soprano Soloist for French Melodies, The Song Continues for the Marilyn Horne Foundation, Knoxville, Summer of 1915 for Oregon Mozart Players and A Sea Symphony for Oberlin Orchestra Musical Union.  She graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received her Masters of Music from the University of Maryland where she was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio.  During the upcoming season she will sing Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Amore in Il Ballo Delle Ingrate and Clorinda in Il Combattimento Di Tancredi E Clorinda and cover the roles of Mimi in La Bohème, Eurydice in Orphée, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte.

Mezzo soprano DARYL FREEDMAN comes to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her opera credits include Juno in Semele, Thelma Yablonski in Later the Same Evening, Olga Olsen in Street Scene at Manhattan School of Music; Sorceress and Spirit in Dido and Aeneas at Central City Opera; Aloès and Zinnia in L’Étoile at Wolf Trap Opera; and she sang Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann, Soeur Cadette in Les Malheurs d’Orphee and covered the role of Meg in Falstaff at Temple University. Daryl graduated with a Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music.  She received a Bachelor of Music from Temple University and has been a member of the Central City Opera Studio, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice and Opera Theatre Music Festival of Lucca.  This season she will sing Aglaonice in Orphée, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti and Venere in Il Ballo Delle Ingrate and cover the roles of Dorabella in Così fan Tutte and Rosina in The Barber of Seville.

Tenor STEVEN BRENNFLECK is from Trenton, New Jersey.  His opera credits include Giuseppe in La Traviata at Glimmerglass Opera; Un Medico in La Bella Dormente and Un Dombien in Lakmé at Spoleto Festival USA; Lauri in Little Women, Remendado in Carmen,  Gaby in New York circa 1950, Trio in Trouble in Tahiti and Flute/Thisby in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Westminster Opera Theater; and Dr. Binch in Elmer Gantry at Montclair State University with Nashville Opera.  Steven has been a Soloist with Princeton Pro Musica, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Princeton Youth Orchestra, Princeton Baroque Orchestra and Westminster Choral Festival. He received both his Masters and Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College.  He was the winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in New Jersey and a finalist in The Marion Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists.  This summer he is a member of the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artists Program.  During the 2009/10 season he will sing Parpignol in La Bohème, Cegeste in Orphée, Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Testo in Il Combattimento Di Tancredi E Clorinda and Officer in The Barber of Seville.  He will cover Heurtebise in Orphée, Ferrando in Così fan Tutte and Almaviva in The Barber of Seville.


The Portland Opera Studio Program


The Portland Opera Studio Artist program is made possible through the generous support of Gwen Burns, Jeannine B. Cowles, Martha Fletcher McCourt, PGE Foundation, The Portland Opera Guild, and two generous Friends of Portland Opera.

In addition to supporting roles on the Keller Auditorium mainstage and numerous local appearances and concerts, these young artists are scheduled to perform in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and two one-act works by Monteverdi, Il Ballo Delle Ingrate (The Dance of the Ungrateful Women) and Il Combattimento Di Tancredi E Clorinda (The Battle of Tancredi & Clorinda) March 26, 28m, April 1, 3, 2010 in the Newmark Theatre.  The production will be directed by Nic Muni (The Turn of the Screw 2009), and conducted by Robert Ainsley (La Calisto 2009, Albert Herring 2008, The Return of Ulysses 2006).



in the Newmark Theatre
* company premiere


March 26, 28m, April 1, 3, 2010

All performances will take place at:
Newmark Theatre (located inside the Antoinette Hatfield Hall)
1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

For information about tickets or the Portland Opera production of
Trouble in Tahiti, please visit our web site at:  www.portlandopera.org.