- Resident Artists
From Initial Conception to Critical Reception:
HOW DOES AN OPERA GET ON ITS FEET?
Learn about opera. Write an opera. Design an opera. Build an opera. Rehearse an opera. Sing an opera! And make a lot of new friends!
This summer, as a means of keeping opera fans engaged during the off season, Portland Opera has announced a highly interactive new seminar: From Initial Conception to Critical Reception: How Does an Opera Get on its Feet? This comprehensive, six-week class will give participants a hands-on understanding of how an opera company brings an opera to the stage. Beginning July 26, students will meet once a week for two hours in the evening at The Hampton Opera Center. Each week a different topic is explored. Beginning with the basic history of opera and traveling far into territory not normally open to the public. Students will find out what it’s like to write, design, build and rehearse an opera. They’ll even learn singing exercises and techniques, watch a mock audition and learn about the singer’s process of preparation. And some people just go to the beach for summer vacation!
Under the expert tutelage of Portland Opera’s Manager of Education and Outreach, Alexis Hamilton—who created the program—it is designed “to strengthen community and create something fun that gives people a deeper appreciation of opera.” In addition, students will meet and get to know many members of the Portland Opera staff, including General Director Christopher Mattaliano.
The class is limited to 30 and is appropriate for high school age and above. All classes are from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Hampton Opera Center. To register, please email Alexis Hamilton. The cost for the six-week class is $100 and is expected to fill, so prompt reservations are recommended.
Topics are as follows:
Break It Down | July 26
Brief history of opera. Conventions of opera. Building blocks of opera.
Write It | August 2
Write a libretto. Have it set. Hear it sung. Local composer John Vergin will take some of the work, set it to music and share it with the class.
Design It | August 9
Watch the design presentation. See the renderings. Ask questions. What’s your Concept? With Christopher Mattaliano, Scenic Designer Kurt Enderle and Costume Designer Sue Bonde.
Build It | August 16
Meet the Technical Director, Costumer, Props Master. See how they bring a design to l life. Challenge yourself to design and build a structure with strict time limitations, budget and material considerations. With Portland Technical Director Scot Burkhardt, Props Master Cindy Felice and Costume Mistress Frances Britt. Students will create the tallest free-standing structure they can for the least amount of money out of straws, paper clips and tape!
Sing It | August 23
Warm up with a singer. See how an audition works. Hear how singers land and learn a role. Learn how an auditor decides who to hire. With Alexis Hamilton, and singers Stacey Murdock and Anne McKee Reed and pianist Rob Ainsley.
Rehearse It | August 30
Meet our Production Stage Manager. Learn how a rehearsal runs. Watch a scene rehearsed. Try it yourself! With Production Stage Manager Jennifer Hammontree, Christopher Mattaliano, Stacey Murdock and Anne McKee Reed.