January 27, 2017

Press Release: Portland Opera Introduces Inaugural Winter Event: Vino e Voce

On the heels of Valentine’s Day, the Portland Opera will introduce a new performance series entitled Vino e Voce, a unique offering of exciting productions that will take place in the Hampton Opera Center’s recently named Gregory K. and Mary Chomenko Hinckley Studio Theater. The inaugural performance will be a fully staged evening of Monteverdi’s Songs of Love and War with performances February 17, 19m, 21, 23, & 25.

In 1607 Claudio Monteverdi (at the age of 40) composed the earliest opera that still remains in the current repertory, L’Orfeo. Thirty-one years later, he created his eighth book of madrigals, known as the Songs of Love and War. The poetry in these madrigals uses the metaphor of war to describe love. In total, Monteverdi composed nine books of madrigals – essentially “song books” – that contain a series of vocal solos, duets, trios, quartets and other ensembles.

“For this production, I’ve selected madrigals from Books 7, 8 and 9,” says General Director Christopher Mattaliano, who will direct the production. “The poetry in these songs is surprisingly “modern” in viewpoint, covering a wide range of emotion and content: courtship and seduction, sensual attraction, unrequited love, sexual passion, betrayal, lovers at war, and the tension between chastity and sensual pleasure”.

While there is no “story,” per se, to the evening, each song tells it’s own mini-story. Each is a vignette – a woman’s lament about her lover’s betrayal, a man’s comically inept attempt to seduce a woman, a trio of men who plead with their lovers to stop fighting, etc. – that describe the human experience and creates a portrait of the human heart – with its highs, lows, and many contradictions.

“Monteverdi was the first great genius of opera composers and one feels the birth of opera as we know it just around the corner in these madrigals” says Mr. Mattaliano, “The music to these songs can be startling, intense, and is often stunningly beautiful. It is emotionally direct and capable of being quite moving. With the singers as close as 10 feet away, the audience will feel as if they’re experiencing the opera in their own living room.”

With this new performance series, the opera company is able to welcome the audience into its home during the winter months, where they can experience the intimacy and immediacy of the 225-seat Hinckley Studio Theater. It’s also an opportunity to explore less familiar repertory artistically. Each ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine and an introductory talk with General Director Christopher Mattaliano before the show.*

The performance is approximately one hour and 20 minutes in length, sung in Italian with English surtitles.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
•    Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 2pm
•    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7:30pm *Special Young Patrons and Student Performance: No alcohol served; no pre-show talk
•    Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7:30pm
•    Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 7:30pm

EVENING PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
6:30 pm – 7 pm: Pre-show talk with Christopher Mattaliano
7 pm – 7:30 pm: Complimentary wine served.
7:30 pm: Performance
Post-show Q&A with Christopher Mattaliano and guest performers

MATINEE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
1 pm – 1:30 pm: Pre-show talk with Christopher Mattaliano
1:30 pm – 2 pm: Complimentary wine served.
2 pm: Performance
Post-show Q&A with Christopher Mattaliano and guest performers

THE CAST
Soprano Soloist            Lindsay Ohse
Soprano Soloist            Antonia Tamer
Mezzo-Soprano Soloist  Kate Farrar
Tenor Soloist                Aaron Short
Baritone Soloist            Ryan Thorn
Bass Soloist                 James Harrington

THE CREATIVE TEAM
Stage Director             Christopher Mattaliano
Conductor                   Nicholas Fox
Costume Designer       Christine Richardson
Lighting Designer        Jonathan “Bearclaw” Hart

The Portland Opera encourages patrons to consider public transportation options as The Hampton Opera Center is located next to the OMSI/SE Water transit station. With the opening of Tilikum Crossing, this venue now includes accessibility to the Portland Streetcar, TriMet buses, and MAX light rail service.

GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY
The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation
The Collins Foundation
Meyer Memorial Trust
Regional Arts & Culture Council
Work for Art
Oregon Arts Commission

TICKET INFORMATION
PRICE: $65 per regular ticket, $10 for student tickets on Feb. 21
PHONE: 503-241-1802, Toll-free 866-739-6737, M-F, 9-5, Ticketmaster, (800) 982-ARTS (days, evenings, and weekends)
ONLINE: PortlandOpera.org or Ticketmaster.com (enter promo code: SONGS)
IN-PERSON: Portland Opera, 211 SE Caruthers St. (south of OMSI, east of Water.) M-F, 9-5, All Ticketmaster Outlets