Portland Opera's Candide, May 11, 13m, 17, 19, 2012

In the Age of Enlightenment, people thought they lived in “the best of all possible worlds” because of the power of human reason. Armed with that belief, our naïve hero, Candide, ventures out into the big wide world expecting to find truth, beauty and wonder. He finds instead pestilence, plague, and pox (to name but a few)!

 

Some 40 fast-paced scenes whisk our hero around the globe—and us along with him—in a galloping, humorous and touching trip.

 

Where does he end up? Right back where he started … but with a slightly changed view of life. Yes, there’s evil. Yes, there’s good. And when it’s all tallied up, it’s not such a bad life after all. (It helps, of course, that he gets the girl in the end!)

 

Sung in English with projections above the stage.

 

Performances held at the Keller Auditorium.

 

CAST

CandideJonathan Boyd
Voltaire / Pangloss / Cacambo / MartinRobert Orth
CunegondeRachele Gilmore
Governor / Vanderdendur / RagotskiMark A. Thomsen
Old LadyAnn McMahon Quintero
PaquetteCaitlin Mathes
MaximilianAndré Chiang
  
ConductorCal Stewart Kellogg
Stage DirectorChristopher Mattaliano

 

*This show contains adult themes and situations, may not be appropriate for children under thirteen

CANDIDE PLOT

 

Voltaire narrates the story of “Candide, or Optimism.”

 

Act I - We meet the four happiest young people in Westphalia: Maximilian (son of the Baron Thunder-ten-Tronck), Cunegonde (daughter of the Baron), Paquette (serving maid to the Baroness), and Candide (illegitimate cousin to the Baron’s family) (“Life is Happiness Indeed”). All four are students of the enigmatic tutor, Dr. Pangloss, who teaches them that they live in the best of all possible worlds (“The Best of All Possible Worlds”). Candide and Cunegonde discover love (“Oh, Happy We”), but Candide, being illegitimate and having no quarterings, is banished by the Baron when he asks for Cunegonde’s hand in marriage. Despondent, he takes comfort in Panglossian doctrine, and remains convinced that some good must come of his tragedy - in this, the best of all possible worlds (“It Must Be So”). 

 

As he starts his journey, Candide meets two army officers, who trick him into joining the Bulgar army. He lives through a horrific battle, only to find Cunegonde’s body among the dead (“Candide’s Lament”). Bereft, he leaves Westphalia, and meets up again with Dr. Pangloss, the sole survivor of the Baron’s household. They are befriended by a kindly Anabaptist, who takes them on board his ship bound for Lisbon. When the ship sinks in a storm, they float on a plank to Lisbon. As they make landfall, a volcano erupts, causing an earthquake. Before the day is out, Candide is flogged, and Dr. Pangloss is hanged for his heretical views concerning Free Will (“Auto-de Fe”). Candide still believes that all must somehow be for the best (“It Must Be So”). 

           

Candide travels to Paris, where he is shocked to find Cunegonde alive (“Glitter and Be Gay” “You Were Dead, You Know”). She tells him of her difficult life, for she is now a kept woman - lover to both, the wealthy Jew Don Issachar, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris. Candide inadvertently kills both men. With the help of Cunegonde’s companion, the Old Lady, they escape to Cadiz (“I Am Easily Assimilated”). There, Candide meets a half-caste South American named Cacambo, who tells him of opportunities to be found in the New World. With Cacambo on board, Candide, Cunegonde, and the Old Lady set sail for South America (“Quartet Finale”). 

 

Act II - The Governor of Buenos Aires is pleased to inspect a shipment of new slaves, among them, Maximilian and Paquette (reports of their deaths having been greatly exaggerated). As Candide and Cunegonde arrive in the New World, the Governor is smitten with Cunegonde (“My Love”). And no sooner have the lovers arrived, that they must be separated again. Candide must flee to avoid execution for the murders committed in Paris, while Cunegonde is left to suffer a life of luxury and boredom as the Governor’s mistress (“Quiet”).

           

Candide and Cacambo flee Buenos Aires and wander for many days, eventually discovering the secret city of El Dorado. The friendly natives there give Candide several sheep laden with gold (“The Ballad of Eldorado”). Unfortunately, as Candide and trusty Cacambo make their way back to civilization, they lose all but two of the sheep. They arrive in the Dutch colony of Surinam, where they meet a merchant named Vanderdendur, and a bitter street cleaner named Martin (“Words, Words, Words”). Vanderdendur reminds Candide that he cannot return to Buenos Aires because of the price on his head. Candide sends Cacambo with one sheep’s worth of gold to ransom Cunegonde away from the Governor. They plan to meet again in Venice, a free state where their various troubles cannot follow. 

 

The greedy Vanderdendur realizes what Candide’s sheep is carrying and keeps the animal on his ship, while selling Candide a leaky old wreck, which cannot stay afloat (“Bon Voyage”). Candide and Martin set sail. After a terrible storm at sea, Martin drowns, but Candide is rescued by a passing ship. He is amazed to discover that one of the galley slaves rowing the ship is his old tutor, Dr. Pangloss, who miraculously survived his hanging in Lisbon. Candide pays for Pangloss’ freedom, and they travel to Venice to find Cunegonde.

 

Once in Venice, Candide encounters Paquette (now a prostitute) and Maximilian (now Prefect of Police). Cacambo appears, explaining that he ransomed and rescued Cunegonde and the Old Lady, but they were attacked at sea by pirates, and now the ladies are owned by Prince Ragotski, head of the most notorious casino in Venice.

 

Candide rushes to the casino, where he finds a luxurious crowd of hoodlums and thieves, all in masks (“What’s The Use?”). A masked woman attempts to swindle him out of his remaining gold. As her mask falls, Candide is stunned to see Cunegonde. He finally breaks (“Nothing More Than This”).

           

Utterly disillusioned, Candide has had enough of the foolish Panglossian ideal. With what little is left of his gold, he buys a small farm outside Venice, where he hopes to make some sense of life (“Make Our Garden Grow”).
 

Christopher Mattaliano

      

Too Many Geniuses: The Making of Bernstein’s Candide

 

“I had only one lyric in it … Thank God I wasn’t there while it was going on. There were too many geniuses at work.” --Dorothy Parker, contributing lyricist, 1956

 

“If you catch Lenny re-writing my lyrics, clip his piano wires!” --Richard Wilbur, contributing lyricist, 1956

 

“It seems to me I’ve been working on Candide all of my life…” --Lillian Hellman, Candide’s original librettist, 1956

 

“My direction skipped along with the effortless grace of a freight train heavy-laden on a steep gradient. As a result even the score was thrown out of key. Rossini and Cole Porter seemed to have been rearranging Götterdämmerung.” --Tyrone Guthrie, director on the 1956 opening

 

“Keep up your peckers!” --Tyrone Guthrie, exhorting the audience to be patient with the production, opening night, 1956

 

“I was almost knocked down by people trying to get out of the theater! --Lester Osterman, associate producer, 1956

 

Based upon Voltaire’s scathing satire of the same title, Bernstein’s Candide has wandered through the American theater almost as aimlessly as Voltaire’s hapless hero. Originally billed as a “comic operetta,” Candide opened on October 29, 1956 at Boston’s Colonial Theatre to mixed reviews. Already a darling of the American musical scene, Leonard Bernstein had collaborated with some of the most brilliant theatrical and literary figures of the time. The lyrics were by John La Touche and Richard Wilbur, with contributions from Dorothy Parker. The original libretto was adapted from Voltaire by Lillian Hellman. The libretto was Hellman’s first attempt for the musical stage and, fairly or unfairly, criticisms of this initial version of the show center largely around  Hellman’s book, which, just as Voltaire’s had, used Candide’s blind faith in Dr. Pangloss’ philosophy of optimism to satirize current events: in mid-century America, for Hellman, this meant the blind paranoia of Senator McCarthy’s reign of terror.

 

Candide seems an unlikely candidate for the musical theater. Voltaire’s novel is a tight, episodic, globe-trotting 87 pages, seemingly impossible to adapt or produce. But it spoke uniquely to Hellman and Bernstein in the 1950s. Both artists had had run-ins with the McCarthy witch-hunts, and as Bernstein put it in 1989 during the recording of the “final revised version”:


“The particular evil which impelled Lillian Hellman to choose Candide and present it to me as the basis for a musical stage work was what we now quaintly and, alas, faintly recall as McCarthyism—an “ism” so akin to that Spanish Inquisition … as to curdle the blood. This was a period in the early ‘50s of our own century… when everything that America stood for seemed to be on the verge of being ground under the heel of that junior Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy and his inquisitorial henchmen. That was the time of the Hollywood Blacklist—television censorship, lost jobs, suicides, expatriation and the denial of passports to anyone even suspected of having once known a suspected
Communist.”


So, there was a compelling “why,” but the “how” was still a question. It was not for lack of talent or effort that Candide has had such a troubled theatrical journey to the final, triumphant “opera house” version arrived at in 1989. There have been seven official versions of Candide attempted over the years, with three distinct chapters in its development, the most interesting of which was the first. How could it be that such a powerhouse team as that assembled to put Candide on the stage should have failed so miserably with the public on its first run?

 

Most critics have laid the blame squarely on Hellman’s shoulders and what has been called her “ponderous book.” Those actually participating in the creation of the piece, according to Bernstein biographer Humphrey Burton, “blamed themselves as well as others.” Director Tyrone Guthrie had a uniquely sympathetic view of Hellman’s tireless work on this quixotic project:


“Hellman fought this battle with one hand tied behind her back. We had all agreed that when necessity demanded,we would choose singers to do justice to the score, rather than actors who could handle the text but for whom the score must be reduced. Consequently, line after line situation after situation fell flat on its face because—no blame to them—singers were asked to do something for which they had no gift nor experience nor understanding. Miss. Hellman stooped fatally to conquer. None of her good qualities as a writer showed to advantage. This was no medium for hard-hitting argument, shrewd, humorous characterization, the slow revelation of true values and the exposure of false ones.”


Hellman had had huge success in the theater. Author of The Children’s Hour and The Little Foxes (which was later adapted into the opera Regina by Marc Blitzstein), to name but two, Hellman had no experience with the Broadway musical and, according to lyricist Richard Wilbur, “didn’t really like musicians.” But Bernstein had faith in her genius. Or, perhaps, in his own. Guthrie felt that perhaps, the “diamond quality brilliance” of Bernstein seemed to quench “whatever share of lightness and gaiety and dash we might possibly have been able to contribute.” Wilbur bitterly recalled that Bernstein thought he could write lyrics better than the lyricists, and had to talk himself out of quitting after one encounter. But it is actually Bernstein’s score that has stood the test of time, and indeed, rescued the show from obscurity.

 

When the show opened, the critics’ reviews were mixed, but generally, if guardedly, favorable, with one memorable exception: a complete pan by Walter Kerr. But the public did not like it. The score was universally praised, but the libretto was characterized as “clumsy and plodding,” not to mention, “pretentious and freighted with allegory and symbol.” Although the show made it to New York in December of the same year as its cataclysmic Boston opening, it closed after only 73 performances. With typical show-biz flair, the Entertainment Newsletter for February 16, 1957 summed up the show’s failure thus: “What happened was that they put in too much longhair for Joe Schmoe, and too much crap for the longhair crew.”

 

Critic John Chapman, who himself liked the show, put it more bluntly, “It was O.P.E.R.A. [Also], it does not have a romantic plot according to Broadway standards and it does not have any songs in it which can be delivered by the disc jockeys or hung on the appalling dispiriting record racks of juke boxes in saloons and dining-car hash-houses.” In other words, no one could figure out what genre Candide belonged to. It was written for Broadway, but even Bernstein admitted in an article in The New York Times that it was an operetta, and that led to its billing being changed to “comic operetta,” potentially confusing the Broadway ticket buyers.

 

It was the release of the original-cast album that saved Candide from the “where-is-it-now?” file. This recording created a kind of cult following still in evidence today. Because of this, and the popularity of the overture in concert halls, interest in producing the show never really died. Instead, a string of versions and attempts to clean up the score and clarify the story proliferated, culminating in the highly successful 1973 Harold Prince version, which ran on Broadway for a happy and successful two years. But the music was gutted. In paring down the show to 103 minutes, Prince had thrown out the libretto and hired Hugh Wheeler to return to Voltaire and re-adapt the story. Stephen Sondheim was recruited to re-work some of the lyrics and John Mauceri came on board as the musical director. Music was moved around, taken out of order, given to different characters. Much of the music was lost, but a framework was gained. Positive reviews followed. But Bernstein, who was not involved in this version, was disappointed that so much was lost. As were opera houses, which began clamoring for an “opera house” version, to be based upon Wheeler’s book, and to include the music lost from the 1956 version. In 1982, for Scottish Opera, Mauceri obliged, and this time, Bernstein was included in the process.

 

This version kept some of the better features of the slick Broadway version, but also returned to Hellman’s scenario, which allowed much of the music to be reinstated. Nevertheless, the libretto is now credited to Hugh Wheeler, with lyrics by Richard Wilbur, and additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman and Leonard Bernstein. Quite a gaggle of geniuses, still! It is this version that has found favor with the opera house and the version that Portland Opera will present.

 

Many of the questions that set Candide upon its meandering road in 1956 are unanswered today. Is it a musical comedy? Is it an opera? Operetta? The musical scope suggests an opera; certainly the demands placed on the singer would indicate this, but the treatment of the subject and the spoken dialogue evoke musical comedy or operetta. How does one make music theater out of satire? With Candide one can see how and why, even if one does not know what to call it. Ultimately, Candide is a delightful entertainment, and, perhaps, “in the best of all possible worlds,” that will be enough.
 

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

Leonard Bernstein

“How did I know he was going to become Leonard Bernstein?” —Samuel Bernstein, Leonard’s father

 

Samuel Bernstein never wanted his son to be a musician. A Russian Jewish immigrant who escaped the pogroms and literally worked his way up from penniless young man to an American success story with a good business to leave his son, Samuel Bernstein wanted more for his child than to become what he thought of as a wastrel klezmer. But Leonard was to grow into a cornerstone of American music, a conductor, composer and educator who introduced a generation of
Americans to art music.

 

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on August 25, 1918. He made his conducting debut while attending Harvard University and in 1942, began his long association with Tanglewood. Bernstein became an overnight success in 1943 when he stepped in for an indisposed Bruno Walter and conducted a critically acclaimed radio broadcast of the New York Philharmonic.

 

From then on, Bernstein was a star. As a conductor, he was instantly recognizable through his affiliations with the New York City Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, Tanglewood, Brandeis, New York Philharmonic, Harvard and the Vienna Philharmonic. Despite his busy conducting and teaching schedule, Bernstein composed a variety of works, including Trouble in Tahiti (1952), Candide (1956), West Side Story (1957) and two more symphonies. His music is a skillful amalgamation of musical styles, incorporating jazz, dance rhythms, pop ballads and magnificent symphonic passages reminiscent of Mahler and Beethoven. Despite his popularity, or perhaps because of it, he struggled for many years with the musical establishment because his music was accessible and listenable, which, at the time, implied that it was not “artistic” or “serious.”

 

One of the reasons Bernstein is universally recognized as the first American musician to really achieve worldwide status as a conductor, composer, pianist, author and teacher was his affiliation with CBS. This fruitful partnership began in 1954, when he conducted Beethoven’s 5th for CBS’ "Omnibus." He then helped develop and teach the "Young People’s Concerts," which aired on CBS from 1958 to 1972. The Young People’s Concerts were many Americans’ introduction into the world of classical music.

 

His accomplishments with CBS brought Bernstein to the attention of Leo Kirch, who headed Unitel, a corporation that produced and distributed films for television and movie houses. Bernstein partnered with Unitel in 1971 and helped create 120 hours of programming, including his final production with Unitel on December 25, 1989, when he conducted Beethoven’s 9th Symphony from the fallen Berlin Wall. This concert was telecast live to more than 20 countries, reaching over 100 million viewers.

 

Having received so much support and inspiration from his mentors, Bernstein was dedicated to nurturing young musicians and so sought to develop programs to educate and inspire up and coming music makers. In addition to his teaching at Tanglewood, he established the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Three months after its inauguration, Bernstein died on October 14, 1990. He was mourned by a world to which he had presented “serious” music in an accessible and unique way, and he destroyed the artificial barriers and assumptions about classical music which had intimidated lay audiences. His greatest legacy is creating relevance for classical music in the minds of many Americans and teaching them that music is for everyone and that it matters.

 

 

Cal Stewart Kellogg - Conductor

Previously at Portland Opera: Street Scene, 2005

Cal Stewart Kellogg is Music Director of the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.  He is also a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the world.

 

Cal Stewart Kellogg - Conductor

Previously at Portland Opera:  Street Scene, 2005


Cal Stewart Kellogg is Music Director of the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.  He is also a regular guest of opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the world. In North America, he enjoyed an uninterrupted sixteen year association with the Washington Opera (for whom he conducted twenty-four productions) and, for three seasons, was Principal Conductor of the Arizona Opera (for whom he has conducted fourteen productions) following three seasons as Music Director for the Austin Lyric Opera (for whom he conducted eight productions).  Other companies for whom he has led productions include the Baltimore Opera, Canadian Opera, Calgary Opera, Cleveland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Connecticut Opera, Edmonton Opera, Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee), Houston Grand Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Columbus, L'Opera de Montreal, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Portland Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Vancouver Opera, Utah Opera, plus the festivals at Chautauqua, Santa Fe, Spoleto and Wolf Trap. In Italy, he has led productions for the opera companies of Florence, Genoa, Naples and Parma. He has also conducted opera at the Edinburgh Festival and Israel Festival. In New York, he conducted Balfe's Bohemian Girl and The Tender Land at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse.


This season, he will return to the Arizona Opera to conduct Lucia di Lammermoor and to Opera Ontario for their “Popera” program in addition to his concerts with the Mesa Symphony.


Mr. Kellogg has earned praise as a guest symphonic conductor with the Antwerp Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Symphony and in Italy with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the radio orchestras of Rome, Naples and Turin.  In North America, he has conducted the Baltimore Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, New World Symphony, Orchestra of Illinois, Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida and at the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A.  He served as Music Director of the Virginia Chamber Orchestra.


Mr. Kellogg attained international attention as the first-prize winner of the Gino Marinuzzi Conducting Competition and co-winner of the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition.  He made his operatic debut with the Rome Opera leading a production of Nino Rota's Aladido alla Lampada Magica and New York City Opera debut conducting Gian Carlo Menotti's The Saint of Bleeker Street, both at the requests of the composers.  He earned a diploma in conducting from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under the tutelage of Franco Ferrara, during which time he also earned diplomas in composition and bassoon.

 

Christopher Mattaliano - Director

Portland Opera's General Director

Christopher Mattaliano was named Portland Opera’s fifth General Director in July 2003. In this capacity, he is responsible for all artistic, financial, and administrative aspects of the company.

 

 

Christopher Mattaliano - Director

Portland Opera's General Director

Christopher Mattaliano was named Portland Opera’s fifth General Director in July 2003. In this capacity, he is responsible for all artistic, financial, and administrative aspects of the company.


Previous to this appointment, Mr. Mattaliano was the Artistic Director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, in addition to his very successful career as a stage director.


He brings to the company an intense artistic vision honed from his extensive stage directing experience. Prior to taking the helm at Portland Opera, Mr. Mattaliano achieved considerable regional success, directing five acclaimed Portland Opera productions—Manon (1991), Eugene Onegin (1992), Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (1997 and 2000), Candide (2002), and Il Trovatore (2002). In 2004, his direction of Rossini's The Journey to Reims opened his first artistic season in Portland to both popular and critical acclaim.  Since then he has directed The Rape of Lucretia (2005), Verdi's Macbeth (2006), The Magic Flute (2007), Cinderella (2007), Albert Herring (2008), Rigoletto (2009), The Barber of Seville (2010), Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (2010), and L’Heure Espagnole/L’Enfant et les Sortileges (2011).


Mr. Mattaliano has directed North American productions for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, L’Opera de Montreal, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Dallas Opera, Central City Opera, among many others. His work has also been enjoyed internationally at L’Opera de Nice and the Norwegian National Opera.


He has directed world premieres of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther for the New York City Opera, jazz composer Fred Ho’s Journey Beyond the West for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Westergaard’s The Tempest for the Opera Festival of New Jersey, and the American premiere of Fleischman’s Rothschild’s Violin at the Juilliard Opera Center.


His passion for stage direction has extended well beyond the stages of those many companies. He has taught at the Juilliard School, the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, Mannes College of Music, and the New National Theater of Japan. In 1996 his essay on auditioning (“The Dreaded Audition”) was published by OPERA America.


Mr. Mattaliano received his BA in Theater Arts from Montclair State University with additional training at the Trent Park School of Performing Arts in London, England. In 1998 he received the L. Howard Fox Visiting Alumni Award from his alma mater as well as a National Opera Institute Stage Direction Grant.


Since joining the company, his presence is in considerable demand on the national level, leading the keynote panel at the 2004 OPERA America conference in Pittsburgh and being named to the National Endowment for the Arts’ opera review panel. He was recently elected to serve on OPERA America’s Board of Directors.

 

 

 

Jonathan Boyd - Candide

Tenor

Previously at Portland Opera: Jacquino, Fidelio, 2008;  Tamino, The Magic Flute, 2007;  Sam Kaplan, Street Scene, 2005

Tenor Jonathan Boyd continually performs throughout Europe, North America
and South America. Upcoming engagements include his Seattle Opera debut as
Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, his San Diego Opera debut in Jake Heggie’s Moby
Dick
as Ishmael...

Jonathan Boyd - Candide

Tenor

Previously at Portland Opera: Jacquino, Fidelio, 2008;  Tamino, The Magic Flute, 2007;  Sam Kaplan, Street Scene, 2005

 

Tenor Jonathan Boyd continually performs throughout Europe, North America and South America. Upcoming engagements include his Seattle Opera debut as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, his San Diego Opera debut in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick as Ishmael, his Atlanta Opera debut as Edgardo in Lucia Di Lammermoor,the title role of Candide at the Portland Opera, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Arizona Opera, Tamino in a concert version of Die Zauberflöte with Baltimore Symphony and Sam in Susannah with Florentine Opera.

 

Noted European engagements over the past few seasons include debuts at Opéra de Nice and Opéra de Toulon as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Teatro Colón in a live television broadcast as Werther; Opera Royal de Wallonie in Belgium as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni; Le Grand Théâtre de Limoges as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Fenton in Falstaff; Malta National Theater and Festival Lyrique-en-mer de Belle Île as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Opera Faber in Portugal, Théâtre de l’Athénée and St-Quentin en Yvelines in France as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, and his role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with Akouna, Opéra en plein air in France.

 


Most recent North American engagements from the past few seasons include Narraboth in Salome and a return as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Dallas Opera; Alfredo in La Traviata at Opera Carolina; Roméo in Roméo et Juliette at the Utah Symphony & Opera, Nashville Opera and Michigan Opera Theater; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at the Portland Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Opera Cleveland and Arizona Opera; Don Ottavio and Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Nashville Opera; and his role debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera New Jersey. In concert, most recent performances are Rachmaninoff’s Vespers with the Choral Arts Society (DC), Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony, Haydn's Creation with the Flint Symphony and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Princeton Symphony.

 

The Corning, New York native has previously performed in San Francisco Opera’s productions of Falstaff, Turandot, The Merry Widow (released on DVD), and Mother of Us All. Since his apprenticeship with Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Mr. Boyd has returned in numerous roles such as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Camille in The Merry Widow. In addition, Mr. Boyd made his role debuts as Sam in Street Scene with Portland Opera, Sam in Susannah with Opera Columbus and L’Opéra de Montréal, and several roles with the Sarasota Opera Nadir in Les Pêcheurs des Perles, Fenton in Falstaff, and Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte.

 

Mr. Boyd has an extensive repertoire in 20th century operas including Michigan Opera Theatre’s world premiere of Margaret Garner as George Hancock, and New York City Opera’s productions of Mother of Us All and Central Park. Composer Lee Hoiby personally chose Mr. Boyd for the role of Romeo in his opera Romeo and Juliet, which he subsequently sang in the semi-staged performances at the Opera America convention in Vancouver, as well as with New York City Opera, Stamford Symphony in Connecticut, and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center.

 

Mr. Boyd has appeared in concert with the New York Philharmonic in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion conducted by Maestro Kurt Masur, the Philadelphia Orchestra in a recording of I Pagliacci with Maestro Riccardo Muti, the Choral Arts Society as Tenor Soloist in Haydn’s Creation at the Kennedy Center, at Carnegie Hall in Mozart’s Requiem, the Baltimore Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, as well
as with Maestro Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, and returned for a Bach’s E flat Magnificat and Cantata 110. Additionally, Mr. Boyd was the tenor soloist for Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, tenor soloist in Finzi’s Dies Natalis and Britten’s Les Illuminations with with I Musici de Montréal, and made his debut with Virginia Symphony in the
live television broadcast of Rimsky Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri in the role of Mozart.

 

Learn  at  http://www.jonathanboyd-tenor.com/

 

Rachele Gilmore - Cunegonde

Soprano

Portland Opera Debut 

Coloratura Soprano Rachele Gilmore has established herself as one of America’s leading young coloratura sopranos, combining a dynamic stage presence with a silvery timbre and effortless high register...

 

Rachele Gilmore - Cunegonde

Soprano

Portland Opera Debut 

 

Coloratura Soprano Rachele Gilmore has established herself as one of America’s leading young coloratura sopranos, combining a dynamic stage presence with a silvery timbre and effortless high register.


To begin the 2010-2011 season, Ms. Gilmore returns to the Metropolitan Opera covering the role of Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, after which she will sing the roles of Das Feuer and Die Nachtigall in L’enfant et les sortileges with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich led by Kent Nagano.  She then returns to Knoxville Opera to make her role debut as Elvira in  Bellini’s I Puritani, and in the spring she will take the stage as Gilda in Rigoletto with Michigan Opera Theater.  


Rachele Gilmore's 2011-2012 season will include her debut with Teatro alla Scala, as Olympia in Robert Carsen’s production of Les contes d’Hoffmann; Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opéra de Vichy, a reprisal of Das Feur and Die Nachtigall with the Bayerische Staatsoper, and Cunegonde in Candide with Portland Opera. Future seasons will include a debut with Opera Company of Philadelphia


Most noteable in 2009, Ms. Gilmore made a “show-stopping” debut with the Metropolitan Opera in the role of Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffman, according the Classical Source.  “She brought down the house with her flawless coloratura,” solidifying her position as one of the most exciting young coloraturas to watch.  Ms. Gilmore began the 2009-2010 season as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Indianapolis Opera, and performed this role later in the season for Boston Lyric Opera. In February of 2010, Ms. Gilmore made her house and role debut at Knoxville Opera in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor. In the spring, she sang the title role in the groundbreaking Swiss premiere of Unsuk Chin's Alice in Wonderland with Grand Théâtre de Genève.


The 2008-2009 season saw Ms. Gilmore make her European debut with Deutsche Oper am Rhein, singing Blondchen in Die entführung aus dem Serail.


Other notable appearances included: a return to Toledo for Mahler's 2nd Symphony with the Toledo Symphony, Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera New Jersey, and an important debut with Opera Hong Kong for a series of Opera Gala Concerts. In the summer of 2009, the soprano reprised the role of Blondchen for further performances with Deutsche Oper am Rhein and in a return to Opera New Jersey.


Rachele Gilmore began her 2007 season with her Carnegie Hall debut singing Mozart’s Coronation Mass and John Rutter’s Requiem with Maestro Rutter conducting.   In November, she made her debut with Orlando Opera, singing the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni.  She continued the season with an exciting Gala Concert of Richard Strauss’ music with Toledo Opera under the baton of Maestro Thomas Conlin.  She then returned to Carnegie Hall to sing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass in March.  In May, she made a triumphant debut as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Indianapolis Opera.


Ms. Gilmore has been recognized by a number of foundations and prestigious competitions. During the summer of 2007, she was chosen as a Zarzuela Winner in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia World Opera Contest in Paris.  She is a First Place Winner of the 2008 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition as well as the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, where she also received the Audience Choice Award.  Also in 2008, she was a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Other awards include Third Prize in the 2007 Jensen Foundation Competition and recognition from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Opera Index Foundation, the George London Foundation Competition and the Richard Tucker Foundation.


Ms. Gilmore received her Bachelor’s of Music from Indiana University and continued with Graduate studies at Boston University.  She was a member of the Young Artist Programs of Glimmerglass Opera (for two seasons), Florida Grand Opera, and Aspen Music Festival’s Opera Center.  Rachele Gilmore has been mentored by world-renowned sopranos Carol Vaness and Virginia Zeani, and continues her studies with New York teacher Michael Paul.

 http://www.rachelegilmore.com/about-me/

 

Robert Orth - Voltaire / Pangloss / Cacambo / Martin

Baritone

Previously at Portland Opera: Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte, 2010; Richard Nixon, Nixon in China, 2006; Barone di Trombonok, The Journey To Reims, 2004; Alfieri, A View From The Bridge, 2003; Voltaire/Pangloss/ Cacambo/Martin, Candide, 2002; Agamemnon, La Belle Helene, 2001; Ko-Ko, The Mikado, 2000...

 

 

Robert Orth - Voltaire / Pangloss / Cacambo / Martin

Baritone

Previously at Portland Opera: Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte, 2010, Richard Nixon, Nixon in China, 2006, Barone di Trombonok, The Journey To Reims, 2004, Alfieri, A View From The Bridge, 2003, Voltaire/Pangloss/ Cacambo/Martin, Candide, 2002, Agamemnon, La Belle Helene, 2001, Ko-Ko, The Mikado, 2000, Truffaldino, The Love for Three Oranges, 1998, Sharpless, Madame Butterfly, 1996, Eisenstein, Die Fledermaus, 1994, Malatesta, Don Pasquale, 1990, Mercutio, Romeo et Juliette, 1987, Marco, Gianni Schicchi, 1985, Silvio, Pagliacci, 1985

 

Robert Orth is a leading baritone with major opera companies including those in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, D.C., Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Portland, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Denver.  He was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera. New York City Opera also gave him the Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., in repertoire ranging from Brahms' Requiem to Broadway pops to his most repeated symphonic piece, Carmina Burana.


Performing new American operas has brought Mr. Orth great pleasure and acclaim.  He  was John Buchanan, Jr., in Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke (based on the Tennessee Williams play), which was broadcast nationally on Public Television.  At the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, he was Count Almaviva in the premiere of Rosina. In Milwaukee he was Fantomas in Stanley Silverman's Hotel For Christmas.  He played the Lodger in Dominic Argento's The Aspern Papers in its east coast premiere at the Kennedy Center; and he was the Lecturer in Argento's one-man opera A Waterbird Talk in Chicago.  Also in Chicago, he sang the central role of the Father in Hugo Weissgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author  in its second professional production.  He created the title role in the world premiere of Harvey Milk by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie in Houston, New York and San Francisco.  In 1997 he portrayed Frank Lloyd Wright in Shining Brow, a new opera by Daron Aric Hagen, based on the life of the great American architect. In 2000 he played Owen Hart in San Francisco in the world premiere of Dead Man Walking, with music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Terrence McNally. In 2001 he premiered Michael John LaChiusa's Lovers and Friends (Chatauqua Variations) in Chicago. In 2002 he premiered Garrison Keillor's new opera Mr. and Mrs. Olson in St. Paul. In 2004 he was Mr. Parkis in the premiere of Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair.  That same year he first portrayed Richard Nixon in John Adams' Nixon in China in St. Louis, and subsequently in Portland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Vancouver and Toronto. In 2007 he was Uncle John in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath, and Capt. Compson in Midnight Angel by David Carlson. In 2008 he premiered Sinners in San Jose, a song cycle written for him by Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler. That fall he was LBJ in Dallas in the world premier of Steven Stucky and Gene Scheer's AUGUST 4,1964. He was Albert Godby in the world premiere of  Andre Previn's Brief Encounter in 2009. And in 2010, he created the role of Mr. Stubb in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's Moby Dick. His recordings include The Telephone by Giancarlo Menotti, Nixon in China, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Harvey Milk, Dead Man Walking, Hansel and Gretel, Shining Brow, The Grapes of Wrath and Brief Encounter.


Mr. Orth also enjoys performing the most popular and  familiar operas and operettas.  Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus have been his most repeated roles.  He has often appeared as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Guglielmo in Cosî Fan Tutte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Germont in La Traviata, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.  


Robert Orth began his career in summer stock doing plays and musicals and continues to do them whenever possible. He has been Billy Bigelow in Carousel, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Fredrik in A Little Night Music, and, most often, Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha.


Future engagements include the world premiere of the The Rivals in Milwaukee, A Waterbird Talk in Indianapolis, Moby Dick in San Diego and San Francisco, The Lighthouse in Dallas, Candide in Portland, and Nixon in China in London.


Learn more about Robert on his website.

 

Ann McMahon Quintero - Old Lady

Mezzo Soprano

Portland Opera Debut 

Praised for her "crème caramel tones" and "warm and ingratiating mezzo" (Albuquerque Journal), Ann McMahon Quintero's engagements in the 2011-12 season include performances of Azucena in Il Trovatore with Opéra Royal de Wallonie...

Ann McMahon Quintero - Old Lady

Mezzo Soprano

Portland Opera Debut 

 

Praised for her "crème caramel tones" and "warm and ingratiating mezzo" (Albuquerque Journal), Ann McMahon Quintero's engagements in the 2011-12 season include performances of Azucena in Il Trovatore with Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Dame Quickly in Falstaff with Opéra de Lausanne, and the Old Lady in Candide with Portland Opera. In the 2010-11 season, Ms. Quintero's engagements included performances of Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Boston Lyric Opera, and the Verdi Requiem with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


She began the 2009-10 season with her first performances of the Verdi Requiem with the Cathedral Choral Society at Washington National Cathedral and returned to Boston Baroque for Handel's Messiah. In the 2008-09 season, she returned to Washington National Opera as Auntie in Peter Grimes and to Boston Baroque for Michael Haydn's Requiem in C Minor. She also sang Dame Quickly in excerpts of Falstaff at the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors Inaugural Awards Concert at the Kennedy Center.


In recent seasons, the mezzo-soprano made her international operatic debut with New Israeli Opera as La Haine in Gluck's Armide and returned to the company as Marquise Melibea in Il viaggio a Reims. She also sang Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress with Angers Nantes Opera and joined Teatro alla Scala for its production of Maazel's 1984. Previously with Washington National Opera, she has sung Tisbe in La cenerentola and Dame in Die Zauberflöte. She joined Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Olga Olsen in Street Scene and the company's production of Hänsel und Gretel; Palm Beach Opera as Isabella in L'italiana in Algeri, and Toledo Opera as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette. With Santa Fe Opera, she sang Glasa in Kátya Kabanová as well as Teresa in La sonnambula, in addition to scenes of Cornelia in Giulio Cesare and Leonora in La Favorita.


An accomplished oratorio soloist, Ms. Quintero has appeared frequently with Boston Baroque where her performances have included the title role in Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans and soloist in Messiah. She has also sung Messiah with Charlotte and Alabama symphony orchestras and the National Philharmonic; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Columbus Symphony; Haydn's Paukenmesse at Carnegie Hall; and a concert performance of Guillaume Tell with Opera Orchestra of New York.


Ms. Quintero is a 2006 winner of the Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation as well as the second place winner of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation's International Vocal Competition. In 2005 she received both the George London Award and Sullivan Foundation Award and was a semi-finalist in Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition in Madrid. She was a 2002 Grand National Finalist in the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and made her first appearance on the company's stage in the Grand Finals Concert under the direction of Maestro Julius Rudel.


Ann McMahon Quintero was graduated with honors and received her Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, where her performances included Ravel's Shéhérazade and Bach's Magnificat and Mass in B Minor.

http://www.barrettvantage.com/artist.php?id=amquintero&aview=bio

 

Caitlin Mathes - Paquette

Mezzo Soprano

Previously at Portland Opera: Soloist in the Big Night Concert (2011)

Mezzo soprano Caitlin Mathes is from Dayville, Connecticut. Her opera credits include: Frog/Hen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Graduate in Street Scene (Chautauqua Opera Theatre)...

Caitlin Mathes - Paquette

Mezzo Soprano

Previously at Portland Opera: Soloist in the Big Night Concert (2011)

Mezzo soprano Caitlin Mathes is from Dayville, Connecticut. Her opera credits include: Frog/Hen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Graduate in Street Scene (Chautauqua Opera Theatre); Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Theater and Music Festival, Lucca, Italy); Idamante in Idomeneo, La Marchande in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Ruggiero in Alcina, Lady with a hat box in Postcard from Morocco, Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Bianca in Lucrezia Project (College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati); Secretary in The Consul, Dorabella in Così fan tutte (Ithaca College). She was a member of the Young Artist programs at San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Chautauqua Opera.  This season Ms. Mathes will sing Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Maria Maddelena in Galileo Galilei and Paquette in Candide.

Learn more about Caitlin at her website

 

 

André Chiang - Maximilian

Baritone

Previously at Portland Opera: Soloist in the Big Night Concert

Baritone André Chiang is from Mobile, Alabama. His opera credits include: Sciarrone in Tosca, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Masetto in Don Giovanni (Shreveport Opera)...

 

 

André Chiang - Maximilian

Baritone

Previously at Portland Opera: Younger Galileo / Salviati in Galileo Galilei (2012); Yamadori / Registrar in Madame Butterfly (2012); Soloist in the Big Night Concert (2011)

Baritone André Chiang is from Mobile, Alabama. His opera credits include: Sciarrone in Tosca, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Masetto in Don Giovanni (Shreveport Opera); Fouquier-Tinville in Andrea Chénier, Doctor Grenville in La Traviata, A Gypsy in Il Trovatore (Mobile Opera); Registrar in Madame Butterfly (Opera Birmingham); The Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Ctésippe in Pénélope, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus (Manhattan School of Music); Belcor in The Elixir of Love (University of South Alabama); Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Schaunard in La Bohème (University of Alabama).  He has a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music and was a member of the Young Artist programs at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Mobile Opera, and Shreveport Opera.  This season, Mr. Chiang will sing Yamadori/Registrar in Madame Butterfly and Young Galileo in Galileo Galilei.

 

 

 

Mark A. Thomsen - Governor / Vanderdendurde / Ragotski

Tenor

Previously at Portland Opera: Romeo, Roméo et Juliette (1997); Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (1989)

As one of America’s most accomplished tenors, Mark Thomsen enjoys a successful career in critically acclaimed performances.

 

 

Mark A. Thomsen - Governor / Vanderdendurde / Ragotski

Tenor

Previously at Portland Opera: Romeo, Roméo et Juliette (1997); Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni (1989)

As one of America’s most accomplished tenors, Mark Thomsen enjoys a successful career in critically acclaimed performances. The Dallas Morning News describes him as acquiring “a strong Italianate voice and a physical presence to match,” and Opera News says, “a winning hero…with pleasing lyrical sweetness and no straining for effect.”

Often working repetitively with major companies, Mr. Thomsen has performed to acclaim at the New York City Opera as the title role in La Clemenza di Tito, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata, Camille in The Merry Widow, Nadir in Les Pêcheurs des Perles, the Prince in The Student Prince, and the premiere of Argento’s Casanova. At the Dallas Opera, he has performed Don Jose in Carmen, the Doctor in Argento’s The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Pinkerton. At the Houston Grand Opera performances include Don Ottavio, Tamino, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, Faust in Faust, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Des Grieux in Manon. He is a house favorite at the Santa Fe Opera performing in over 15 productions, with performances including Tamino, Ferrando, Flamand in Capriccio, the title role in the American Premiere of von Bose’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, Henry Morosus in Die Schweigsame Frau, the Steuermann in Der Fliegende Holländer, a Strauss double-bill of Friedenstag und Feuersnot, Daniel in the American premiere of Siegfried Matthus’s Judith, Millais in the world premiere of David Lang’s Modern Painters and the world premiere of Peter Lieberson’s Ashoka’s Dream.

Most recent engagements from the past several seasons include Don Jose  in Carmen at the Dallas Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago with Denyce Graves; Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Lyric Opera of Kansas City and at the Metropolitan Opera (cover); Nicias in Thaïs with Boston Lyric Opera and Palm Beach Opera; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Nicias in Thaïs, and Eustazio in Armida covers at the Metropolitan Opera; Don Ottavio and the Mozart Requiem at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.; the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Opera Lyra Ottawa; Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Manitoba Opera; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Carolina; Danilo and Rodolfo in La Bohème with Indianapolis Opera; Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Orlando Opera; Tamino in The Magic Flute with Cleveland Opera; as well as his role debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Spokane Opera.

 Additional notable engagements have included the title role in the American premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s The Picture of Dorian Gray with Florentine Opera, Camp Williams in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree with both Austin Lyric Opera and Kansas City Opera, Lenski in Eugene Onegin with Indianapolis Opera, the title role in Werther and Jenik in The Bartered Bride with Washington National Opera, Lennie in Of Mice and Men and the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Edmonton Opera, Fenton in Falstaff with Opera Omaha, and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with Portland Opera.

Mr. Thomsen made his European debut in the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, televised live in Europe, recorded by the Deutsche Grammophon, and subsequently performed at the Teatro alla Scala and at the Kennedy Center. Other European engagements have included Don Ottavio, Tamino, Stanislaus in Der Vögelhandler, René in The Count of Luxembourg, Simon in The Beggar Student, and the Count in A Night in Venice all with the Vienna Volksoper. He has performed Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Camille in The Merry Widow on the Volksoper tour to Japan, joined the Vienna Staatsoper as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and made his Opéra de Nantes debut as Belmonte.

Learn more at Mark A. Thomsen's website.

 

Baritone Robert Orth in Candide





Resident Lecturer & Historian Bob Kingston discusses Candide




Two Minute Candide


 




Leonard Bernstein conducting the Candide overture.


 




Rachele Gilmore, who will sing Cunegonde in Portland Opera's Candide, recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the role of Olympia in The Tales of Hoffman


 

Listen to the Music

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide musical excerpts for Leonard Bernstein's Candide.

 

 

 

Schedule

May 11, 2012
Friday 7:30 pm
May 13, 2012
Sunday 2:00 pm
May 17, 2012
Thursday 7:30 pm
May 19, 2012
Saturday 7:30 pm

Tickets

Purchase Online

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).

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).