December 7, 2017

Press Release: Portland Opera Announces 2018 Resident Artists

Portland Opera’s General Director Christopher Mattaliano has announced the 2018 roster of young artists who will join the company’s Resident Artists program for emerging singers. “This season, more than 300 extremely qualified singers from around the country and globe applied to our program. We’re thrilled to introduce our four Resident Artists to our audiences, as well as provide new training and performance opportunities for these talented and rising young artists, ” Mattaliano said.

The four members of the 2018 program will be soprano Helen Huang, returning mezzo-soprano Kate Farrar, tenor Thomas Cilluffo, and bass Shi Li. The Resident Artists will give a series of community performances, beginning with the 2018 Portland Winter Light Festival, after which they begin rehearsals for the 2018 season-opening production of Big Night concert on April 14. They will also perform solo recitals at Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium in the spring and summer of 2018.

HELEN HUANG, soprano, will make her Portland Opera debut during the 2018 Big Night concert and will also perform the roles of Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice this season. Prior to joining the Resident Artist Program, Huang appeared as the title character in Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe at Central City Opera, as well as in the roles of La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and Poppea in Handel’s Agrippina at New England Conservatory. An ardent believer in music supporting social causes, Huang is a co-founder of Voices of the East, a musical collective that promotes and advocates young Asian and Asian-American musicians’ voices in the contemporary classical music world.

KATE FARRAR, mezzo-soprano, returns for her second year as a Resident Artist with Portland Opera. Last season, Farrar made her debut with the company as a soloist in Monteverdi’s Songs of Love and War, and went on to perform as a soloist in Portland Opera’s Big Night concert, Antonia in Man of La Mancha, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte during the 2017 season. In Farrar’s second season with the company, she will again perform as a soloist in Big Night concert, and will sing the roles of Giovanna in Rigoletto, Siebel in Gounod’s Faust, and the title role of Angelina in La Cenerentola. Farrar has performed with Saratoga Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Opera North. She holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance degree from The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

THOMAS CILLUFFO, tenor, is currently singing the role of Tamino in Portland Opera To Go’s (POGO) adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. POGO is Portland Opera’s outreach and education program that brings English-language adaptations of opera classics to schools and communities throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. Cilluffo will make his mainstage debut with the company as a soloist in the Big Night concert and will also perform the role of Borsa in Rigoletto. Prior to joining Portland Opera’s Resident Artist program, he performed the role of Roméo in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette at the University of Michigan, Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, and was featured as a soloist in If I Loved You with Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Cilluffo holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan.

SHI LI, bass, will make his Portland Opera debut during the 2018 Big Night concert. Li will also perform with the company this season as Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and Wagner in Faust. Prior to joining Portland Opera’s Resident Artist program, Li performed the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Un Vieillard in Verdi’s Macbeth and Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Manhattan School of Music. In addition, Li has appeared as Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, and Dottore Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata with Shanghai Oriental Philharmonic Orchestra. Li received his Bachelor’s degree at Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China and Master of Music Degree, Professional Study Degree at Manhattan School of Music in the United States.

The 2018 Portland Opera Resident Artist Recital Series Schedule
Portland Opera Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor Nicholas Fox is the pianist for all recitals.

Thursday, February 1- Saturday, February 3: 2018 Portland Winter Light Festival 

Wednesday, February 21: Resident Artists Showcase
7:30pm, Alberta Rose Theatre

Tuesday, March 13: Kate Farrar
Portland Art Museum—Whitsell Auditorium
7pm, RSVP:

Tuesday, April 17: Shi Li
Portland Art Museum—Whitsell Auditorium
7pm, RSVP:

Tuesday, June 5: Helen Huang
Portland Art Museum—Whitsell Auditorium
7pm, RSVP:

Wednesday, August 1: Thomas Cilluffo
Portland Art Museum—Whitsell Auditorium
7pm, RSVP:

Additional performances may be found here.

About the Resident Artist Program

Portland Opera established the Resident Artist Program in 2005, providing a bridge from the conservatory world to the professional stage for talented young singers who join the company for a rigorous residency and training program. Each resident artist appears in featured roles in main stage productions and gives an art song recital at the Portland Art Museum during the season. As a group, they perform at season and individual production previews and other community-based performances.

About Portland Opera

Portland Opera exists to inspire, challenge, and uplift its audiences by creating productions of high artistic quality and is proud to be a part of the region’s thriving artistic and business community. We celebrate the beauty and breadth of the opera repertoire with four main stage performances each season. Our 2018 main stage opera season includes Gounod’s Faust, Verdi’s Rigoletto, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The Company is also a committed educational partner, touring fully staged operas to schools and community centers throughout Oregon and SW Washington region each year, in addition to a host of other efforts designed to make opera accessible for all.



Silja Tobin, Marketing & Communications Manager
Portland Opera