June 18, 2019

Press Release: Portland Opera presents Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera

Portland Opera is thrilled to present a new production of Mozart’s heartbreaking and comedic work La Finta Giardiniera this July. In this opera from 1775, the heroine Violante goes into hiding as “the disguised gardener” at the Mayor’s (Podesta’s) country estate after escaping her abusive lover, Count Belfiore. As she chooses forgiveness, a dizzying cast of characters come together in a tale about the very complex nature of the human heart. Portland Opera will present six performances of La Finta Giardiniera on July 12, 14m, 18, 20, 24, and 27 at the Newmark Theatre. In addition, the opera will be broadcast outdoors on July 24, on SW Main Street between the Antoinette Hatfield and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Halls. Audiences are invited to enjoy an evening of opera under summer skies with a free live simulcast.

“The story of La Finta Giardiniera tells typically Mozartian emotional truths, even in the midst of comic mayhem and romantic confusion,” says stage director Chas Rader-Shieber. “With ideas straight out of the Age of Enlightenment, Mozart valiantly attempts to create order out of the chaos of love; a love that is messy and silly and glorious and profound. Both the aristocracy and their servants join in ‘carving topiary out of the weeds,’ in a bittersweet search for calming reason in the wild landscape of passion.”

Portland Opera Music Director George Manahan conducts. Former Portland Opera Resident Artist Lindsay Ohse, who was last seen with the company as Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice in 2018, sings the role of Sandrina/Marchioness Violante Onesti. Mark A. Thomsen, last seen at Portland Opera as Pirelli in the company’s 2016 production of Sweeney Todd, sings the role of the Mayor (Podesta). All of the 2019 Portland Opera Resident Artists will be featured in this production, with Geoffrey Schellenberg singing the role of Nardo/Roberto, Helen Huang singing the role of Serpetta, Camille Sherman singing the role of Ramiro, and Thomas Cilluffo singing the role of Count Belfiore. The role of Arminda will be sung by former Portland Opera Resident Artist, Antonia Tamer. The sets and costumes for this production were designed by Michael Olich, and lighting was designed by Connie Yun.

La Finta Giardiniera was made possible by generous gifts from Pat & Trudy Ritz and the Ritz Family Foundation, M&T Bank, and Utopia Vineyard. Portland Opera is grateful for the ongoing support of the Arts Impact Fund, Meyer Memorial Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, and Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Tickets and Information

Performances take place at 7:30PM at the Newmark Theatre with the exception of the matinee on July 14, which begins at 2:00PM. One hour prior to each performance, audience members are invited to a pre-show lecture.

La Finta Giardiniera will be sung in Italian with projected English translations.

Portland Opera is a proud participant in Arts for All—providing $5 tickets for Oregon Trail Card holders.

A limited number of rush tickets (for seniors, students, and United States Armed Forces personnel and their families) are available for performances of La Finta Giardiniera. Student rush tickets are available online on the Monday before the performances. Call 503-241-1802 Monday through Friday from 10PM–5PM for more information.

The performance on July 14 at 2pm will include an audio description of the visual and physical events on stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance is visually translated with English text projected above the stage.

Tickets for La Finta Giardiniera are now available, starting at $35. For more information, and to purchase tickets online or by calling Patron Services at 503-241-1802.  For more information, patrons may also contact the Opera Concierge at concierge@portlandopera.org Monday through Friday from 10PM–5PM.

La Finta Giardiniera – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Lindsay Ohse as Sandrina/Violante
Thomas Cilluffo as Count Belfiore
Mark A. Thomsen as Podesta
Antonia Tamer as Arminda
Camille Sherman as Ramiro           
Helen Huang as Serpetta
Geoffrey Schellenberg as Nardo/Roberto

Conductor, George Manahan
Director, Chas Rader-Shieber
Set and Costume Designer, Michael Olich
Lighting Designer, Connie Yun

About Portland Opera

Portland Opera exists to inspire, challenge, and uplift our audiences by creating productions of high artistic quality that celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera.

Since 1964, Portland Opera has contributed to the cultural, artistic, and economic landscape of the city and region that we love. Wecelebrate the beauty and breadth of the opera repertoire with performances that take place in the Keller Auditorium, Newmark Theatre, and the Gregory K. and Mary Chomenko Hinckley Studio Theatre at the Hampton Opera Center. 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.

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Interviews, press comps, artist biographies, and more information available upon request.

Silja Tobin, Marketing & Communications Manager
Portland Opera