It is with great excitement I announce that our opera company has a new name: PORTopera is now Opera Maine!
Our company was founded in 1995 as Portland Opera Repertory Theater. When that name proved cumbersome, it was shortened to PORTopera. After careful deliberation, we decided it was time to change the name again–to Opera Maine. Why the change? We realized we needed a name that made it clear that we are located in the beautiful state of Maine. Although 2017 marks our twenty-third year of producing professional opera, there still are residents of the state, as well opera lovers across the nation, who are surprised when they hear there is a professional opera company in Maine. We hope the new name, Opera Maine, will alter this perception, expand awareness of the company, and help us achieve our mission of spreading enthusiasm for this remarkable art form.
We also believe that Opera Maine better reflects the impact we have performing throughout the entire state. Our mainstage productions regularly draw people from Houlton to Kittery. For more than nineteen years we have presented our Young Artists’ chamber operas to audiences from Farmington to Fryeburg. We plan to extend our reach over the coming years.
Speaking of our Young Artist Program, we have another change to report: our respected training program for emerging operatic talent will now be called the Studio Artist Program. “Young Artist” did not convey to the public the impressive fact that our emerging singers–and there have been over eighty- — typically hold both undergraduate and graduate degrees from leading conservatories. Fostering opera talent in younger singers has been part of our mission from the beginning, and we look forward to continuing this imperative with our 2017 Studio Artists.
Wonderful things are happening at Opera Maine! We look forward to welcoming each and every one of you to our outstanding productions, not only this upcoming summer, but throughout the years to come in the great state of Maine!
Dona D. Vaughn
Opera Maine, formerly known as PORTopera, is dedicated to producing creative, inspiring, and professional opera performances of artistic excellence. We foster young operatic talent, provide educational opportunities related to opera, and reach out to our audience, supporters, and community in collaborative ways that will excite enthusiasm for the art form.
View pictures from the production here.
Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata
Wednesday, July 26 and Friday, July 28, 2017
Events throughout the year highlight superb singing by renowned and rising opera stars and offer educational opportunities within the community.
National Opera Week! October 27 – November 5
Friday, November 3 | Opera Chorus Sing-a-long | 6:00 pm | Call for details
Sunday, November 5 | Fall Serenade in York | 4:00 pm | Call for details
Performances by opera singers in the intimacy of beautiful homes throughout Southern Maine. Meet amazing singers and new friends who share your passion for opera. A great way to be introduced to opera!
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Tosca 2015 “..this proved to be a deeply moving Tosca, powerfully sung and sensibly staged—the kind of performance that reinvigorated this overly familiar score and made it seem fresh and vital.”
“A seasoned Scarpia, with eighty-four Met performances of Tosca to
his credit, [James] Morris sounded in excellent form, and his fine bass-baritone made ‘Va, Tosca’ the most frightening moment of the evening….the most notable performance…was the thrilling Tosca of Alexandra LoBianco….The artists were directed to brilliant effect by PORT artistic director Dona D. Vaughn, who made actors of all her musicians even in the little moments.”
This presentation of Tosca marks the twenty-first season of PORTopera, a cultural institution that has risen to national acclaim thanks to the hard work of president Ann Elderkin, artistic director Dona D. Vaughn, and the many talented singers, musicians, and other crew members who have graced the gilded-and-ivory halls of Merrill Auditorium.
Maine’s PORTopera marked its twentieth anniversary with Rigoletto (seen July 23), staged by the company’s artistic director, Dona D. Vaughn, and conducted by Stephen Lord. Vaughn updated the opera to the 1920s, enabling the audience to experience the tragedy in a world of ruthless bosses and their henchmen.
PORTopera’s Young Artists Program, which opened its six-performance series Friday night at USM’s Hannaford Auditorium, is a double-bill of vocal virtuosity by Mozart and Donizetti, well costumed and professionally sung by some already accomplished young artists.
“… a superb job top to bottom; the audience, knowing it had witnessed something extraordinary, stood in salute.”
For anyone who believes that opera is at its best when it takes on important, if often uncomfortable social and historical issues – rather than, say, the woes of a thwarted romance between a rich kid and a courtesan – this year’s presentation of Jack Perla‘s “An American Dream” is a must-see production.
How you can support Opera Maine!