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PORTopera Newsletter

February 5, 2010

Hansel and Gretel to Feature
Portland Ballet “Angels”

Students from Portland School of Ballet will appear in PORTopera’s 2010 production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, which will be performed at the Merrill Auditorium on July 29 and 31, 2010.

“In the second half of the opera, Hansel and Gretel enter the forest and are lost in there at night,” explained Dona D. Vaughn, PORTopera’s Artistic Director. “It’s actually a very scary scene. They fall asleep and are guarded by protective angels. In our production, the angels will be student dancers.”

Fourteen students will perform. Nell Shipman, resident choreographer of Portland Ballet Company (PBC) will choreograph the piece. Ms. Shipman has worked with PORTopera before, having choreographed the opening ballet sequence in 2008’s production Charles Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and performed in the ball scene in 2006’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

“We’re delighted to work with PORTopera again,” said Eugenia L. O’Brien, PBC’s Artistic/Executive Director. “Many operas have dance sequences. It’s important that our students be exposed to this art form.”

The ballet sequence in Hansel and Gretel is supported by a grant from the Edward H. Daveis Benevolent Fund of Maine Community Foundation. The Fund specifically targets non-profits in the Greater Portland area.

Hansel and Gretel is also supported by a grant from National Endowment for the Arts, the Rines/Thompson Fund of Maine Community Foundation and the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust.

Sweethearts Serenade

Please join us for an evening of delightful music…

Thursday, February 18, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM

You are invited to an evening of food, drink and song with internationally acclaimed singers John McVeigh and Lisa Saffer, accompanied by Kathleen Scott. A Sweethearts Serenade will be held Thursday, February 18, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Maine Bank & Trust, 467 Congress Street, Portland. The cost is $65 per person. Proceeds from the serenade will go to support PORTopera's 2010 production of Hansel and Gretel.

Please call 207-879-7678 or email for more information.

ABOUT LISA SAFFER and JOHN McVEIGH