PORTopera Newsletter

May 1, 2010

Hansel and Gretel

PORTopera is Casting for
the Children's Chorus for
Hansel and Gretel

PORTopera is looking for middle-school students to sing on stage at Merrill Auditorium this summer in two performances of the opera Hansel and Gretel.

This is a wonderful opportunity to work this summer with internationally acclaimed opera stars under the direction of Dona D. Vaughn and Conductor Israel Gursky.

PORTopera has produced an opera every summer since its founding in 1995. Past productions include Carmen, La Boheme, and Madama Butterfly.

  • Auditions will be held on Saturday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Rehearsals will begin after school lets out.
  • Performances are July 29 and July 31.
  • At the Audition, you will be asked to sing a song of your choice or “Amazing Grace.”

An accompanist will be provided. Singers of all ethnicities are encouraged to audition as we want to reflect Portland’s increasing diversity.

To schedule an Audition or for more information, please call
PORTopera at (207) 879-7678 or email us at info@portopera.org

National Endowment for the Arts
Hansel and Gretel is supported in part by an
award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

PORTopera $100,000 Challenge Grant
passes halfway mark

$100,000 Challenge

PORTopera has been presented with an incredible fundraising opportunity: a long-time donor has pledged $100,000, but with one condition; this money will be a match to an additional $100,000 that the company must raise through new donations. If PORTopera is able to complete the challenge, the gifts will total $200,000—a sum that will help secure the future of the opera company for years to come.

PORTopera made the fiscally conservative decision to celebrate its 15th Anniversary last summer with a concert instead of presenting a fully staged production. The decision was made out of concern for the challenging economic climate and provided a sound alternative to the much pricier option of casting, rehearsing and staging a full-scale opera. The savings realized from this event have allowed the company to finish its fiscal year in the black; other similarly sized opera groups across the country have not been able to stay afloat during the recession.

So how's PORTopera's Challenge Grant Campaign going? As of mid-April, the company has passed the halfway point having raised a bit more than $50,000 specifically for the match. “We hope to reach our goal by the end of this fiscal year (September 30),” says new board president Ann Elderkin. “And certainly by the end of 2010.”

Gifts that qualify for the matching program include donations from patrons who have not contributed since before 2007, from those who increase their gifts from previous years and completely new donors, including corporations and foundations. All of these gifts will be matched, up to $100,000, by PORTopera’s major donor.

“This $200,000 opportunity is exactly what we needed in order to truly plan for our future,” said former board president Don Head. “We were very nervous about our future leading up to last summer’s concert, but after meeting this challenge, we will be in a strong position for the next 15 years.”