PORTopera Newsletter

March 31, 2010

PORTopera's Young Artists Program Goes National

As part of the company's plan to expand its programs, PORTopera is now offering its Young Artists Program to rising young singers from all over the country. Previously the company's program was limited to singers with ties to Maine and was called Maine's Emerging Artists. Now Maine singers can compete with a wide range of young singers who are attracted to the increasing national reputation of PORTopera in the opera world.

The expansion of the program is made possible by a grant from The Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation which was established in 1998 for the purpose of assisting young opera singers in developing careers in opera. Each year since 2000, the Foundation has held an opera competition in New York City and its winners are now members of such prestigious arts programs as The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric, Tokyo City Opera, Opera Australia, Welsh National Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Opera Carolina. Several PORTopera singers have received recognition in the competition including Gaston Rivera and Jennifer Black (“Roméo et Juliette”), Giaocchino Lauro Li Vigli (Turiddu in “Cavelleria Rusticana”) and David Won (Morales in “Carmen”). In order to expand its services to young opera singers, the Foundation also provides competitive grants to young artists programs run by opera companies operating in the United States. Please visit the Jensen Foundation homepage at: www.jensenfoundation.org.

Auditions for PORTopera's program were held in Boston on March 20th. More details on this season's program will be forthcoming.

WANTED: Housing for PORTopera Artists

With PORTopera's Young Artists converging on Maine from all over the country, as well as mainstage singers, the company is in dire need of additional housing. Most housing hosts in the past have enjoyed hosting artist guests while they are here and many long-term friendships have been formed. If you are interested in being a host this year, here's what is needed: You should be within a 15-mile range of downtown Portland, your guest should have a private room and bath and kitchen privileges. You are not asked to feed your guest (many singers are wonderful cooks and may cook for you!) nor do you provide transportation. The timing involved varies ranging from four weeks (approx. July 4-31) to several weeks longer for Young Artists. Volunteer housing hosts save PORTopera the extensive costs of providing accommodations in area hotels. They will receive a pair of A tickets to either performance of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel on Thursday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, July 31, at 2:00 p.m. Contact PORTopera's Julia Underwood for more info at 207-879-7678.