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Karen Slack and Damien Geter Join Portland Opera as Artistic Advisors

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Slack and Geter will work with General Director Sue Dixon, and interim Artistic Director Daniel Biaggi, on expanded repertoire, casting and more.

Karen Slack and Damien Geter Join Portland Opera as Artistic Advisors

Portland Opera has announced that renowned artists Karen Slack and Damien Geter have joined the company as Artistic Advisors. Slack and Geter will work with General Director Sue Dixon, and interim Artistic Director Daniel Biaggi, on expanded repertoire, casting, public programming, and community engagement.

"Karen and Damien represent a new generation of leadership-informed by their individual commitments to social justice and cultural equity in the classical music and opera fields," says Sue Dixon. "I am grateful to be able to welcome their collaborative artistic perspectives to the company, as we convene our vision and plan for what is next."

Hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty, a seamless legato, and great dramatic depth, American soprano Karen Slack has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Most recently seen as Serena in Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera, and as Billie in the world premiere of Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up In My Bones with Opera Theater of St. Louis, Slack has also appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonora in Il Trovatore and Tosca with Arizona Opera, as Aïda at Austin Opera, Emelda Griffith in Champion with New Orleans Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Nashville Opera, and made her Scottish Opera debut as Anna in Puccini's Le Villi. "I am delighted to begin this new venture with Portland Opera," says Slack. "As theaters are looking ahead to the future and planning what is next in our industry, I am proud to be part of a team that is actively striving to be the change we have desired for so long. Thank you to Sue Dixon for her courage and leadership. I look forward to growing artistically with this fantastic organization and am eager to connect with the Portland community."

Portland-based composer, singer, and educator Damien Geter infuses classical music with various styles from the Black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice. Recent commissions include The Washington Chorus, Washington National Opera, and the University of Michigan. His work An African American Requiem will premiere in 2021 in partnership with Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony. Portland Opera patrons are also familiar with his work as a classical singer (bass), having appeared in numerous Portland Opera productions, including most recently in La Traviata, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, The Little Match Girl Passion, and La Bohème. "I'm thrilled to be a part of Portland Opera's vision for what opera will look like in the 21st century-not just in Portland, but everywhere," says Geter. "Primed to become a leader in the industry, Portland Opera is set to challenge the status quo by imparting relevant stories in today's social climate. Because of this, the art of opera will not only survive, but will thrive."

Complete biographies follow. Additional details regarding Portland Opera's strategic plan for the future can be found online by visiting www.portlandopera.org/strategic-plan.


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