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Regional Opera Company of the Week: PORTopera

PORTopera has quite an interesting inception story, dating back to the 1970s when Bruce Hangen, at that time Music Director for the Portland Symphony dreamed of forming an opera company in Maine. In 1985, Hangen accepted the Music Director position for the Omaha Symphony in Nebraska. This did not end his dreams of creating a summer season back in Maine and finally in 1994 the Portland State Theater became available. The time had come for Hangen and a group of friends and supporters created the company, then known as Portland Opera Repertory Theatre. The first production of the company was in July 1995 at the State Theater with Bizet's "Carmen." The overwhelming response led to another summer season in '96 with Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." In the second season the company also introduced PORTopera's Young Artists Program to help the careers of emerging young singers.

After the success of the first two years, PORTopera moved to the newly-renovated Merrill Auditorium to produce a full-scale production of Puccini's "Tosca." The quick response to the previous year's Young Artist Program grew yet again to include six operatic recital programs throughout the state.

PORTopera continues to grow and expand in this their 29th season both with a mainstage production in the Merrill Auditorium as well as the Young Artist Program throughout Maine and New Hampshire. While the company lost its founding Artistic Director in 2003, Dona D. Vaughn stepped in to the position and has directed every subsequent production since.


PORTopera presents Puccini's "La Bohème" this July, but before that there are two events you don't want to miss! On Sunday April 21, join PORTopera for Sunset Serenade and the following month make sure to catch Gala, Un Soir à Café Momus! Be sure to catch the exciting events and production of "La Bohème" at PORTopera this spring and summer!

For more information or to purchase tickets visit PORTopera's website.

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From This Author Scott Frost

Scott Frost is a Production and Stage Manager and a Freelance Costume Designer. In addition to being a theatrical manager and designer he currently works (read more...)