Monday, December 12, 2011

Announcing our First Beneficiary for our Barihunks Charity Calendar: The Portland Opera Studio

Portland Opera homepage

We’re pleased to announce that the Portland Opera Studio is our first recipient of a donation from our 2012 Barihunks charity calendar. We’ll announce the second recipient later this week. The final donation will depend on how many calendars we sell, which you can purchase HERE.

When we looked at the requests that we received, we were most moved by the requests from some of the smaller artist training programs. They work on shoestring budgets and still manage to develop some of the best young artists around today. Often they have to work more on commitment than cash, yet still deliver great results. The Portland Opera Studio has helped develop four singers who have appeared on this site: Jonathan Lasch, Jonathan Kimple, Jose Rubio and Nicholas Nelson. Portland Studio Artists also participated in a vocal masterclass with Daniel Mobbs, who performed the role of Figaro in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” with the Portland Opera in November.

Portland Opera Studio participant Nicholas Nelson

Graduates of the Studio Artist program have performed worldwide, including roles with the New York City Opera and with young artist programs at Houston Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. Nicholas Nelson will be appearing as the Commissioner in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" opening on February 3rd and a number of small roles in Philip Glass' "Galileo Galilei" opening on March 30th.

In 2005, the Portland Opera established the Portland Opera Studio program, designed to train the next generation of opera singers by providing a "bridge" from the conservatory world to the professional stage.

Selected at auditions around the country, young singers fresh from some of the nation's finest vocal conservatories and music academies join the company for a rigorous nine-month training program during which they are featured in their own production. Their training also includes voice, language and movement lessons and supporting roles in Company mainstage productions. Studio Artists also give an intimate recital of Art Song at the Portland Art Museum, exploring the close relationship between composer, singer and accompianist.

Jose Rubio, Jonathan Kimple & Jonathan Lasch

The Studio Artists yearly production has become a highly-anticipated event in Portland, delighting audiences with rarely heard works and beautiful young voices. Previous productions include Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (2005), Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses (2006), Britten's Albert Herring (2008), Cavalli's La Calisto (2009), Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Monteverdi's Il Ballo delle ingrate and Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (2010) and a Ravel double-bill of L'heure Espagnole and L'enfant et les Sortilèges (2011).

No matter where you live, we encourage you to buy a calendar to support this program, as you are likely to encounter one of their graduates at an opera house near you soon. You can also give an additional holiday donation directly to the Portland Opera Studio by contacting Hannah Gildea their Individual Giving Manager, at (503) 417-0601 or email her at

Contact us at

Click HERE to buy your calendar.

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