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Overheard

Excerpts from 'Building a Culture of Excellence: Arts Leadership and our Economic Future,' a Nov. 19 presentation at the Portland Business Alliance Forum:

'The relationship between art and business is like a circle. If a community has no arts, then business will not flourish, because no one will want to live there.'

'In Europe, the government pays for what is needed. Sponsorship is a small part of the budget. Here, it is important that I be out in the community. But in Europe, you are dealing with a politician who has his own agenda. Here, I am meeting normal people.'

Ñ Carlos Kalmar, music director, Oregon Symphony

'Portland Opera employs 120 local residents. We can have as many as 12,000 patrons a week. If you look at the four operas we stage and four or five Broadway shows, that's 120,000 people and $2 million we are bringing into the downtown economy. So we are very much your business partners.'

'For the first time in 40 years, Portland Opera has a home. And with that we get the feeling of being invested in the community, of being community leaders. We are right next to OMSI, and we hope to be involved with whatever happens in the Southeast.'

'I'd like to see us get to the point where we can plan in 3- to 5-year arcs. And a big part of my dream is to have one new theater Ñ perhaps two new theaters Ñ built in the next 10 years.'

Ñ Chris Mattaliano, general director, Portland Opera

'My vision has changed. We have to strengthen the foundation and build our endowment so we can get to the artistic visionary thing that I used to dream about.'

Ñ Christopher Stowell, artistic director, Oregon Ballet Theatre

'I'd like to see the city stop living in the shadows of Seattle and San Francisco. Chris and I just moved here, and we've both been a little bit surprised that the residents here are less willing to embrace that concept.'

Ñ Mattaliano, on his impressions as a newcomer to the city

'You know what the difference between the Berlin Philharmonic and the Oregon Symphony is? If a 13-year-old kid asks a musician with our orchestra what his job is, after the musician tells him he's with the orchestra, the kid will ask him, 'Is that a part-time job?' But in Berlin, the answer is, 'Wow!' I want that 'wow' to happen here.'

Ñ Kalmar, on the cultural differences between Americans and Europeans