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Opera, Bodyvox pair for Pagliacci

New season features popular creations of dance, performance

Portland Opera opens its 46th season this month, starting with a unique pairing with the Portland Opera Chorus and BodyVox dance company in Christopher Mattaliano's creation, 'Pagliacci/ Carmina Burana.'

Mattaliano, now in his seventh season as artistic director, created 'Pagliacci/Carmina Burana' as guest director in 1997, and all the sets and costumes were built at the Portland Opera studios. It will be the third production here, and it has been done six times around the country, accompanied by BodyVox.

Laura Hassell, director of production, coordinates the program. Local juggler Michael O'Neill does his thing while the chorus belts out 'O Fortune.'

After an initial local run of the combined operas in 1997, it was revived in 2000.

'Pagliacci' is about a troupe of traveling actors, 'Carmina Burana' is based on a collection of 13th century poetry by Bavarian monks and bards.

'These pieces are two of the most visceral works in theater,' Mattaliano says. 'Both are masterpieces into which their composers poured their life blood. It's a thrill that this production has been so popular around the country and here in Portland where it was created.'

Singers include Emily Pulley, who's making her Portland debut.

The productions are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24, 2 p.m. Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay St. Tickets start at $20 and can be bought at Portland Opera Box Office and by calling 503-241-1802.

This year's Portland Opera theme is 'Fantasy or Reality?' The other scheduled operas: Engelbert Humperdink's 'Hansel and Gretel,' Nov. 5, 7, 11 and 13 (Keller); Giacomo Puccini's 'Turandot,' Feb. 4, 6, 10 and 12 (Keller, American premiere); Maurice Ravel's 'L'Heure Espagnole (The Spanish Hour)' and 'L'Enfant Et Les Sortileges (The Bewitched Child),' April 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 (Newmark Theatre, new productions).

- Jason Vondersmith