Christopher Mattaliano ’79, general director of Portland (OR) Opera since 2003, will deliver the Jack Sacher Memorial Alumni Lecture at 1:00 p.m. on February 23, 2011, in the Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall in the John J. Cali School of Music. Mr. Mattaliano will speak about his work and experiences in over thirty years as a stage director and arts manager. He has staged productions for opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, L’Opéra de Montréal, Dallas Opera, L’Opéra de Nice (France), and the Norwegian National Opera.
Mr. Mattaliano received his BA in Theater Arts from Montclair State University with additional training at the Trent Park School of Performing Arts in London, England. In 1998 he received the L. Howard Fox Visiting Alumni Award from his alma mater as well as a National Opera Institute Stage Direction Grant.
Acclaimed for both the strength and subtlety he brings to his work, Mr. Mattaliano is a director with wide-ranging tastes that run the gamut from classics like I Pagliacci to very recent works like Philip Glass’s Orphée, to name pieces from just his last two seasons at the Portland Opera. The 2009 revival of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther at the New York City Opera, whose 1993 première Mr. Mattaliano also directed, was widely praised in the New York press.
Prior to taking the helm at Portland Opera, Mr. Mattaliano achieved considerable regional success, directing five acclaimed Portland Opera productions—Manon (1991), Eugene Onegin (1992), Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (1997), Candide (2002), and Il Trovatore (2002). In 2004, his direction of Rossini’s The Journey to Reims opened his first artistic season in Portland to both popular and critical acclaim. Since then he has directed The Rape of Lucretia (2005), Verdi’s Macbeth (2006), The Magic Flute (2007), Cinderella (2007), Albert Herring (2008), Rigoletto (2009), The Barber of Seville (2010), and Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (2010).
His passion for stage direction has extended well beyond the stages of those many companies. He has taught at the Juilliard School, the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, Mannes College of Music, and the New National Theater of Japan. In 1996 his essay on auditioning (“The Dreaded Audition”) was published by Opera America.