Saturday, April 16, 2011

Opera Theater Oregon celebrates a new partnership with 'Sordid Lives'

OTO rolls out the red carpet at the Mission Theater on Friday, May 6 with a wild night of audience participation soap OPERA. 'Sordid Lives' borrows from '80s daytime television, tabloid journalism and the works of the great composers to create a truly demented, all-musical choose-your-own-story opera adventure.

When Wall Street banker Archibald Shackles casts off his scheming first wife Amber for a younger man/woman/man, Amber will stop at nothing to get her revenge: not even framing Archibald's new squeeze for impregnating their daughter. But did he/she/he do it? And if not...who did?

Two teams of opera singers and the OTO Technicolor Orchestra and Chorus battle it out at the audience’s command. Shrieking diva fights, hot, passionate clinches, evil twins, amnesia and intrigue abound! Special guest appearances by members of the Flash Choir and Electric Opera Company.

‘Sordid Lives’ is written by Pat Janowski (Livewire!), Katie Taylor (OTO Producing Artistic Director), John Dover (Alien Baby), and a host of helpless dead composers who will probably be writhing in their graves. Electric Opera Company takes the stage at 9:00pm. Imagine 12 shredding Angus Youngs playing Rossini and Wagner, only cuter, and you’ve got the picture.

‘Sordid Lives’ is a benefit and housewarming party for OTO at the Mission Theater, where the company is now resident. Audience members will be invited to bid for their plot choices and participate in a raffle for fabulous prizes, with all proceeds benefitting OTO’s expanded programming at the Mission. The event is the culmination of a $10,000 fundraising drive to raise funds to help the company develop new performance and educational programming. This event is dedicated to the McMenamin brothers, with thanks for taking OTO on as a resident company.


“McMenamins contacted us last year after our offer for the Guild Theatre fell through,” said OTO Producing Artistic Director Katie Taylor. “I can’t imagine a happier ending to that story!” OTO made headlines last summer for its lease offer on downtown’s Guild Theatre, dark since 2006 when the demolition of its restrooms put an end to NW Film Center’s residency there. The ambitious effort sparked the imaginations not just of film buffs and the Portland arts community, but of local architectural, engineering, construction and law firms who all offered pro bono services to bring the Guild back as a mid-sized live performance hall and retro movie house.

OTO’s effort was ultimately unsuccessful, but it attracted the interest of brew pub king Mike McMenamin, who read about it in The Oregonian. McMenamin asked Corporate Music Director Jimi Biron to contact Taylor, and after several meetings and conversations, they came up with a plan for OTO to use the Mission Theater as its home venue and office. The Mission also houses the Film, Music, and Event booking departments for McMenamins.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to have such a creative and progressive group as OTO share space with all of our event programmers,” Biron said. “We look forward, not only to some great performances in our venues, but to the energy and excitement that may be born of this creative brain trust.”

OTO’s plans for its residency at the Mission include a radio opera, movie musical sing-along nights with the planned OTO Community Choir, and the continuation of 'Sordid Lives' as a 12-episode online series.


OTO’s mission is to bring opera back into pop culture through creative editing and adaptation. Affordable, entertaining, and commonly available—online, in movie theaters, at bars, OTO helps more people connect with classical music in ways that feel relevant to peoples’ lives. OTO is resident at the Mission Theater.

WHAT: SORDID LIVES, A Choose Your Own Adventure Soap OPERA, featuring the Opera
Theater Oregon Technicolor Orchestra and Chorus. Special guests Electric Opera Company.

Benefit and housewarming for OTO’s new residency at The Mission Theater.
WHEN: Friday, May 6 - ONE NIGHT ONLY!
WHERE: The Mission Theater - 1624 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209
WHO: Produced by Opera Theater Oregon
TICKETS: $15, on sale Friday, April 15:

No comments: