Each year since 1931, Portland Ovations has brought a dynamic season of exceptional performing artists to Portland, Maine, including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, and Broadway.
In addition to our live performances, we bring the exhilaration of the performing arts out into our community with season-long educational and outreach programs called Ovations Offstage.
Find Me On …
I Have Worked With
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane CompanyFebruary 2016
Portland Ovations presented the revered Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in a residency that provided not only numerous points of engagement with our community, but that culminated in an exquisite and inspiring performance featuring the company alongside an octet of Maine musicians, and 13 dancers drawn from the ranks of local studios and colleges. Over 1,000 patrons came to see the program, “Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music." Not only was it an evening of incomparable contemporary dance, it also inspired lots of local pride. Local arts writer Christopher Hyde noted: “They had rehearsed for only a week, according to the program, but they might have been dancing this program for years. It made me wonder why other traveling companies do not also take advantage of the tremendous pool of talent available in Maine.”
The Metropolis EnsembleOctober 2014
Inhabiting Portland's historic Victoria Mansion with its innovative program "Brownstone," the chamber musicians of the Metropolis Ensemble performed in the various rooms creating a musical score that could be enjoyed in parts in each room or as a whole from a central foyer. Two out of three of the interactive concerts were free, all during a First Friday Art Walk. Additionally, the artists gave a concert at a senior living community as well as a composers’ seminar at the USM School of Music. Our presentation of Metropolis Ensemble was the musical group’s FIRST tour. We were able to craft a regional tour and successfully leverage funding through the Expeditions program. We worked closely with the ensemble to arrive at an appropriate artist fee, devise a project concept and otherwise assist with logistics. This had a positive impact on the ensemble, which now has some “tour readiness” under its belt; our regional colleagues; and music lovers in New England who otherwise would not have experienced this innovative ensemble outside of New York City.
Daniel Sonenberg's "The Summer King"May 2014
An Ovations commission and world premiere, Daniel Sonenberg’s "The Summer King", an opera on the life of Negro League player Josh Gibson, met with wide acclaim and excitement by the local community. The staged concert was accompanied by multiple meet-the-composer events; a panel discussion co-hosted by Ovations, USM and the NAACP, and a pre-concert lecture. “The Summer King” marked the first time Ovations expanded upon our role as a presenter by working with local composer Dan Sonenberg to bring the production from written score to a live, professionally produced concert. It was a massive undertaking that pushed us out of our comfort zones, while also allowing the greater Portland arts (and higher education) community to rally around a project by one of their own. The project engendered incredible good will (the excitement on show night was palpable), a glowing review (“’The Summer King,” sails trimmed and fully staged, could become an American classic.”), and a future as a fully staged production: Pittsburgh Opera is now mounting a fully-staged "The Summer King" to premiere as the culminating event on their 2016-17 season.
- NEFA Grantee
- Cultural Nonprofit