Press Release: Viva’s Holiday, Portland’s favorite local opera, returns for six nights in December
Summary for event calendars:
Viva’s Holiday: An Opera in One Act
Star Theater Portland • 13 NW 6th Ave
December 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 17
9 pm • 21+
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2016
VIVA’S HOLIDAY, A NEW PORTLAND FAVORITE, PLAYS SIX NIGHTS IN DECEMBER
Second annual performance also features author Viva Las Vegas, comedian Wendy Weiss
This season an original opera about a stripper going home for Christmas returns to the Star Theater, where it promises to become a new Portland holiday tradition.
It is rare for an original opera to aim beyond circles of elite afficionados and connect with a city, a time, an underground. Viva’s Holiday: An Opera in One Act proved to be such a work in its 2015 premiere. Inspired by the memoirs of Portland stripper/author Viva Las Vegas (Liv Osthus), it is a lyrical story about a young woman on an unconventional path testing the limits of family acceptance during a holiday visit. A classically-informed score exhibits charming motivity, intertwined with irreverent humor and poignant searching for the meaning of “home.” The opera runs 50 minutes and is written for four singers and a twelve-piece chamber orchestra.
The 2016 production is in response to fans who called for the work to be a part of Portland’s annual roster of holiday shows, following a three-night run of full houses last year. Unlike familiar Nutcracker reboots and endless Dickens adaptations, this is a story rooted in our city’s recent history and reaching toward a meaning that reflects our time. And unlike other common underground offerings which rely on canned or covered songs from elsewhere, the original music and poetry is intended to be Portland’s own cultural capital — part of composer Christopher Corbell’s quest to establish new underground opera in the Rose City as our weird, poetic, insurgent answer to Broadway’s glitz and self-importance.
This year’s production again employs stage director Pat Janowski (Post5 Theater et al) and music director Erica Melton (Opera Theater Oregon). A more seasoned orchestra backs a returning cast, with the exception of the Brother role which will be sung this year by tenor Aaron Lange. Soprano Helen Funston will again bring her versatile musicianship to the role of Viva, with mezzo Sadie Gregg returning in the role of Mom and baritone Bobby Jackson singing Dad.
The performances at Portland’s Star Theater will include an opening set, hosted by stripper / comedian Wendy Weiss. Viva Las Vegas will read excerpts from her memoirs and also perform vocal music with the “sixteenth-century sex-pop” group Bergerette. Each evening will open with an aesthetic pole dance accompanied by a live string quartet; Weiss has recruited a roster of eminent strippers from the current Portland scene who will make alternating appearances.
Electronic Press Kit
Audio excerpts, press quotes, and more information about the opera is online at
Higher-resolution poster image, production headshots, and photos from last year’s performance are also available on request.