CELEBRATING OUR 35TH ANNIVERSARY
FROM THE GENERAL DIRECTOR
Eugene Opera's mission is to produce the highest quality opera consistent with the company's ability to nurture available resources; to work to increase the audience for opera; to identify and engage emerging artists of professional potential; to contribute to the future of the art form; and to develop educational programs for the community-at-large, schools and young artists.
In 1976, Artistic Director Philip Bayles and over 100 volunteer musicians, singers, stagehands and opera fans combined their efforts to bring opera to Eugene, Oregon. The first production (Carmen) played to a “full house” of 600 attendees in a local high school auditorium. A local newspaper reporter remarked, "It's a first effort to be proud of, for it has proven that Eugene is loaded with high-quality musicians and opera-hungry concert goers."
Six years later, in 1982, EUGENE OPERA became a resident company in the newly opened Hult Center for the Performing Arts. It endured its share of hard times, however, during the early-1990s, when its debt exceeded $340,000. Sound business practices and increased community support eliminated the debt within five years. It has since been profiled nationally on National Public Radio and in Opera News and featured a cameo appearance by humorist Dave Barry in its 1995 production of Gianni Schicchi.
EUGENE OPERA'S mission is to produce the highest quality opera consistent with the company's ability to nurture available resources; to work to increase the audience for opera; to identify and engage emerging artists of professional potential; to contribute to the future of the art form; and to develop educational programs for the community-at-large, schools and young artists.
EUGENE OPERA celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2006-2007 with its new production of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, the most successful production in the company's history. The Register-Guard said in its review of PIRATES, "with this fine production, Eugene Opera announced the beginning of a new era." This new era continued with critical acclaim for a new production of THE MAGIC FLUTE and MADAMA BUTTERFLY (2007-2008); Eugene debuts of ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD and IL TROVATORE, and Fabrizio Melano’s new production of DON GIOVANNI (2008-2009), and new productions of THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO and FAUST (2009-2010). Under the general direction of Mark Beudert, and now with the addition of Music Director Andrew Bisantz, Eugene Opera eagerly looks forward to the 2010-2011 season, featuring LA BOHEME and THE MIKADO. Plans are already underway for the 2011-2012 season, in which the company will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a return to CARMEN.
Eugene Opera is a resident company of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. It is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and donations are tax deductable as provided by the IRS Code.
General DirectorAbout Mark Beudert
Mark Beudert began his performing career while an undergraduate at Columbia University, appearing as Frederic in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s historic production of The Pirates of Penzance opposite Kevin Kline. After private study with Franco Corelli, he won the Pavarotti Concorso Internazionale in 1986, and has since won acclai as a leading tenor in such disparate roles as Lt. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (opposite Jane Eaglen), “Candide” in the Scottish Opera's production directed by Jonathan Miller, which won a number of Olivier Awards at London’s Old Vic Theater including Best Musical Production, and Sam Kaplan in the United Kingdom, Portuguese, and Italian premieres of Weill’s Street Scene. He continues his performing career to this day, appearing in standard and contemporary opera, oratorio, and in concert worldwide under such conductors as John Mauceri, Helmut Rilling, and Neeme Järvi.
In 1996, he received his A. Mus Doc. degree at the University of Michigan under the direction of the distinguished tenor George Shirley. He has taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City, the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, and served as Artist-in-Residence at Oregon State University. In 2002, he became Director of the Bel Canto Northwest Vocal Institute in Portland OR, where he worked with an international faculty and student body in innovative educational productions of works from standard repertoire, the Baroque era, and more adventurous works. In 2007, Bel Canto’s production of Weill’s Down in the Valley and Hindemith’s Hin und Zurück appeared at the Kurt Weill-Festival in Dessau, Germany. He is currently Professor of Opera at the University of Notre Dame, where his successful productions include Orphée aux enfers, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a reconstruction of Gounod’s original version of Faust, Béatrice et Bénédict, and Les Contes d’Hoffman.
Beudert became General Director of Eugene Opera in 2006, directing their production of The Pirates of Penzance (the most successful production in the company’s history), and a new 2007 production of Die Zauberflöte,, also singing the role of Tamino from the pit when a colleague fell ill. In 2008, he directed a new production of Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers, in 2009 Il Trovatore, and in 2010 a new production of Faust. Dr. Beudert lives with his wife, Jennifer, Director of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center, in Indiana, Oregon, and New York. They have three children, Katie (a working actress based in Seattle), Sarah (a junior at New York University), and Nicholas (a junior at South Bend’s John Adams High School).
About Andrew Bisantz
Andrew Bisantz becomes Eugene Opera’s Music Director with the 2010-2011 season, conducting both La bohème and The Mikado. As Resident Conductor of Miami’s Florida Grand Opera, he debuted in 2006’s Carmen. followed by Manon Lescaut (2007)and La bohème and La cenerentola (2008). He opened FGO’s 2009-2010 season conducting I Pagliacci and Suor Angelica, recently conducted a gala concert with Sherrill Milnes, Renata Scotto and Helen Donath, and will conduct Turandot next season. Recent engagements include a critically acclaimed debut at Boston Lyric Opera in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. He made his Glimmerglass Opera with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience (2004), and returned for Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon (2005), subsequently broadcast on NPR’s World of Opera. Other appearances include productions of Susannah, Little Women, Dido and Æneas, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Così fan tutte, Dialogues of the Carmelites and Le nozze di Figaro. He recently made his European symphonic debut in Portugal with the Orquestra Nacional do Porto, where he will return next season. He has conducted the Virginia Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and was Apprentice Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic for three seasons.