Situated near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, the city of Portland attempted, with varying degrees of success in its early years, to build its own opera company. Touring troupes and a variety of local companies provided the city with interesting, if sporadic, operatic entertainment until Portland Opera was firmly established in 1964. From 1964 to 1966, the organization’s general director and conductor was Henry Holt. At his departure, the baton was passed to Herbert Weiskopf, and after his death in 1970 to Stefan Minde, whose tenure extended through the 1983-84 season. Robert Bailey led the company until his retirement in 2003, when Christopher Mattaliano was named the company’s fifth general director.
In July, 2003, the company moved into its new eastside facility – The Hampton Opera Center – where, for the first time in company history, music and staging rehearsals, coaching facilities, costume shop, and administrative offices are all housed under one roof.