"An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house."
- Maria Callas
Meet The Founders
Opera Cecilia was built from the minds of two emerging artists who wished to change the industry for the better. Through this venture, they wish to create more opportunities for young singers and local talent to thrive and gain more valuable repertoire and role experience. Taylor and Tanis Gonzaga graduated from the University of Portland, Taylor with a BA in music performance, and Tanis with a dual bachelor of arts in both music and theater. Since then, Taylor has gone on to earn an MM in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she was the recipient of a graduate teaching assistantship, and Tanis has gone on to create a dual career in the medical field while continuing to make art with professional companies and emerging artist programs. Together they draw from their over a decade of stage and production experience, and Taylor's seven years of experience as a professional voice instructor and director, to form a company that exemplifies more of the values they wish to see in the industry of classical singing.
We are a new opera company with a mission to deliver engaging and relevant art to the people. As the founders of Opera Cecilia, we strive to create an environment that is inclusive and safe for our audience and the artists who engage in our various projects. As a new organization, we seek to deliver opera like it has never been before, reflecting relevant societal issues and utilizing accessible forms of online media. Whether we are premiering a brand new work or presenting an old classic from a new perspective, we seek to represent all aspects of humanity in our performances and outreach. We came up with the idea for Opera Cecilia because we wanted to see more fulfilling opportunities that were less costly for emerging artists.
We wanted to reject the need for perfectionism in the production of classical music, and be apart of the new face of opera. We created this company in hopes that we can break down barriers and present this beautiful art form in it's full glory for all who wish to be a part of it.
Welcome to Opera Cecilia- an evocative and innovative exploration of the human voice.
About the Name
Opera Cecilia is named after St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music in the Catholic Church. As people of faith ourselves we have always asked St. Cecilia to pray for us during phrases of our artistic journey, and our company was made in devotion to her. This being said, Opera Cecilia is a company that we hope reflects the forward thinking values that we personally believe to be a true extension of our faith. We want this to be a company of love and inclusion. We want this to be a place where emerging artists can find meaningful and career leveraging opportunities, where people from all faiths and walks of life can come together for a beautiful artistic experience, and where LGBTQ, Female, BIPOC, and disabled creators can find an ally. We want this company to be an extension of our love for this art form, but also
a reflection of who we wish to be as people and the loving principles by which we aim to live our lives. Our mission for this company is that it becomes a safe haven for all people to feel loved, embraced, and represented, and continues to grow into an organization made by performers and for performers, with an aim to make a positive difference in our community.
As a forward thinking and progressive company, Opera Cecilia seeks to be a home and ally to all. Our artistic organization makes it its mission to be fiercely anti-racist and inclusive, open to ways in which we can improve and grow, and be an ally to those who come from all walks of life. With this in mind, Opera Cecilia does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, socio economic status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or disability.