The Light Opera of Portland is a resident musical repertory company performing live light opera and musical theatre productions and specializing in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. In addition, the company offers rising performing artists and crew opportunities to develop their musical and stage craft skills.
Light Opera of Portland began life as The Dairyville Players in 2012. Our founding Artistic Director, Dennis Britten, had moved back to the Portland area after a career teaching theatre and performing with long standing Gilbert & Sullivan companies across the country.
Discovering the Alpenrose Opera House in Portland’s West Hills, Dennis was inspired to found his own G&S company to perform in the space. The company began by performing two abridged productions using only the principal characters, with songs and scenes linked by narration, and the audience seated on the stage.
After two small scale productions, by 2014 the company was ready to expand. With a plan to present two one-act operas, Cox & Box and Trial By Jury, Dennis knew that the Dairyville Players would finally need to add a chorus. He approached the Oregon Chorale’s Artistic Director Bernie Kuehn, and asked him to participate as Music Director for the productions, and to bring in some singers to enlarge the company. A number of Oregon Chorale members joined the production, becoming the core of our productions for the next few years. Soon Dennis was joined by Dr. Linda Smith, Music Director, and David Smith, Producer, who became an integral part of the company.
After the company’s first full length, full cast production (2015’s Ruddigore), it officially became a registered non-profit organization, and completed a rebrand to become Light Opera of Portland. During the enforced pause in performances due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Dennis decided to retire as Artistic Director, and Laurence Cox stepped up to lead the company as our second Artistic Director.
Light Opera of Portland has continued to present Gilbert & Sullivan operas at venues around the Portland area to this day.