Karen Slack & Damien Geter Named Artistic Advisors for Portland Opera

By Logan Martell

Portland Opera has announced that Karen Slack and Damien Geter have joined the company as Artistic Advisors.

Both Slack and Geter will work alongside General Director Su Dixon on matters such as casting, repertoire, public programming, and community outreach.

“Karen and Damien represent a new generation of leadership—informed by their individual commitments to social justice and cultural equity in the classical music and opera fields,” Dixon said in a press release. “I am grateful to be able to welcome their collaborative artistic perspectives to the company, as we convene our vision and plan for what is next.”

Slack has performed at some of America’s leading opera houses, such as San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, with her most recent appearance being Serena in the Met’s production of “Porgy and Bess,” and Billie in the world premiere of Terrence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up In My Bones” with Opera Theater of St. Louis.

As a composer, singer, and educator, Geter mixes classical music with styles from the Black diaspora to create works that further social justice efforts. He has previously been commissioned by The Washington Chorus, Washington National Opera, and the University of Michigan; his upcoming work, “An African American Requiem,” will premiere in 2021 in collaboration with Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony.