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Seattle Opera Unveils First Outdoor Recital Series—and More

Upcoming events include The View from the Pit online panel, Songs of Summer outdoor recitals, and a virtual production of Tosca.

Seattle Opera Unveils First Outdoor Recital Series—and More

From a new streaming production of Tosca filmed at a historic Seattle cathedral, to live outdoor recitals at Seattle Center, and a conductor dialogue on race and gender, there's plenty of ways to engage with music through Seattle Opera's June offerings.

Prior to the company's season finale-a new streaming production of Tosca-Seattle Opera is unveiling its first-ever outdoor recital series, Songs of Summer LIVE. (Tickets are $25 per pod, which can hold up to two chairs; viewers must bring their own chairs). Located on the south side of The Opera Center, Songs of Summer LIVE brings a much-anticipated return to in-person performance, following the success of online recitals during the pandemic. Featured artists include: John Marzano (5 p.m., June 11), Margaret Gawrysiak (2 p.m., June 13), and The Drunken Tenor a.k.a. Robert McPherson (8 p.m., June 11 and 5 p.m., June 13). For tickets and more information, go to seattleopera.org/summersongs. To learn more about COVID-19 health and safety measures for these events, go to seattleopera.org/safety.

Available online June 25-27 for $35 is a new production of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, which brings down the curtain on Seattle Opera's groundbreaking year: Seattle Opera was the only American Opera Company to deliver titles promised in its 2020/21 season by quickly pivoting to streaming content. Following the international acclaim of Flight, filmed at The Museum of Flight this past spring, Seattle Opera's next production has been shot on-location at the 114-year-old St. James Cathedral in the First Hill neighborhood.

"St. James Cathedral has a long history of fostering arts and culture. It is a delight to join forces with Seattle Opera, one of the premier arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest, on this innovative Tosca," said Father Michael G. Ryan, Pastor of St James Cathedral. "During this time of pandemic, we see this collaboration as a creative way to bring beauty and hope to lovers of music and the arts in Seattle and beyond."

Envisioned by director and cinephile Dan Wallace Miller, Tosca shows off grand opera, in addition to bringing in shadow-play and pops of color inspired by Italian giallo films of the 1960s. The fiery diva Floria Tosca will be performed by Alexandra LoBianco (Aida, Aida '18), whose "large, dark voice has an exciting edge in the upper reaches," (South Florida Classical Review). Sought-after baritone Michael Chioldi, praised for his "warm, rich tone" (Opera News) makes his debut as Scarpia, and Dominick Chenes (Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly '17) known for his "remarkable stamina, vocal range, and dramatic capabilities" (Bachtrack) returns as Cavaradossi.

The production features Adam Lau (Angelotti), Matthew Burns (Sacristan), Andrew Stenson (Spoletta), José Rubio (Sciarrone), Ryan Bede (Jailer), and Ellaina Lewis (Shepherd Boy). For full cast, creative team, and ticket information, go to seattleopera.org/tosca.

In addition to online and outdoor performances, Seattle Opera is hosting a June 3 panel discussion: "The View from the Pit: Maestros on Race and Gender in Opera." Speakers include Kazem Abdullah who makes his debut leading the orchestra for Tosca, Alondra de la Parra, former Music Director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Viswa Subbaraman (Flight '21 and Blue '22), and Judith Yan (An American Dream '15 and '17). Alejandra Valarino Boyer, Seattle Opera's Director of Programs and Partnerships, will moderate. Panelists will reflect on their unique experiences in the art form, and what it means to be both a storyteller and an agent of change in a centuries-old tradition of western opera. To learn more, go to seattleopera.org/communityconversations.

Finally, all are welcome to enjoy Seattle Opera Mornings on KING FM by tuning in to Classical KING FM 98.1 or king.org every Saturday at 10 a.m. Free radio broadcasts will include The Elixir of Love on June 5, Of Mice and Men on June 12, Charlie Parker's Yardbird on June 19, and La fanciulla del West on June 26. For more information, go to seattleopera.org/kingfm.


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