Seattle Opera to Celebrate 60th Anniversary with Exciting Lineup of Events

Discover the schedule and highlights of Seattle Opera's 60th anniversary celebrations.

By: Aug. 09, 2023
Seattle Opera to Celebrate 60th Anniversary with Exciting Lineup of Events
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As Seattle Opera rolls out its 60th-anniversary season, the company has prepared an exciting lineup of events and performances to round out the fall season. From the annual Open House to a premiere by the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band to opera classes, recitals, and more, the coming months offer a variety of ways to enjoy the magic of live theater beyond the walls of the opera house.

“What you see on the opera stage is only the tip of the iceberg,” said General Director Christina Scheppelmann. “We are always eager to welcome audiences into our building to show them what goes on under the surface. It takes a huge team to put opera on stage, with a staggering variety of jobs and expertise. Whether you check out our Open House, one of our educational programs, or our recitals, come learn more about how the performing arts work—it’s the best way to feel connected to our art and the artists who make it.”

The cornerstone event is Seattle Opera’s annual Open House on Saturday, September 23, which last year welcomed 600 guests into The Opera Center, the company’s administrative home on the Seattle Center campus. This year’s free celebration features a wealth of fun and interesting activities, including a presentation by Anthony Davis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X; performances by Seattle Opera’s new Resident Artists and other singers; an interactive peek into the Costume Shop and Props Department; arts and crafts stations; a community sing-along; and a live feed of a working rehearsal of Alcina.

Additionally, the Open House will highlight the work of several of Seattle Opera’s community partners, including Tasveer, Arte Noir, Path with Art, Seattle Rep, and Seattle Children’s Theatre.

“The Open House is our opportunity not only to showcase the great work going on at Seattle Opera, but also to celebrate the broad range of excellent organizations that make up Seattle’s arts and culture community,” said Director of Programs and Partnerships Dennis Robinson, Jr. “Seattle needs arts organizations of all sizes, telling all kinds of stories, in order to thrive. We want to make sure we’re doing our part to support that ecosystem and make connections throughout our larger community.”

During the fall, Seattle Opera will offer several unique and exciting performances beyond their mainstage productions that showcase opera’s breadth of styles and settings. First, on August 26, audiences can enjoy a delightful summer sipper on the big screen with a film version of 2022’s The Elixir of Love. Called “everything you hope for in a comic opera” by SGN, this bright, bubbly romantic comedy will sparkle on the 40-foot screen at the Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheater.

To celebrate spooky season, tenor John Marzano is back by popular demand, in drag as Anita Spritzer, to host another round ofQueens of the Night, opera’s hottest Halloween party. Audience members ages 21+ will enjoy a festive night of cocktails, costumes, dancing, and drag artistry.

On November 3, the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band will join Seattle Opera and Path with Art’s Veterans Choir for a special premiere of The Path, a new piece by composer Damien Geter and lyricist Jerre Dye. Commissioned by the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band, this powerful choral work was inspired by interviews with members of Path with Art’s veterans cohort.

Then, on November 8, audiences will hear from Seattle Opera’s new Resident Artists, soprano Camille Ortiz and baritone Michael J. Hawk. Featuring works from across the musical theater and operatic traditions, audiences will enjoy getting to know these dynamic young singers, who will be with Seattle Opera throughout the fall as the inaugural members of Seattle Opera’s new paid mentorship program for emerging artists.

For those eager to learn more about opera or engage more deeply with the arts community, the fall also offers several educational opportunities for all ages. On select Saturday mornings August–October, children ages 2–5 can read and sing together at Opera Time at the Opera Center, a free interactive musical story time that supports language, literacy, and socio-emotional development.

An Opera Talk on September 28 titled “A Singer’s Journey” will feature Seattle Opera’s Resident Artists in conversation about what it takes to become an opera singer. Audiences will learn about the early training, necessary education, and career pathways that singers must embark on to become professional opera performers, and will even enjoy a special performance from the artists themselves.

On October 18, a Community Conversation titled “Gender Fluidity in Opera” will explore opera’s long history of subverting gender norms, from castrati to pants roles for women and much more. Seattle Opera’s panel of performers and thinkers will tackle questions about how voice type impacts audience perception of an opera character and the relationships between gender and vocal range.

Rehearsals for Youth Opera Project, Seattle Opera’s workshop for young performers, begin on October 26. During this after-school program, youth ages 7−18 will learn and perform a fully staged and produced youth opera. This year’s production is Rootabaga Country, a zany tale about a father and his two children who embark on a journey down the ZigZag Railroad to learn more about the mother they never knew.

Finally, beginning on November 7, Associate Director of Community Engagement Lokela Alexander Minami will lead his popularOpera 101 class. In six lively and informative sessions, audiences will learn some essential terms and key figures as they embark on a listening tour of some of the most popular operas in the repertoire.

Event Information:

·         The Elixir of Love on the Big Screen

Saturday, August 26, at dusk, Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre

Free, more info at seattleopera.org/bigscreen.

·         Opera Time

Saturdays (August 26, September 30, and October 21) at 10:00 AM, The Opera Center

Info and sign-ups at seattleopera.org/operatime.

·         Open House

Saturday, September 23, 1:00−4:00 PM, The Opera Center

Free with RSVP at seattleopera.org/openhouse.

·         Opera Talk: “A Singer’s Journey”

Thursday, September 28, 7:00 PM, Tagney Jones Hall

Info and RSVP at seattleopera.org/singersjourney.

·         Community Conversation: “Gender Fluidity in Opera”

Wednesday, October 18, 7:00 PM, Tagney Jones Hall

Info and RSVP at seattleopera.org/genderinopera.

·         Youth Opera Project

Thursdays and Saturdays, October 26−March 17, The Opera Center
Info and sign-ups at seattleopera.org/yop.

·         BRAVO! Halloween Party: “Queens of the Night”

Friday, October 27, at 8:00 PM, Tagney Jones Hall

Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/halloween.

·         “Portraits of Service” featuring the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band

Friday, November 3, at 7:30 PM, Tagney Jones Hall

Tickets are free, RSVP required at seattleopera.org/portraits.

·         Opera 101

Tuesdays, 6:30−8:00 PM, November 7–December 12, online zoom webinar

Info and registration at seattleopera.org/opera101.

·         Resident Artists in Recital

Wednesday, November 8, at 7:30 PM, Tagney Jones Hall

Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/recital.

About Seattle Opera 

Established in 1963, Seattle Opera is committed to serving the people of the Pacific Northwest through music, storytelling, and programs for people of all ages. Each year, more than 50,000 people attend the company's performances, and more than 100,000 people are served through school performances, radio broadcasts, and more. The organization brings opera to life in a number of different ways, offering artistic excellence through national and international collaborations. Seattle Opera strives to create an environment where artists, staff, behind-the-scenes workers, and members of the community feel a strong connection to the company, and to the art of opera. Follow Seattle Opera on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and on Classical KING FM 98.1.




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