Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Praise for The Barber of Seville

Duke Kim (Count Almaviva) and Megan Moore (Rosina) in The Barber of Seville. © Sunny Martini

“The Seattle Opera has done it again, in their wonderful and fun new production of The Barber of Seville (one of Rossini’s greatest comic works). Co-produced by Opera Queensland, Seattle Opera, and New Zealand Opera, all I really need to say about it is “WOW!” British Theatre Guide

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Director's Note

By Lindy Hume, director of The Barber of Seville

This co-production between Opera Queensland (Australia), Seattle Opera and New Zealand Opera began life in 2016 as a 200th birthday celebration of The Barber of Seville. It followed a similarly joyful collaboration between our companies on a 2014 production of Rossini’s Cinderella. Here in 2024, I’m delighted to say that since their Brisbane debuts, both productions have been well-travelled and warmly embraced by audiences in around the world and across Australasia. It is a delight to revisit our salute to Rossini’s comic genius at a time when the world is thirsty for what Barber offers in abundance: humanity, love, laughter and the possibility of a happy ending, all set to Rossini’s exhilarating music.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Seattle Opera appoints Kenneth Kellogg
inaugural Artistic Ambassador

Kellogg to succeed Scholar-in-Residence Naomi André,
who concludes five-year term in May 2024

Seattle Opera's new Artistic Ambassador, Kenneth Kellogg, as Malcolm X in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X in 2024. © Sunny Martini.

General Director Christina Scheppelmann announced today the appointment of bass Kenneth Kellogg as Seattle Opera’s inaugural Artistic Ambassador. Kellogg, who recently completed a triumphant run as Malcolm X in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, takes over for Naomi André, who concludes her impactful five-year term as Seattle Opera’s first Scholar-in-Residence at the end of the 2023/24 season. Kellogg begins in the role in May 2024.

Q&A with Kenneth Kellogg,
Seattle Opera’s new Artistic Ambassador

Seattle Opera:
You were just named Seattle Opera’s Artistic Ambassador for the 2024/25 season. How are you envisioning this role as you prepare to step into it?

Kenneth Kellogg:
The first thing this new role makes me think of is my elementary school teacher. As a young person, I could always see how much she loved music—it was infectious. It impacted me as a kid, which led me on a path first to enjoying music, and then to music taking over my life.

I think of my role as Artistic Ambassador as an extension of that. Music has been a blessing to my life in so many ways: it’s what I think of day and night, it helps me provide for my family, it’s taken me to worlds that I never thought possible. I just hope I can exude the same infectious spirit for music and art that my teacher did for me.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Jubilee Synopsis

© Philip Newton

Created and directed by Tazewell Thompson
Vocal arrangements by Dianne Adams McDowell
Orchestrated by Michael Ellis Ingram

Nineteenth century. A theater in Nashville, Tennessee. Thirteen members of The Fisk Jubilee Singers are gathering behind the curtain in vocal warmups, preparing to perform their concert of Spirituals. Post show, the singers retreat to the old military barracks set aside by northern abolitionists to house former slaves, now students and teachers of The Fisk Colored School. Eventually changed to Fisk University.

Friday, January 12, 2024

X: The Life & Times of Malcolm X Synopsis

© Micah Shumake

Music by Anthony Davis
Libretto by Thulani Davis
Story by Christopher Davis


Scene 1: 1931, Lansing, Michigan
At the home of Reverend Earl

Little and his wife Louise, a meeting is taking place of the local chapter of Marcus Garvey's Universal Improvement Association, and Rev. Little is late. Louise has been tense all day and members of the meeting are concerned about active white supremacist groups terrorizing local people.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Competition Announcement: Malcolm X Arts & Writing Competition

USA. Illinois. Chicago. Malcolm X during his visit to enterprises owned by Black Muslims. 1962.
© Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos

This spring, Seattle Opera is presenting the West Coast premiere of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. To encourage students to celebrate and engage with this work and Malcolm X’s legacy, we have created this competition for high school juniors and seniors in Washington State. All students, including home-school and charter students, are invited to submit their essays, poems, and visual artwork responding to the following prompt:

What aspect of Malcolm X’s legacy has had the greatest impact on our society today?

The first-place winner in each category will be awarded $500. The first-place winners and first runners up for each category will be invited to present their submissions before one of Seattle Opera’s performances of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at McCaw Hall, and their submissions will be showcased in McCaw Hall during the entire run of the opera, February 24—March 9, 2024.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Art Inspired by the Life of Malcolm X

Harlem, New York Rally, 1963
© Gordan Parks Foundation

Malcolm X’s influence permeates American social, political, and cultural life. Many cities have a Malcolm X street, avenue, or boulevard. Plenty of schools, libraries, and other public buildings are named in his honor. What’s more, many artists have been inspired by the human rights leader’s life and philosophies. They have created music, visual art, plays, film, and literary works. Here are just a few examples of their artistic output.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

A Conversation with Kenneth Kellogg

© Kenneth Kellogg

Bass Kenneth Kellogg, who recently gave a breakout performance as Fafner in our production of Das Rheingold in August, discusses his upcoming portrayal of Malcolm X in this conversation with Seattle Opera. Kenneth talks about his admiration for the human rights leader, the revival of Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, and how he’s preparing for the role.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Alcina’s Literary Origin

By Jonathan Dean

Vintage line drawing of the Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533), who is famous for his epic Orlando furioso.

The troubled and troubling love-life of the seductive sorceress Alcina was first chronicled in the greatest epic poem you probably don't know: Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. Written in flowing octaves of luscious Italian between 1506 and 1532, this sprawling saga spins a vast spiderweb-like story of ladies and knights, love and weapons, courage and chivalry over some 600 pages. In a way it’s an Italian answer to the British legends of King Arthur, Merlin, and the rest. (Merlin, in fact, puts in an appearance early on in Orlando furioso, prophesying to Bradamante that she and Ruggiero will wed and found a mighty family. Ariosto compliments his noble patron, Duke Este of Ferrara, by making Ruggiero and Bradamante his ancestors.)