Thursday, September 16, 2021

Seattle Opera Continues Commitment to New Music and Today’s Stories

Commission of A Thousand Splendid Suns in 2022/23.
Co-production X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X for 2023/24.

Seattle Opera continues its commitment to bringing contemporary stories to Seattle audiences with two new operas for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. In February 2023, Seattle Opera presents the world premiere of its latest commission—A Thousand Splendid Suns based on author Khaled Hosseini’s 2007 award-winning novel of the same name. The following season Seattle Opera, in partnership with Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, and The Metropolitan Opera, produces a brand-new staging of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X by Pulitzer Prize award-winning composer Anthony Davis.

A Thousand Splendid Suns Creative Team: Khaled Hosseini, Sheila Silver, Stephen Kitsakos, Roya Sadat, Viswa Subbaraman

Set against Afghanistan’s volatile history, A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the breathtaking story of two Afghan women. Award winning composer Sheila Silver and librettist Stephen Kitsakos adapted Hosseini’s New York Times best-seller for the opera stage. Internationally praised Afghan film producer and director Roya Sadat directs this world-premiere production. American conductor Viswa Subbaraman (Flight) leads the orchestra.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Opera Center is now LEED-certified

Sean Airhart photo

Seattle Opera is thrilled to announce that its civic home, The Opera Center, is now LEED Silver certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Donate to our Plymouth Housing supply drive

Seattle Opera's Courtney Clark and Alex Minami collecting supplies for Plymouth Housing. 
Throughout the past year, Seattle Opera has partnered with Plymouth Housing with our Community Serenades program. Now, Plymouth is opening a new residence facility at 2nd and Mercer next month. To welcome our new neighbors, Seattle Opera is hosting a supply drive to collect pantry staples for the residents moving in.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Loving Wagner, Hating Wagner...and the Middle Path

Listen now
wherever you get your podcaststo Seattle Opera's episode "Loving Wagner, Hating Wagner...and the Middle Path." 

Seattle Opera Scholar-in-Residence Naomi André and Dramaturg Jonathan Dean discuss the most controversial of all opera composers, Richard Wagner, whose Die Walküre the company will present, in concert (and abridged) at Fisher Pavilion on August 28. Wagner’s astonishing masterpieces continue to challenge and delight audiences, although his legacy is tainted because of his obnoxious attitudes and how his work was appropriated by the Third Reich. André and Dean discuss approaching Wagner, not from an ‘either/or’ mentality, but from a “both...and” way of thinking.

A few excerpts of their conversation below:

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Seattle Opera is requiring audiences to be vaccinated beginning Sept. 1


Mask up and grab your vaccination card—or negative COVID-19 test—before attending a Seattle Opera performance. The organization announced today that beginning on Sept. 1, audience members will be required to be vaccinated for all indoor performances and public events in the 2021/22 season.

The policy was implemented based on the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases, as well as feedback from patrons. Seattle Opera joins the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Rep, Village Theatre, and others in the new vaccination requirement.

“Health and safety remain our top priorities, and we’re excited to offer beautiful music and storytelling in McCaw Hall once again,” said General Director Christina Scheppelmann. “We’re committed to making people’s return to live performance as safe and enjoyable as possible.”

Monday, August 16, 2021

Dan Wallace Miller shares Ring memories

Before and after at Seattle Opera: Dan Wallace Miller atop a prop horse from our 1995 Die Walküre and now, about to direct our Welcome Back concert of the same opera in 2021. 

Our upcoming concert of Die Walküre will be directed by an artist raised on the Wagnerian tradition at Seattle Opera. In this blog post, stage director Dan Wallace Miller shares more about his love for all-things Ring. Fresh off his acclaimed presentation of Seattle Opera's streaming Tosca ('21), Miller returns to direct a concert version of the Ring cycle's most popular opera.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Hip-hop and Opera


Michael Wansley, pianist David McDade, and other members of the Seattle Opera Porgy and Bess chorus perform the hook from Macklemore's song "Thrift Shop" in 2018.

In honor of Hip-hop Celebration Day on August 11, we're exploring a few of our favorite opera/hip-hop intersections. From a new take on The Barber of Seville set in a Black barber shop, to Beyoncé's provocative performances, to previous Seattle Opera's collaborations with graffiti artists, and more—enjoy a few moments where these genres have blended to create something new.

Friday, August 6, 2021

A Conversation with Kenneth Kellogg

Bass baritone Kenneth Kellogg returns to sing The Father in Blue.

By Glenn Hare 

This summer, Seattle Opera connected with Kenneth Kellogg to talk about a wide range of topics, among them the state of Black opera, his childhood, and, of course his upcoming performance in Blue where he sings the role of The Father. Praised for his charisma and rich tone, Kenneth has performed throughout the United States and Europe. You might remember Kenneth’s debut in our film adaptation of Don Giovanni as the Commendatore. 

A former Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, Kenneth studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts and Wolf Trap Opera. He earned degrees from the University of Michigan and Ohio University. He advocates for artist rights and consults with performing arts organizations on their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Seattle Opera and Bloodworks Northwest host fourth pop-up blood drive


An aerial photo of The Opera Center. Sean Airhart photo. 

People can sign up to donate blood on Aug. 18, 19, 24 and 25 at The Opera Center: 363 Mercer St.

Seattle Opera and Bloodworks Northwest are teaming up to present an August blood drive at the Opera Center.  Appointments are required, and people can sign up at seattleopera.org/bloodworks or call 800-398-7888.

Blood supplies in the Pacific Northwest are extremely low due to COVID-19, and the recent heatwave that kept some donors at home. Blood drives help replenish supplies and return them to operational levels. Blood donations support cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies, and severely ill COVID-19 patients—among others. These one-hour blood donation appointments are a safe action people can take to support local hospitals and patients.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Praise for Blue

Kenneth Kellogg, Briana Hunter and Aaron Crouch as The Father, The Mother and The Son in the world premiere of Blue at the 2019 Glimmerglass Festival. Karli Cadel / The Glimmerglass Festival

In February 2022, audiences can experience the Settle Opera premiere of Blue, the 2020 winner of Best New Opera by the Music Critics Association of North America. This portrait of contemporary African American life is the creation of librettist Tazewell Thompson (five NAACP Awards, plus two Emmy nominations) and composer Jeanine Tesori (Tony-winner known for Fun Home). 

A story of love, loss, church, and sisterhood, Blue depicts a young couple celebrating the joy of family with the birth of their son. Later they lean on close-knit community in the wake of their son’s death at the hands of a police officer. See what the press are saying about this important piece, which received its premiere at the 2019 Glimmerglass Festival. 

"Blue demands its place on the stage and within a tradition that for centuries has excluded visions of Black experience. Just as opera helped elevate Blue, so, too, can Blue elevate the future of American opera." — The Washington Post 

"A wrenching and remarkably original opera that explores deeply personal emotional truths and gives them universal resonance." —The Wall Street Journal