Monday, May 7, 2012

BUTTERFLY Spreads Its Wings

Saturday night marked a huge occasion in Seattle Opera history: our first-ever simulcast. While audiences enjoyed opening night of Madama Butterfly over at McCaw Hall, an additional 5,126 people attending a live HD screening of the performance just steps away at KeyArena—for free! This was an amazing opportunity to bring one of the world’s most beloved operas to thousands more people than could ever fit into McCaw Hall on one evening, and the celebratory spirit of the event was contagious, in person and online ( “Madama Butterfly,” “Seattle Opera,” “Simulcast,” and “#OperaAtKey” were Seattle trends on Twitter at various points throughout the evening!).

Below we take a look at some photo highlights—most of them by photographer Alan Alabastro—plus a few of our favorite audience tweets from the evening (you can browse through hundreds more here on Twitter). If you snapped photos or have thoughts to share with us, we'd love to know about them. Post here in the comments, drop us a note on Facebook, or send us a tweet!

Also visit The Seattle Times to read Bernard Jacobson's rave review of Butterfly, and click here to see why The Everett Herald called the production "a study in beauty."


May 5, 2012:
Seattle Opera's Madama Butterfly simulcast at KeyArena

The buzz for the evening began building early...

...and at 6:00 p.m., the doors to KeyArena opened and the crowd started pouring in.

Pre-show and intermission activities in the lobbies included a station where you could try on costumes from Seattle Opera's costume shop... interactive Origami demonstration...

...and a Green Tea demonstration, complete with samples.

Like movies and sports, opera is better with munchies! Folks grabbed their snacks and settled in for some pre-show entertainment.

Tamiko Terada, Seattle Opera's Annual Fund Associate, was one of many to enjoy a screening of Looney Tunes' "What's Opera, Doc" before the show.

Later, Meg Coyle, Weekend Anchor for KING 5 News and host of the simulcast, gave her introduction.

Then, Seattle Opera General Director Speight Jenkins greeted the audience at both McCaw Hall and KeyArena before the opera began.

Once the curtain rose, many of the people in the audience went to Twitter to share their thoughts and reactions.

In this panoramic photo by Bill Mohn, you can see the the KeyArena audience as they take in Madama Butterfly.

There were several mentions of six-year-old Gabriella Mercado, profiled in this story by The Everett Herald, who played the role of Butterfly's child...

...and shout-outs to the talented group of hair and makeup artists who worked on readying Madama Butterfly for high definition. (You can see part of that process in our video "Creating An Opera Geisha.")

And after the final curtain, the audience made their way home—some sad over the tragic ending, and some looking forward to what next season has in store.


It was certainly a night none of us at Seattle Opera will soon forget, and we want to thank everyone who had a part in making the simulcast such a success!

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