Monday, October 28, 2013

13/14 Seattle University Series: “When Opera Meets Film”

Seattle Opera’s great tradition of free adult education at Seattle University continues! On select Tuesday evenings (at 7 pm) this season, join Community Program Manager Rob McClung and special guests for a FREE series of lectures and discussions about opera and film. For more information, please contact Seattle Opera’s Education department at (206) 676-5567 or visit

Wagner and Propaganda
October 29, 7 pm, Pigott Classroom 307
Guest: Richard Meyer, Lecturer in Film, Seattle University

Join film scholar Richard Meyer for a captivating presentation on the use of Wagner’s music in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1935).

Richard Meyer at U-Bookstore talking about Jin Yan: The Rudolph Valentino of Shanghai
Katie Schmidt, photo

Of Mice and Men: Adaptations on Stage and on Screen
November 26, 7 pm, Pigott Classroom 307
Guest: Tony Kay, CityArts Film Correspondent

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men has inspired adaptations for theater, film, radio and opera. We’ll examine two adaptations that tell Steinbeck’s story musically: the 1939 film by director Lewis Milestone and composer Aaron Copland, and the opera by Carlisle Floyd, premiered at Seattle Opera in 1970.

Tony Kay
Tony Kay, photo

The Film Operas of Gian Carlo Menotti
December 17, pm, Wyckoff Auditorium
Guest: Dan Miller, Artistic Director of Vespertine Opera

Join us for a lively discussion on three television operas, including The Medium, directed by the composer himself, Amahl and the Night Visitors, the first opera commissioned by NBC, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Consul.

Dan Miller at work at Vespertine Opera
Dan Miller, photo

Literature as Opera: Prokofiev’s War and Peace
January 21, 7 pm, Wyckoff Auditorium
Guest: Andrea McDowell, Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Seattle University

Russian literature specialist Andrea McDowell will lead a discussion on the operatic adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. We’ll show clips from Seattle Opera’s 1990 production and discover what this novel meant to Prokofiev and his audience in the post-war Soviet era.

The Carmen Phenomenon
February 25, 7 pm, Wyckoff Auditorium
Guests: Eric Ames, Professor of Germanics, and Jane Brown, Joff Hanauer Distinguished Professor of Western Civilization Emerita at the University of Washington

Join us for a conversation about George Bizet’s Carmen and its seemingly endless film adaptations – from DeMille to Beyonce—with key examples spanning more than a century of film history.

Jane Brown

Of Leitmotivs and Lightsabers: the Music of Star Wars
March 25, 7 pm, Wyckoff Auditorium
Guest: Dustin Kaspar, Seattle International Film Festival Educational Programs Manager

For many fans, John Williams’ iconic score for Star Wars remains unforgettable. Join Dustin Kaspar to explore the way in which Williams expertly incorporated Wagner's thematic principles into George Lucas' trilogy of “space operas.”

Dustin Kaspar at SIFF

The Hollywood Musical
April 22, 7 pm, Wyckoff Auditorium
Guest: Tony Kay, CityArts Film Correspondent

By looking at films spanning from The Jazz Singer (1927) to My Fair Lady (1964), we’ll look at the cinematographic techniques developed by Hollywood to create film musicals that rivaled original Broadway hits.

The Task of the Translator: Libretti and Screenplays
May 20, 7 pm, Wyckoff Auditorium
Guest: Jonathan Dean, Supertitles Author for Seattle Opera

The battle between words and music has been a longstanding one in opera history. Supertitles author Jonathan Dean will share a selection of scenes from opera and film to compare and contrast the forms of opera libretto and film screenplay from the writer’s point of view.

Jonathan Dean in the Supertitles Booth
Rozarii Lynch, photo