Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Next season: 8 fun facts

Philip Newton photos
Opera fans rejoice! Seattle Opera has announced its 2016/17 Season: The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory, Hansel & Gretel, La traviata, Katya Kabanova and The Magic Flute. Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang says the five operas include four experiences never before seen at McCaw Hall, ranging from high comedy to intense drama. “Great opera is great theater, and I’ve chosen directors and designers who can speak to 21st century audiences, while maintaining the beauty, integrity and truth that we all love about these works.”

8 fun facts about Seattle Opera's 2016/17 Season: 

1. This is the first season planned entirely by General Director Aidan Lang. Opera companies are constantly working several years in advance, so even though 2014 was Lang's first year at Seattle Opera, the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons were collaborations between Lang and former General Director Speight Jenkins.

2. More than 40 artists, including singers, conductors and creative teams will make their debuts at Seattle Opera.

3. Seattle Opera is officially unveiling its new approach to casting, which will ensure that all performances have equitable casts. Introduced in the 1980s, the previous “Gold and Silver” casting system divided singers into teams based on experience and popularity. Going forward, no matter which performance you attend, the caliber of casting will be consistent with any of the world’s greatest opera houses

4. The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory by Rossini is usually called by its original title: Le comte Ory. Our version of this insatiable skirt-chaser (the vision of Australian stage director Lindy Hume) takes its inspiration in part from Monty Python and Austin Powers!

Philip Newton photo 

5. Our Hansel & Gretel (Engelbert Humperdinck), an opera not seen at Seattle Opera for more than 20 years, is no ordinary fairy tale. Great for all ages, this production by Laurent Pelly “speaks to the kid in all of us,” but also bears hauntingly relevant themes of poverty, consumerism, and the need for taking care of a shared Earth. 

6. In place of crinoline skirts, our gripping, contemporary La traviata gets right to the story, drama and incredible Verdi music in a way that will get under your skin. Here's a preview:  

7. Leoš Janáček’s Katya Kabanova is coming to Seattle Opera for this first time! Set in post-war Pacific Northwest, this tragic drama dives deep into the emotional turbulence lurking beneath the surface of small town respectability.

8. Any Zandra Rhodes (The Pearl Fishers, Princess Diana's wardrobe) fans in the house? The magenta-haired Dame and fashion icon returns in May; she created the whimsical costumes for The Magic Flute.
See a behind-the-scenes video of her creation process for The Magic Flute here. The 2016/17 Season Sponsor: Seattle Opera Guild
In Memory of Marian E. Lackovich and Captain Louis J. Lackovich

For more information, go to


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