Behind the Curtain at Seattle Opera’s Season Kickoff: September 21

Posted on September 13, 2014, 7:25 pm
2 mins

Seattle Opera’s season for 2014-15 kicks off next Sunday, September 21 with a free event, treating attendees to a special, behind-the-curtain look at the inner workings of an opera performance.

Popular culture has relegated opera to the realm of the non-relatable—of overweight, Wagnerian Viking women or beer-bellied, boisterous men singing about themselves, frivolous plots or their amorous conquests. This has hurt attendance at opera circuits worldwide and a quick survey of current trends in opera shows this century-old tradition falling in step with the likes of reality television and musical theatre. Performers are expected to be visually attractive, musically versatile and more relatable as actors. (One is reminded of soprano Nadine Sierra’s heart-stopping rendition of a tricky, emotional soprano aria, which she performed while lying flat on her back in Gilda’s dying scene of Seattle Opera’s 2014 run of Rigoletto).

Opera companies are under further pressure—for the better—to contextualize plots to potential audiences in a relatable way. Seattle Opera’s kick-off promises to do just this, providing a (free) fascinating glimpse into the world of opera, both for existing supporters and potential interested newbies.

All events are free on Sunday the 21st, and the audience is encouraged to attend the entire event or merely those parts of particular interest, which include: vignettes of opera life throughout McCaw Hall’s history; exploration of costumes and stage designs, and mechanics of the upcoming season’s operas Don Giovanni, Tosca, Semele and Ariadne auf Naxos; presentations on operatic and textual themes; and singing demonstrations by the cast.

Seattle Opera should be lauded for contextualizing and strengthening the bond between opera and its existing support base and for reaching out to new audiences in such an inviting, innovative manner.

Reservations are required. Reserve your seats at:

Seattle Opera 2014-15 Season Kickoff

When: Sunday, September 21, 12 PM – 5 PM

Where: McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St)

Johann Van Niekerk is a writer, conductor and collaborative artist based in Seattle, WA. He holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Washington where his research focused on the role that music has played throughout history in effecting social change. Van Niekerk covers performing arts events in and around Seattle.