Seattle Opera 


For 50 years, donors like you have helped Seattle Opera share transformative opera with our Pacific Northwest community. Your support of opera’s universal stories and soul-stirring music and drama enriches the lives of audiences around the Puget Sound and beyond.

By making a donation today, you’ll have a big impact on the community you care about. Your gift will feed children’s creativity and confidence by bringing opera into schools and students into dress rehearsals. You’ll also support adult and community programs that connect newcomers and experts alike with opera, deepening knowledge and facilitating a meaningful exchange of stories and ideas.

Mission Statement
Seattle Opera strives to produce musically extraordinary, theatrically compelling operas, employing uniformly high-quality casts, dramatically aware conductors, and innovative yet textually concerned directors and designers. By continuing our emphasis on the work of Richard Wagner and by achieving national and international recognition for the quality of all of our programming, Seattle Opera commits itself to advancing the cultural life of the Pacific Northwest through education and performance.
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Seattle Opera
1020 John Street 
(206) 389-7600 

Ms. Kelly Tweeddale 
Executive Director 


Seattle Opera Programs

Your gift will help bring transformative operas to life at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Each season includes a variety of works, including:
  • Beloved Seattle Opera classics, like La bohème and Wagner’s Ring.
  • Rarely performed gems, like The Consul; our recent production of this Pulitzer Prize-winner showcased nine Young Artist Program alumni, returning to perform for the Seattle audiences that nurtured their growth.
  • All-new productions, like Semele, that bring world-class talent like Stephanie Blythe to Seattle.
Our Earth, our popular touring trilogy, brings opera into the classroom. Children love following the adventures of Heron and the Salmon Girl upriver from Puget Sound. Local teachers love the powerful intersection with science and arts curriculum.

You can help support an Our Earth school performance or underwrite a full residency, giving students the opportunity to rehearse with teaching artists and perform for their peers.

By supporting Experience Opera, you give students the chance to attend final dress rehearsals. For many it’s their first live performing arts experience.

The results are life-changing. As one high school teacher said after his students saw La bohème, “This production affected so many of them emotionally, even my big rough and tough manly guys. The live orchestra, sets, costumes, lighting, and vocal performance was more than most could take in.” They couldn’t wait to see another opera.

Support lifelong learning through our Speakers Bureau. These free talks take place in venues across Puget Sound, increasing access for individuals with limited ability to travel and facilitating meaningful exchange for opera lovers and opera newcomers alike.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

You’ve helped fuel an expansion of our in-school and extracurricular programs that connected more than 22,000 local children with opera during the 2012/13 season, a 176% increase over 2011/12! School programs feed children’s creativity and confidence. But demand is still outpacing what we can offer. We have ambitious plans to commission three new operas for Opera Goes to School, expand Experience Opera beyond dress rehearsals, and create a year round Youth Opera Chorus and Teen Opera Studio. Will you help give more children the life-changing experience of opera?

The Belonging(s) Project began three years ago by collecting stories of your most precious possessions. Now, with the help of donors like you, we’ve commissioned a new opera inspired by our community, set in the Pacific Northwest during World War II. This new opera will undergo a period of intense rehearsal and revision this June 2014 in anticipation of its premiere. Your gift today can help bring this opera about your time, your place, and your community to life!

Your support will fuel a revolutionary new series of adult programs designed to connect with booklovers or artists who show an affinity for opera. You might have a friend like this: someone who would probably love opera, but hasn’t been introduced yet. Through new behind-the-scenes and interactive programs, you can help more members of our community make that connection and foster a new audience of opera lovers.


The Seattle Opera is committed to providing high-quality opera performances for diverse audiences in King County. In addition to its mainstage programming, the company’s youth and adult education programs reach thousands of people from around Washington each year through in-school residencies and presentations, lectures, radio previews and broadcasts, community events and pre- and post-performance talks.

Best Practices
The Opera is using innovative technology strategies to engage a younger audience, such as podcasts, blogging and an expanded web presence to reach both existing subscribers and new segments of the population. They retooled their entire communication strategy to take into account new opportunities presented through technology and social media. High school programs have really taken to the opportunity to blog about dress rehearsal performances and school programs.

The organization has gradually grown in size and complexity in the many years since its inception. The economic situation has forced the organization to step back and evaluate its plan for the coming years. They will be experimenting with a model used successfully by other opera companies around the country in consolidating performances, but will re-analyze this each year. It has a well-qualified board and staff and has been making appropriate changes and cuts to position themselves through the economic recession.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Staff are constantly evaluating ways to make the opera more accessible to the community- to remove the mystique without losing the magic. They utilize their web presence to give behind the scenes looks to the public, as well as provide open houses at McCaw Hall. Their BRAVO! Affinity group gives operagoers 21-40 a chance to experience opera for a reduced price, as well as providing social activities
Additionally, their education and community programming takes opera into schools and the community, working to make opera real and relevant for a diverse group of individuals. Their education programs are an opportunity for the organization to help kids discover a love of opera, and grow their future audiences.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

8/26/2014 $25,000.00to support general operating expenses.
9/10/2012 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2009 $28,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/22/2007 $40,000.00support the purchase and implementation of new accounting software.


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