Seattle Opera Programs
TRANSFORMATIVE OPERA PERFORMANCES
Your gift will help bring captivating operas to life at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Each season includes a variety of works, including:
OPERA GOES TO SCHOOL
- Beloved Seattle Opera classics, like Puccini’s Tosca and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
- All-new productions, like Handel’s Semele, that bring world-class talent like Stephanie Blythe to Seattle.
- Rarely performed gems, like Verdi’s Nabucco, an early work that established Verdi’s reputation as a composer. In 2015/16, our production features Young Artists Program alumni Mary Elizabeth Williams, Russell Thomas, and Eric Neuville, returning to perform for the Seattle audiences that nurtured their growth.
- The community-sourced opera, An American Dream, part of the Belonging(s) Project, in which Seattle Opera asked people in our community to answer the question, “If you had to leave your home tomorrow and could bring only one belonging with you, what would it be?” This opera was born from the stories we heard. An American Dream will have its world premiere in August 2015.
Opera Goes to School is our popular in-school program serving K-8 students, bringing the commissioned kid-friendly opera trilogy Our Earth 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 write their own operas, rehearse with teaching artists, and perform for their peers. Along with arts engagement, these residencies also serve K-2 and ESL students through their design to improve literacy and fluency.
Serving more than 9,000 students, Experience Opera provides opportunities for students to engage with an opera production from many angles through Scenic Studios and Costume Shop tours, free opera previews, and dress rehearsal attendance. For many children, it’s their first live performing arts experience.
Help us provide programs for community members of all ages, from students to seniors through our Speakers' Bureau Public Talks. These discussions deliver free talks exploring history, music, stagecraft, and story in venues across Puget Sound. They can prepare listeners for an upcoming performance or equally stand on their own as a fun, engaging experience. The talks take place in venues across the community, increasing access for individuals with limited ability to travel and facilitating meaningful exchange for opera lovers and opera newcomers alike. Venues include libraries, museums, and retirement communities. One such retirement community is Skyline, which features its own community program that Seattle Opera contributes to, called SkyOpera!
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
You have helped fuel an expansion of our in-school and extracurricular programs that connected more than 23,000 local children with opera during the 2013/14 season. This is a 104% increase over 2012/13! School programs feed children’s creativity and confidence. But demand is still outpacing what we can offer in order to help offset our state’s underfunded education system. Free and affordable programs from Seattle Opera are critical tools to build curriculum, reduce the opportunity gap, and increase engagement programs for students.
Our goal is to reach at least 200,000 children and adults through direct engagement programs by 2018. We uphold the vision of General Director Aidan Lang to share opera with the entire community through active engagement – today’s audiences have not only a desire to consumer, but to also create. By expanding our educational opportunities in classrooms and the community, we will provide a broad assortment of participatory and creative opportunities for people like you to deeply engage with opera and the arts in a variety of new ways.
An American Dream
The Belonging(s) Project began four years ago by collecting stories from you and members of our community about our most precious possessions. Now, with the help of donors like you, we’ve commissioned a new opera, An American Dream, inspired by these stories, set in the Pacific Northwest during World War II. This new opera, created by librettist Jessica Murphy Moo and composer Jack Perla, premieres on our mainstage in August 2015. Your gift today helps bring this opera about your time, your place, and your community to life.