MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Legacy of a Ringmaster: Speight Jenkins and Seattle Opera

This week brings the final Ring cycle in Speight Jenkins’s 30-year reign as general director of Seattle Opera. Here’s my new feature reflecting on how the Ring became the company’s signature production and the twilight of the Jenkins era:

Speight Jenkins remembers a lot of violent, hostile booing. What made it all the more shocking is that Seattle audiences and booing don’t exactly a typical match make – as everyone knows in this city of the polite Obligatory Standing Ovation immediately followed by the Hasty Exit.

But whenever he refers to that night in hindsight, Jenkins explains why it ranks among the most treasured memories of his career as head honcho at Seattle Opera: “That night – July 28, 1985 – made this company. The controversy it excited was absolutely vital to Seattle Opera

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Filed under: Seattle Opera, Wagner


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