MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Seattle Opera Announces 60th-Anniversary Season

Das Rheingold, Brian Staufenfels production; image (c) Cory Weaver

I’m delighted by the mix Seattle Opera has come up with for the 2023-24 season. Along with the first bit of Wagner’s Ring to be staged here in a decade (setting aside an abridged concert Walküre performed a couple years ago), the company makes a rare outing with Handel in its first-ever production of Alcina, directed by Tim Albery and conducted by Christine Brandes, with Vanessa Goikoetxea as Alcina, Randall Scotting as Ruggiero, Sharleen Joynt as Morgana, and Ginger Costa-Jackson as Bradamante.

Malcolm X, the milestone debut opera by Anthony Davis from 1984, to a libretto by Thulani Davis, also promises to be a highlight. Presented in co-production with Detroit Opera, Opera Omaha, the Metropolitan Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, it will be directed by Robert O’Hara, with a cast including Kevin Kellogg as the civil rights icon, Joshua Stewart as Street/Elijah Muhammad, and Leah Hawkins in her compay debut as Louise Little/Betty Shabazz. Kazem Abdullah conducts.

And even another go at Rossini’s Barber of Seville (directed by Lindy Hume, new head of Opera San José) gets an interesting new angle with the wonderful young conductor Valentina Peleggi making her Seattle Opera debut.

Das Rheingold kicks the season off in August, in Brian Staufenbiel’s production first introduced at Minnesota Opera in 2016. It will be a homecoming for Seattle Opera’s beloved Wotan of Rings past, Greer Grimsley, heading a mostly American cast that includes Michael Mayes as Alberich, Melody Wilson as Fricka, Frederick Ballentine as Loge, Kenneth Kellogg as Fafner, Peixin Chen in his company debut as Fasolt, and Denyce Graves as Erda. Ludovic Morlot will conduct.

As to whether this presages the beginning of a new complete Ring, Seattle Opera tweeted: “We have no plans to produce the full Ring in the near future, but Wagner will continue to be a regular part of our seasons.”

“I am thrilled to be able to celebrate 60 years of Seattle Opera with this first-rate lineup of artists and titles,” said Christina Scheppelmann. “60 years is a significant milestone for any American opera company, and it’s a testament to the strong tradition of opera and the performing arts in this city. This season will be both a reminder of that history and a promise of many more years to come.”

Performance information

Das Rheingold

·         Music and libretto by Richard Wagner

·         August 12, 16, 18, & 20, 2023

·         McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109)

·         seattleopera.org/rheingold

Alcina

·         Music by George Frideric Handel, libretto by an unidentified poet

·         October 14, 15, 20, 22, 25, & 28, 2023

·         McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109)

·         seattleopera.org/alcina

Holiday Chorus Concert

·         December 8, 9, & 10, 2023

·         Tagney Jones Hall at the Opera Center (363 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109)

X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X

·         Music by Anthony Davis, libretto by Thulani Davis, story by Christopher Davis

·         February 24 & 25, March 1, 3, 6, & 9, 2024

·         McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109)

·         seattleopera.org/x

The Barber of Seville

·         Music by Gioachino Rossini, libretto by Cesare Sterbini

·         May 4, 5, 10, 12, 15, & 18, 2024

·         McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109)

·         seattleopera.org/barber

60th Anniversary Concert & Gala

·         May 11, 2024

·         McCaw Hall

Filed under: music news, Ring cycle, Seattle Opera

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: