Eight opera-themed occasions supply a spread of experiences for brand spanking new audiences and seasoned operagoers alike
Seattle Opera continues its 2021/22 season with a dynamic lineup of opera occasions, together with neighborhood conversations, artist recitals, laser exhibits, and a well timed and award-winning opera.
Main the slate is Blue (February 26–March 12, 2022 in McCaw Corridor), named the 2020 winner of Finest New Opera by the Music Critics Affiliation of North America. This portrait of latest African American life is the creation of librettist Tazewell Thompson (winner of 5 NAACP Awards and two Emmy nominations) and composer Jeanine Tesori (Tony Award winner greatest recognized for Enjoyable Dwelling). A narrative of affection, loss, church, and sisterhood, Blue depicts a younger couple celebrating the enjoyment of household with the delivery of their son. Later they lean on close-knit neighborhood within the wake of their son’s dying by the hands of a police officer.
“I didn’t wish to write a couple of household that was struggling,” says the opera’s librettist, Tazewell Thompson. “There was sufficient of Black battle and dysfunction on the display and stage: absent fathers and determined single moms barely surviving. I wished to point out a optimistic family shifting ahead. In Blue, The Mom is educated and proficient with equally proficient and educated girlfriends. Surrounding The Father, a police officer, are his greatest mates, fellow cops, males who’re accountable, fantastic, aspiring fathers to their kids.”
That target neighborhood has been notably poignant for the opera’s singers. “Black love, neighborhood, and relationships are the actual coronary heart and soul of this opera,” says bass Kenneth Kellogg, who reprises his function as The Father from the unique 2019 Glimmerglass manufacturing. “It opens you up in methods which can be, hopefully, life altering. After we first carried out it, individuals got here as much as me afterwards in tears, thanking me. I consider Blue is a life-changing expertise.”
“Blue doesn’t try and reply the longstanding complexities of race and violence that our nation has been grappling with for many years,” says Gordon Hawkins, who performs The Reverend. “Reasonably, it’s an try to position us collectively in the identical room of humanity, nose to nose, in order that we could handle these points head-on…collectively.”
Composer Jeanine Tesori hopes that audiences will “journey within the sneakers of the characters they see on stage—to vest so closely within the character’s victories and tragedies that they expertise them as their very own. That’s what causes the viewers to cry and giggle. The character’s story is the viewers’s story.”
|Clockwise, from high left: Tazewell Thompson (librettist), Jeanine Tesori (composer), Gordon Hawkins (The Reverend), and Kenneth Kellogg (The Father)|
Unique forged members Kenneth Kellogg (The Father) and Gordon Hawkins (The Reverend) will likely be joined by three different singers from the 2019 world premiere on the Glimmerglass Pageant: Briana Hunter (The Mom), Ariana Wehr (Girlfriend 1/Nurse/Congregant 1), and Camron Grey (Police Buddy 1/Congregant 1). Forged members new to the manufacturing embody Joshua Stewart (The Son), Ellaina Lewis (Girlfriend 2/Congregant 2), Cheryse McLeod Lewis (Girlfriend 3/Congregant 3), Korland Simmons (Police Buddy 2/Congregant 2), and Joshua Conyers (Police Buddy 3).
To information conversations surrounding the opera, Seattle Opera will heart the voices of its artists and Black American neighborhood companions. “In presenting an opera as well timed as Blue, we wished to create house for our broader neighborhood to mirror on how the opera’s themes relate to their on a regular basis lives,” says Alejandra Valarino Boyer, Seattle Opera’s Director of Applications and Partnerships. “Our neighborhood programming will give audiences the prospect to listen to immediately from the artists about their experiences staging this work, in addition to to affix within the dialog about how the opera addresses the challenges and alternatives dealing with Seattle’s Black communities.” All neighborhood occasions are free and open to the general public.
Opera Discuss: That includes the Forged of Blue
February 10 at 7:00 PM, Tagney Jones Corridor and livestreamed on YouTube
This dialog, moderated by Classical KING FM’s Artist- and Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Quinton Morris, will function the lead forged members of Blue in dialogue about their creative relationship with the opera.
Changing into Blue: A Discuss with Tazewell Thompson
February 25 at 7:00 PM, Tagney Jones Corridor and livestreamed on YouTube
To delve deeper into the artistic journey behind Blue, Seattle Opera’s Scholar in Residence, Dr. Naomi André, will sit down with Blue librettist Tazewell Thompson.
February 2022, Tagney Jones Corridor and livestreamed on YouTube
In partnership with The Northwest African American Museum, Seattle Opera presents a set of Neighborhood Conversations that can delve into matters illustrated in Blue and discover how they relate to Seattle’s Black communities. Dates and occasions will likely be introduced later this winter.
Along with its programming centered on Blue, Seattle Opera will current 4 numerous and interesting musical applications that discover the total vary of operatic expression:
Artist Recital: Key’mon W. Murrah
February 4 at 7:30 PM, Tagney Jones Corridor
Contemporary off his look as Orpheus in Orpheus and Eurydice, countertenor Key’mon W. Murrah kicks off Seattle Opera’s celebration of Black Historical past Month with a program of spirituals and African American artwork music that exhibits off his “wealthy tone and terrific presence” (Aspen Instances). Works by Duke Ellington, Moses Hogan, Jacqueline Hairston, and Roland Hayes supply a message of hope that attracts on Murrah’s experiences rising up in Louisville, KY. Don’t miss this chance to listen to a famend countertenor within the intimacy of Tagney Jones Corridor!
February 11 at 8:00 PM, Pacific Science Middle
Seattle Opera companions with the Pacific Science Middle to carry again an viewers favourite: Laser Opera. Audiences will be a part of BRAVO! membership members for an unforgettable night of operatic favorites accompanied by the good lights and gorgeous imagery of the Pacific Science Middle’s Laser Dome. Tickets accessible for $10.
Artist Recital: Takesha Meshé Kizart
March 10 at 7:30 PM, Tagney Jones Corridor
Soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart and pianist Artina McCain current an opera recital on the theme of Black motherhood, entitled “Maternità.” Hosted by The Northwest African American Museum, the recital will comprise a mixture of conventional opera arias and world premieres of recent works for accompanied soprano.
Artist Recital: Joshua Stewart
March 18 at 7:30 PM, Tagney Jones Corridor
Tenor Joshua Stewart—who seems as The Son in Blue and final carried out at Seattle Opera as Charlie Parker in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird—returns with an intimate jazz recital. His program consists of works by Margaret Bonds, John W. Work, Florence Value, and George Walker, with further choices from the Nice American Songbook and New Orleans jazz traditions.
All Seattle Opera employees, artists, and people concerned in productions are required to be vaccinated. Viewers members are required to be vaccinated or current a detrimental COVID-19 take a look at from the earlier 72 hours; masks (N95 or KN95 masks strongly really useful) should be worn besides when consuming in designated areas. For extra data, see seattleopera.org/security.