118 episodes

Explore and celebrate opera's unique fusion of music and drama with Seattle Opera's 101 series or any of our behind-the-scenes interviews. Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera presents both European classics and new works of American opera.

Seattle Opera Podcast Seattle Opera

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 33 Ratings

Explore and celebrate opera's unique fusion of music and drama with Seattle Opera's 101 series or any of our behind-the-scenes interviews. Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera presents both European classics and new works of American opera.

    THE BARBER OF SEVILLE 101

    THE BARBER OF SEVILLE 101

    Figaro! Figaro! Figaro! Rossini’s cheerful comedy rounds out Seattle Opera’s season in May 2024. Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean introduces THE BARBER OF SEVILLE with musical examples drawn from Seattle Opera archival recordings from 1992 (conducted by Edoardo Mueller and starring John Del Carlo and Kevin Langan); 2011 (conducted by Dean Williamson and starring José Carbo, Lawrence Brownlee, Sarah Coburn, and Kate Lindsey); and 2017 (conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti and starring Sofia Fomina, Matthew Grills, Will Liverman, Kevin Glavin, and Daniel Sumegi).

    • 18 min
    The Music of X: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X with Anthony Davis & Kazem Abdullah

    The Music of X: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X with Anthony Davis & Kazem Abdullah

    Composer Anthony Davis and Conductor Kazem Abdullah discuss X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X with KING FM's Myah Rose. Coming to Seattle Opera February 24 through March 9, Davis's first opera premiered at New York City Opera in 1986. Kazem Abdullah first discovered the opera when he found a recording at the public library in Toledo, OH, where he grew up, just as Myah Rose was intrigued when she found a recording at the University of Michigan. Abdullah, who conducted Davis's Pulitzer Prize-winning opera The Central Park Five in Portland recently, has also conducted performances of X in Detroit and New York's Metropolitan Opera. He and Davis discuss the challenges and rewards of this important American work. 

    • 34 min
    2024/25 Season Announcement

    2024/25 Season Announcement

    Enjoy this sample-platter of music and voices from Seattle Opera’s 2024/25 season. Dramaturg Jonathan Dean and Aren Der Hacopian, Director of Artistic Administration and Planning introduce a mainstage season including Pagliacci (Aug ‘24), Jubilee (World Premiere, Oct ’24), Les Troyens à Carthage in concert (Jan ’25) The Magic Flute (Feb/Mar ’25) and Tosca (May ’25). Musical clips include tenor Diego Torre (Canio in Pagliacci at Lyric Opera Kansas City); Monica Conesa (Seattle’s Nedda, here singing “Casta diva” in Jordan last year); spirituals from Jessye Norman & Kathleen Battle, Paul Robeson, and Marion Anderson; the Les Troyens Act 4 ballet played by the Strasbourg Philharmonic; J’nai Bridges (Delilah in Seattle in 2023); Russell Thomas (Otello at Canadian Opera Company in 2019); Duke Kim (La traviata’s Alfredo in Seattle in 2023); Rodion Pogossov (Belcore in Elixir of Love in Seattle in 2022); Sharleen Joynt (Morgana in Alcina in Seattle in 2023); Vanessa Goikoetxea (Alcina in Seattle in 2023); and Lianna Haroutounian (Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly in Seattle in 2017).

    • 24 min
    Handel: the Opera Titan You Don’t Know

    Handel: the Opera Titan You Don’t Know

    ALCINA, opening October 14th, will be only the fourth-ever Handel opera given at Seattle Opera. General Director Christina Scheppelmann, stage director Tim Albery, and conductor Christine Brandes discuss this great opera composer, and the rebirth of interest in his work, with Dramaturg Jonathan Dean. Starting about 19 minutes in, all three share favorite music from Handel operas.
    Musical excerpts include singing “Va, tacito” from Giulio Cesare (Marijana Mijanovic and Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski); “Vivo in te” from Tamerlano (Karina Gauvin and Max Emanuel Cenčić, with Il pomo d’oro conducted by Ricardo Minasi); “Piangerò” from Giulio Cesare (Sabine Devieilhe and Pygmalion, conducted by Raphael Pichon); “Cara speme” from Giulio Cesare (Anne Sofie von Otter and Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Mark Minkowski); “Se pietà” from Giulio Cesare (Sabine Devieilhe and Pygmalion, conducted by Raphael Pichon);  “L’empio, sleale, indegno” from Giulio Cesare (Brian Asawa, the Seattle Opera orchestra conducted by Gary Thor Wedow); “Dopo notte” from Ariodante (Lorraine Hunt and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan); “Son nata a lagrimar” from Giulio Cesare (Bernarda Fink and Marianne Rørholm, with Concerto Köln conducted by René Jacobs); and a passage from “L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato” (Paul McCreesh conducted the Gabrieli Consort and Players).

    • 38 min
    SINGING DAS RHEINGOLD

    SINGING DAS RHEINGOLD

    Meet the characters and explore the rich vocal history of DAS RHEINGOLD with Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean. With recorded music examples ranging from 1904 to 2015, Dean considers how DAS RHEINGOLD challenges its singers to feats of lyrical and heroic singing—and even listens for the dreaded “Bayreuth Bark.” Includes special examples from Seattle Opera’s 1976 English-language RING, plus “tag-team” musical examples—where switching singers mid-aria offers an opportunity to hear even more amazing voices.
    Musical credits: 100 Jahre Bayreuth als Schallplate, the Early Festival Singers: Anton von Rooy (Wotan), 1908; Hans Breuer (Mime), (1904); Ernestine Schumann-Heink (Erda), 1907. Les Introuvables du Chant Wagnerien: Friedrich Schorr (Wotan), 1929. 1953 Bayreuth; Clemens Krauss conducts Ludwig Weber (Fasolt), Josef Greindl (Fafner), Erich Witte (Loge), Hermann Uhde (Donner), Paul Kuen (Mime). 1953, RAI Roma; Wilhelm Furtwängler conducts Lorenz Fehenberger (Froh). 1976, Seattle Opera; Henry Holt conducts Malcolm Rivers (Alberich) and Noel Tyl (Wotan) singing Andrew Porter’s English translation. 1978, Covent Garden; Colin Davis conducts George Shirley (Loge). 1989, Bayerische Staatsoper; Wolfgang Sawallisch conducts Nancy Gustafson (Freia), Kurt Moll (Fafner), Marjana Lipovsek (Fricka), Julie Kaufmann (Woglinde), Angela Maria Blasi (Wellgunde), and Birgit Calm (Flosshilde). 1991, Bayreuth; Daniel Barenboim conducts John Tomlinson (Wotan), Matthias Hölle (Fasolt), and Helmut Pampuch (Mime). 1995, Seattle Opera; Hermann Michael conducts Monte Pederson (Wotan). 2013, Seattle Opera; Asher Fisch conducts Greer Grimsley (Wotan), Stephanie Blythe (Fricka), and Dennis Peterson (Mime). 2015, Hong Kong Philharmonic; Jaap van Zweden conducts Kwangchul Youn (Fasolt), Stephen Milling (Fafner), and Kim Begley (Loge).

    • 53 min
    Vanessa Vo and the Vietnamese Instruments of BOUND

    Vanessa Vo and the Vietnamese Instruments of BOUND

    In June Seattle Opera presents BOUND, a one-act chamber opera (music by Huang Ruo, libretto by Bao-Long Chu). This opera features Vanessa Vo playing đàn bầu (monochord) and đàn tranh (Vietnamese zither). In this podcast, Vo demonstrates and discusses these instruments with Dramaturg Jonathan Dean. Plus, as a bonus: Vo’s performance, on the đàn bầu of “Summertime” from Gershwin’s PORGY AND BESS, arranged by Nguyen Le, with Frank Martin at the piano. This performance was chosen as one of NPR’s Songs We Love in 2015.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

kayenne2020 ,

Best podcast about opera

Very informative and fun.
Thanks !

Dav Silver ,

Incredible

Jonathan Dean does a fantastic job summarizing Seattle Opera’s productions while interspersing original recordings from their archive. His quick wit and cadence provide a wonderful listening experience. Additionally, the topics covered outside of the productions provide unique context and fascinating insight in opera.

yrxvg ,

Don’t talk over each other during interviews

Some of the interviews people talked over each other. I understand the intention of cramming more content into the short 30 mins but having two people talking at the same time is hard for listeners to following along and it sounds like people were not listening to each other and cutting each other off all the time.

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