Greatest New Opera Winner Blue Leads Slate of Thrilling Occasions in February–March 2022

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Eight opera-themed occasions provide a variety 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 group conversations, artist recitals, laser reveals, 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 Greatest 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 finest identified for Enjoyable Dwelling). A narrative of affection, loss, church, and sisterhood, Blue depicts a younger couple celebrating the enjoyment of household with the beginning of their son. Later they lean on close-knit group within the wake of their son’s dying by the hands of a police officer.

“I didn’t need to write a few household that was struggling,” says the opera’s librettist, Tazewell Thompson. “There was sufficient of Black wrestle and dysfunction on the display and stage: absent fathers and determined single moms barely surviving. I needed to point out a optimistic family shifting ahead. In Blue, The Mom is educated and gifted with equally gifted and educated girlfriends. Surrounding The Father, a police officer, are his finest pals, fellow law enforcement officials, males who’re accountable, great, aspiring fathers to their youngsters.”

That target group has been significantly poignant for the opera’s singers. “Black love, group, 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 are, hopefully, life altering. Once we first carried out it, folks 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. “Somewhat, it’s an try to position us collectively in the identical room of humanity, head to head, in order that we might handle these points head-on…collectively.”

Composer Jeanine Tesori hopes that audiences will “journey within the footwear 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 snort. The character’s story is the viewers’s story.”

Clockwise, from prime 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) shall be joined by three different singers from the 2019 world premiere on the Glimmerglass Competition: 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 embrace 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 middle the voices of its artists and Black American group companions. “In presenting an opera as well timed as Blue, we needed to create area for our broader group 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 Packages and Partnerships. “Our group programming will give audiences the prospect to listen to instantly from the artists about their experiences staging this work, in addition to to hitch within the dialog about how the opera addresses the challenges and alternatives going through Seattle’s Black communities.” All group 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 inventive journey behind Blue, Seattle Opera’s Scholar in Residence, Dr. Naomi André, will sit down with Blue librettist Tazewell Thompson.

Neighborhood Conversations
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 may delve into subjects illustrated in Blue and discover how they relate to Seattle’s Black communities. Dates and occasions shall be introduced later this winter.

Along with its programming centered on Blue, Seattle Opera will current 4 numerous and interesting musical packages that discover the total vary of operatic expression:

Artist Recital: Key’mon W. Murrah
February 4 at 7:30 PM, Tagney Jones Corridor
Recent 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 reveals off his “wealthy tone and terrific presence” (Aspen Instances). Works by Duke Ellington, Moses Hogan, Jacqueline Hairston, and Roland Hayes provide a message of hope that pulls 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!

Laser Opera
February 11 at 8:00 PM, Pacific Science Heart
Seattle Opera companions with the Pacific Science Heart to convey 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 sensible lights and beautiful imagery of the Pacific Science Heart’s Laser Dome. Tickets obtainable 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 mix 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 contains works by Margaret Bonds, John W. Work, Florence Worth, and George Walker, with further picks 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 damaging COVID-19 check from the earlier 72 hours; masks (N95 or KN95 masks strongly really helpful) have to be worn besides when ingesting in designated areas. For extra info, see seattleopera.org/security.



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