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Seattle Opera.

Opera Talks

Deepen Your Knowledge

Although we’ve had to cancel our in-person events, we are recording talks and making past presentations available to share with audiences. From composer spotlights to a two-part conversation with General Director Christina Scheppelmann to chats about opera genres, dramaturg Jonathan Dean and special guest speakers are covering a variety of topics.

Stay tuned for a new virtual Opera Talk each week. Upcoming topics include the history of McCaw Hall, opera’s greatest villains, additional composer overviews, and more.

If you are enjoying our digital opera offerings, please make a donation to support the artists and staff that are collaborating to bring you opera in new ways.

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New This Week: Motfis, from mozart to the movies

Explore one of the most important musical story-telling elements in opera, the motif. Used by Mozart, Wagner, and Puccini, the humble motif became an equally important device in film — opera’s cultural descendant. 

Up Next: Opera Indulges in the Sevenly Deadly Sins

On Tuesday, May 26 at 7:00 PM Jonathan Dean explores how opera indulges in the Seven Deadly Sins. Through music, opera has a unique ability to let us inside a character and reveal their emotions and hidden motivations, which more often than not tend toward the indecent—if not the wicked. From lustful Tannhäuser to the proud Princess Turandot, join us on this tour of some of opera’s most profligate characters.

Full Playlist

To see the list and jump to your favorite, click or tap the icon in the top right corner of the video.

  • Motifs, from Mozart to the Movies
  • Composer Spotlight on Mascagni
  • The History of Seattle's Opera House
  • Composer Spotlight on Puccini
  • Getting to Know our General Director (parts 1 & 2)
  • Community Conversation: Black Representation in the Arts
  • Opera 101: Nine Types of Opera to Get You Started
  • A Bird’s-Eye View: Telling the Story of Charlie Parker through Opera

Last updated May 19

Main Photo © Sean Airhart