“I love tickets!” squeals Cameron Diaz’s character in the first Charlie’s Angels movie. (And why has no one ever made a gif of that?) It’s supposed to illustrate what an eccentric character she is, but I understand completely. I love tickets. And spring is ticket season. Season-ticket season, to be precise. All of the arts organizations announce their upcoming seasons, tickets go on sale, and I spend hours each spring planning what I will be doing on Saturday nights all next winter. Case in point: Seattle Opera.
Of course, you could just wait and buy tickets to the individual performances you most want to attend, but there are always such good deals on season tickets. Especially for the opera, which can be so expensive, the season ticket packages and discounts can end up almost being cheaper than attending a single opera at full price. (I am only barely exaggerating.)
Most of the time, I want to attend all of the operas anyway. Take next season for example, which might be the quirkiest season programming I’ve seen since I started following Seattle Opera.
From the composer who brought you The Barber of Seville (Rossini), Count Ory is described as “Pythonesque” in the booklet that featuring two men dressed as nuns carrying wine bottles for the production’s promotional photo. How could you go wrong? The starring tenor is Lawrence Brownlee, last seen at Seattle Opera in Don Giovanni. Countess Adele is Sarah Coburn, last seen at Seattle Opera as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. I enjoyed seeing the two paired in Daughter of the Regiment, and can’t wait to see them again.
Hansel and Gretel in modern dress with music by Engelbert Humperdinck!?! Wait, what? Are we still talking opera here? Are we getting punked? But no, Marcy Stonikas, who slayed me in The Consul, is singing a role called Gertrude, so it must be for real. I am not going to miss this.
Now we’re back to the classics. One of Verdi’s most famous operas, and can you believe I’ve never seen it? Stefano Secco (last seen in another pillar of the opera world, Tosca) is back as Alfredo, and Seattle Opera regular Weston Hurt is Germont. But even if I didn’t recognize anyone, I’d be there. I mean, come on, La Traviata.
And we’re back to stuff you’ve never heard of. Sung in Czech (a first for me), it’s a “romantic tragedy overflowing with startlingly original music inspired by Slavic folk songs” composed by Leos Janacek (I must apologize; that’s as close as WordPress fonts will get me to the proper spelling). All of the performers are unfamiliar to me as well. But as someone who has bitched about misogyny in opera at every opportunity, I’m game for a female-centered story that “dives deep into the emotional turbulence lurking beneath small town respectability.”
The season ends with a familiar Mozart, but let’s admit it, it’s one of the weirdest traditional operas to be performed regularly. The only performer I recognize is Amanda Forsythe, who played the very cool role of Iris in Semele. I’ve seen the Magic Flute once before, but it’s been a long time, and Mozart is kind of a sure thing.
So yeah, it’s a very unusual season, and I want to see them all. But you probably knew that ahead of time. Do any of these operas appeal to you?