When I saw The Barber of Seville at Seattle Opera in October, I declared it my new favorite opera and left McCaw Hall determined to come back with my whole family. That proved easier said than done, but I did it. Here’s how. Continue reading
Seattle Opera is one of Seattle’s biggest, most “establishment” arts organizations, but they are appropriately progressive to our left-coast city, relative to other major opera companies around the country. American Dream is the perfect example. I’m a little late in talking about American Dream, since I attended the very last performance. I think it’s still worth talking about it, even though the performances are over, because it completely inverts the typical opera experience. Continue reading
At Seattle Opera’s panel on race and representation in Madame Butterfly, one of the younger speakers asked why anyone would even bother trying to redeem such an opera. The obvious answer was, “The music!” but a part of me felt a little guilty for perpetuating one of those “classics” that should be allowed to die as its cultural relevance fades and its artistic merit is proven less significant than its novelty. I felt even more guilty that by taking my 13-year-old Asian daughter to see it, I could be inflicting harmful stereotypes on the very person they could most affect. I think those were legitimate fears, and could have been valid if Seattle Opera had presented Madame Butterfly without comment. But in the context of the local discussion they have started – wow! What an opera! Continue reading
Well, I’m back at the government work, editing construction project management plans. But I have found time amidst all that excitement to write a few things that I hope you’ll enjoy or find useful.
Here’s what I’ve written lately:
Interview any artist, whether it’s a rock star promoting a new album or a symphony director discussing his orchestra, and you will hear about “artistic growth.” But we don’t often talk about audiences’ artistic growth. Continue reading
People are getting pretty worked up about the unusual production of La Traviata currently playing at Seattle Opera. But really, the production isn’t very important. What really matters about La Traviata is the music, that exquisite, heavenly music. Continue reading
People like to pretend that seasons and weather have no impact on our modern, urban lives. Despite climate-controlled offices where America indulges its addiction to workaholism and despite the encroachment of year-round schooling, that attitude is completely false. Continue reading