The Most Beautiful Music – La Traviata at Seattle Opera

Seattle Opera 2017 La Traviata McCaw Hall

Corinne Winters (Violetta). Seattle Opera 2017 La Traviata Philip Newton photo c/o Seattle Opera

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


Ticket Season – Part One, Seattle Opera

“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.

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Nabucco at Seattle Opera

Struck down by an angry god. © Philip Newton

Struck down by an angry god.
© Philip Newton

“Zeus isn’t real,” my daughter confided one day when she was four.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“Yesterday I told a lie on purpose and swore by Zeus.” Swearing by Zeus was fashionable among her older sister’s Percy Jackson-obsessed friends. “And I didn’t get hit by lightning. Zeus isn’t real,” she concluded.

Fortunately, in a story that sounds apocryphal, Giuseppe Verdi’s lightning test led to a different conclusion regarding divine power. Continue reading

Rigoletto at Seattle Opera

RigolettoCoverLa Bohéme has a special place in my heart, but Rigoletto is a better opera. Which explains why, at the end of the holidays when all I wanted was a regularly scheduled week, 2014 started out so packed with culture and art that one might call it glamorous. The week started with high concept cocktails and a loft show and culminated in opening night of Seattle Opera’s Rigoletto. Continue reading