Seattle Opera presents entertaining and insightful previews and lectures about the operas they produce every season. Get an inside look as you discover the beauty of opera or deepen your personal connection to the enjoyment of the opera.
There are many ways to enjoy opera for free in Seatte: Live broadcasts from the Seattle Opera stage of McCaw Hall, community performances, family events, live broadcasts from the opera stage, and other special events are free and everyone is welcome. In addition, there are ways to attend live opera for as little as $25. Details of these opportunities are listed below.
About Seattle Opera
Since 1963, Seattle Opera has built a reputation as a leading opera company, recognized in the United States as well as around the world. Seattle Opera is especially known for its acclaimed works of Richard Wagner’s epic Ring.
The company is committed to advancing the cultural life in the Pacific Northwest with opera productions of the highest caliber, and through innovative education and community programs that take opera far beyond the McCaw Hall stage at Seattle Center.
Each year, more than 95,000 people attend Seattle Opera performances and programs designed for people of all ages.
2018/2019 Seattle Opera season
Aug. 11–25, 2018. The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess. The great American opera boasts some of the best songs ever written (including “Summertime”). A vibrant, one-of-kind masterpiece with action, humor, romance, struggle, celebration.
Oct. 13–27, 2018. The Turn of the Screw. A governess travels to an isolated mansion to care for two orphaned children. What follows are a series of ominous encounters, all set to a haunting score by Britten.
Jan. 12–26, 2019. Il Trovatore. Packed with hit songs, Verdi’s hot-blooded melodrama thrills with swift action, intense pathos, and vocal fireworks galore.
Feb. 23–Mar. 9, 2019. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. This innovative and crowd-pleasing portrait of Apple’s visionary co-founder dazzles with a mix of traditional and electronic instrumentation.
May 4–18, 2019. Carmen. Bizet’s sexy thriller about an everyday soldier’s ill-fated obsession with the ultimate femme fatale is the iconic opera.
Free live broadcasts of Seattle Opera productions
Want to experience the splendor of opera on the go? Tune into 98.1 KING FM every Saturday night during the season for live broadcasts from the stage of McCaw Hall and a full lineup of other, full-length opera recordings. A Seattle Opera curator leads you through this marvelous listening journey. Recording details are posted at king.org. Upcoming Seattle Opera LIVE broadcasts from McCaw Hall:
- Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:00 PM. Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean hosts a recording of Vaughan Williams’s Hugh the Drover.
- Saturday, June 2, 2018 8:00 PM. Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang hosts a recording of Gluck’s Armide.
- Saturday, June 9, 2018 8:00 PM. Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean hosts a recording of Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz.
- Saturday, June 16, 2018 8:00 PM. Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang hosts a recording of Handel’s Ariodante.
- Saturday, June 23, 2018 8:00 PM. Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean hosts a recording of Gotovac’s Ero s onoga svijeta.
- Saturday, June 30, 2018 8:00 PM. Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean hosts a recording of Catan’s Florencia en el amazonas.
Free Community Events
Seattle Opera regularly hosts community events at various locations around Puget Sound. Events are announced throughout the year. Here’s what’s coming up (last time we checked):
- Saturday, July 28 At 10:30 AM. Free community forum. Breaking Glass: Hyperlinking Opera & Issues at Nesholm Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall in Seattle. The forum opens a door to frank discussion about racial diversity and inclusion in opera; how art is produced in an increasingly diversified America and who has the right to tell whose story; the role of art in stimulating public discussion about racism and discrimination in America; and what roles social justice plays within the artistic mission of an opera company. Using music from new operas written for Glimmerglass, Librettists Tazewell Thompson and Paige Hernandez will talk about the substantive social content in their new operas Blue and Stomping Grounds. Matthew Morrison from the Clive Davis Institute of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts will moderate the discussion. Other tour sites include: Atlanta, New Orleans, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Cooperstown, Washington DC, and New York City.
How to get cheap tickets to Seattle Opera
$20 Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets are available for all performances at McCaw Hall for $20 per person, however tickets are very limited. Standing room is in the back of the Orchestra. You do, literally, stand throughout the performance. You may not sit in any unoccupied seats, but there is a padded rail to lean against. Also be aware that the English translations are not visible from the standing room location. Standing room tickets are not available online. Standing room tickets become available on the day of the performance or, for Sunday performances, one day before. To purchase standing room tickets, call the Ticket Office at 206.389.7676 or visit the administrative offices at 1020 John Street on the day of the show starting when the ticket office opens (9:00 a.m. for weekday performance days; noon for Saturday performance days).
$25 tickets for every performance at McCaw Hall are available in the Second Tier Side Upper (unless otherwise specified). These seats typically sell out quickly so purchase them as far in advance as possible.
$40 and up and save up to 38% on Season Tickets. Season tickets are now available for 3, 4, or all 5 operas starting at just $40 per opera. Benefits include the best seats at low prices, flexible exchanges, interest-free payment plans, behind-the-scenes events, and other special offers. Purchase by July 20 and get free parking. All it takes is $20 down to place your order, then use the interest-free payment plans to pay in automatic installments through July 2018.
$50 and up SO Card. The SO Card is pre-loaded with six ticket credits to use for any Seattle Opera production. You decide how to use them. See six operas once, have three date nights, bring yourself and five friends to one performance—mix and match however you want. No need to commit to times and dates now; just give us a call the week before the opera you want to see and we will redeem your tickets. Priced from $300-$870 ($50-$145 per opera).
Special Seattle Opera Savings
For more information on any of these options, visit https://www.seattleopera.org/tickets/ways-to-save/.
Students/Teens and Seniors 65+ may join the rush program to purchase a discount ticket to selected performances–students for $25 and Seniors for $45. There’s a bunch of fine print on this, so read carefully and follow instructions. Teen Tix: Seattle Opera is also a proud participant in Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program. When available, enrolled teens can purchase opera tickets for $5 on the day of the performance, one ticket per member. Subject to availability and only available when Student and Senior Rush tickets are also available; so check the Student and Senior Rush availability on the Seattle Opera website. Day-of-show ticket availability at Seattle Opera is often limited, so call the ticket office in early in the day to ask whether there will be Teen Tix tickets available. Because Seattle Opera does not conduct regular box office hours on Sundays, Teen Tix members who wish to purchase tickets for a Sunday performance may call to purchase tickets on the Saturday prior to the Sunday performance they wish to see.
BRAVO! for those age 21-39. With a mission to develop new generations of opera lovers in Seattle, BRAVO! provides its members with a variety of perks, including up to 50% discount on opera tickets, exclusive BRAVO! intermission lounges with complimentary wine and coffee, social events and special BRAVO! performances throughout the year.
Military personnel and Teachers with valid ID save 15% on single tickets to any Seattle Opera mainstage performance at McCaw Hall. Limit two discounted tickets per valid ID. Use promo code SERVICE15 when ordering online, over the phone at 206.389.7676, or in person. Tickets will be held at will call and valid ID must be presented when picking up the tickets at the Box Office. Subject to availability. There’s some other fine print.
“Family Day” matinee. For specially designated performances, students 18 and under in the company of an adult pay only $20 for almost any seat. Family Days also feature special student-oriented activities before the performance and/or during intermission, such as a costume dress-up station or the chance to interact with members of the chorus and orchestra. Valid student ID or proof of age is required for entry. At least one full price adult ticket must be purchased with EVERY student ticket order. There is some other fine print. Upcoming Family Day performances:
- Porgy and Bess: Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM
- Carmen: Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM
McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109
Radio: KING FM 98.1