Performance
Archive

Welcome to Seattle Opera's performance archive! We hope you'll visit often, both to share your memories and to check out what's new as we constantly add photos, stories, audio clips, videos, and more.

This May, The Flying Dutchman, Wagner’s lively and tuneful song of the sea, sets sail for Seattle. Opera-lovers around the world associate Seattle with productions of the great operas of Richard Wagner, particularly his monumental four-opera Ring cycle. (Only in Seattle have there been as many performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre as Carmen and La bohème!) The company’s tight focus on presenting these challenging masterworks has kept every department operating at the top of their game for decades. Enjoy these memories of great Wagner productions at Seattle Opera.

Explore
© Ron Scherl
Roger Roloff as Wotan

Hear the bass-baritone who often sang Wotan in Seattle in the ’80s.

From Glenn Ross archives.
Glynn Ross on Forging a Ring

Excerpt from The Journal of the Wagner Society of Northern California

1982 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1982 Ring Program

Explore the 1982 Ring Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
Artist of the Year: STEPHEN MILLING as Gurnemanz

The award-winning performance in the first opera in the renovated McCaw Hall.

© Ron Scherl
1986 RING

The first complete presentation of the imaginative Rochaix/Israel Ring 2.

© Chris Bennion
1984 Tannhäuser

For Seattle Opera’s only production of this masterpiece, we projected titles above the stage for the first time.

1977 The Ring of Nibelung Cover
Five Decades of Wagner in Seattle: 1966-2013

A complete list of Wagner performances in Seattle.

© Ron Scherl
1989 The Flying Dutchman
Glynn Ross
GLYNN ROSS Welcomes You To The RING

Hear the voice of Seattle Opera’s founding General Director!

1984 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1984 Ring Program

Explore the 1984 Ring Program!

© Chris Bennion
“Seattle Opera took gamble on the grand scale to launch Wagner epic”

A 1982 article about Glynn Ross and Seattle’s Ring.

1978 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1978 Ring Program

Explore the 1978 Ring Program!

1974/75 Gotterdammerung Cover
1974/75 Gotterdammerung Program

Explore the 1974/75 Gotterdammerung Program!

2001 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
2001 Ring Program

Explore the 2001 Ring Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2010 Tristan und Isolde

A minimalist new production directed by Peter Kazaras that was inspired in part from the Ambrose Bierce short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.”

© Chris Bennion
1978 Ring

Johanna Meier and Alberto Remedios joined our cast this summer.

1984-85 Tannhauser Cover
1984/85 Tannhäuser Program

Explore the 1984/85 Tannhäuser Program!

© Wah Lui
2007 Der Fliegende Holländer

“Gloomy captain, go on land; seek a faithful woman’s hand! Another seven years rush by; another woman soon must die.”

1980-81 Tristan und Isolde Cover
1980/81 Tristan and Isolde Program

Explore the 1980/81 Tristan and Isolde Program!

1986 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1986 Ring Program

Explore the 1986 Ring Program!

© Gary Smith
1995 Ring

The final outing of Ring 2 was a great success, artistically—and financially!

1989-90 Die Meistersinger Cover
1989/90 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Program

Explore the 1989/90 Master-Singers of Nuremberg Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2010 Tristan and Isolde

Watch Director’s Talk Video with Peter Kazaras

© Des Gates
1975 Götterdämmerung

The first time the world ended at Seattle Opera!

1972/73 Die Walkure Cover
1972/73 Die Walküre Program

Explore the 1972/73 Die Walküre Program!

© Des Gates
1973 Die Walküre

Glynn Ross begins introducing his favorite opera tetralogy to Seattle.

2000-01 Das Rheingold Die Walkure Cover
2000/01 Das Rheingold, Die Walküre Program

Explore the 2000/01 Das Rheingold, Die Walküre Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2010 Tristan and Isolde

Watch Video: Music with Maestro Asher Fisch

87 Rhinegold Decker
Geraldine Decker as Erda

Hear the voice of Seattle’s original Ur-Mutter.

© Rozarii Lynch
2010 Tristan and Isolde

Watch a Video Excerpt

1995-96 The Ring Cover
1995 Ring Program

Explore the 1995 Ring Program!

© Chris Bennion
2009 Die Walküre

From the 2009 Ring cycle performances

© Gary Smith
1991 Ring

RING 2 achieved widespread acceptance this summer, and the number of performances increased to three.

© Howard Staples
1972 Der Fliegende Holländer

Wagner’s rollicking sea yarn came to Seattle with a famous cast.

72 Glynn Ross bw
“His energy and ideas built Seattle Opera”

R. M. Campbell’s obituary recaps the remarkable career of Glynn Ross.

© Gary Smith
2000 Das Rheingold and Die Walküre

This preview of our third RING production featured the first two operas in the cycle, presented in full one year later.

Perry Lorenzo
PERRY LORENZO on Wagner’s “Ring”

Listen to a clip from Perry Lorenzo’s famous RING lectures!

1977 The Ring of Nibelung Cover
1977 Ring Program

Explore the 1977 Ring Program.

1987 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1987 Ring Program

Explore the 1987 Ring Program!

© Gary Smith
Artist of the Year: JANE EAGLEN as Isolde, with Ben Heppner as Tristan

Hear two of the great Wagner voices of our time, at the peak of their powers.

© Ron Scherl
1989 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Seattle Opera’s only production to date of Wagner’s sunny comedy.

Wildermann-William-01
WILLIAM WILDERMANN as Hagen

Hear the bass who was with us from before the beginning.

1975 The Ring of the Nibelungen Cover
1975/76 The Ring Program

Explore the 1974/75 Ring Program!

1973/74 Siegfried Cover
1973/74 Siegfried Program

Explore the 1973/74 Siegfried Program!

© Chris Bennion
The Road to Valhalla Part 3: Sets and Props

The Making of the Ring

© Margaret Marshall
1966 Lohengrin

It’s love at first sight (and hearing!) when Seattle Opera meets Richard Wagner.

1998-99 Tristan und Isolde Cover
1998/99 Tristan und Isolde Program

Explore the 1998/99 Tristan and Isolde Program!

© Bill Mohn
Joseph Horowitz on Wagner in Seattle

From the book, “Classical Music in America”

© Des Gates
1974 Siegfried

A second Ring opera is added to Seattle’s repertory.

2007-08 Der fliegende Hollander Cover
2007/08 Flying Dutchman Program

Explore the 2007/08 Flying Dutchman Program!

2009 The Ring Cover
2009 Ring Program

Explore the 2009 Ring Program!

© Gary Smith
Seattle Opera’s Heroic Prop Master

Pete Olds’ quick-thinking saves the day.

© Chris Bennion
MALCOLM RIVERS as Alberich

Hear Seattle’s first malevolent Lord of the Ring.

Walkurenritt
Ride of the Valkyries

The most familiar music from Wagner’s RING!

© Gary Smith
1994 Lohengrin

Greer Grimsley’s first Wagner opera—complete with giant animatronic swan!

© Chris Bennion
THE RING in English

Listen to excerpts from Seattle Opera’s English-language RINGS!

1975/76 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1976 Ring Program

Explore the 1976 Ring Program!

© Gary Smith
1998 Tristan und Isolde

Wagner News: “An opera experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

© Rozarii Lynch
2006 & 2008 International Wagner Competitions

Hear the winners of our International Wagner Competitions!

1985 Die Walkure Cover
1985/86 Die Walküre Program

Explore the 1985/86 Die Walküre Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2009 Das Rheingold

From the 2009 Ring

© Rozarii Lynch
2009 Ring

The “Green” Ring looked better than ever this summer.

© Gary Smith
2001 Ring

The first full performance of Seattle Opera’s beloved “Green” Ring.

© Rozarii Lynch
PARSIFAL Enters the Grail Temple

Listen to Asher Fisch conduct overwhelming music from the first show in McCaw Hall!

1979 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1979 Ring Program

Explore the 1979 Ring Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2004 Lohengrin

Revival of the 1994 production directed by Stephen Wadsworth.

66 Loh
1966 – Wagner’s Seattle Opera Debut

The first Wagner production at Seattle Opera!

© Bill Mohn
The Road to Valhalla Part 5: Orchestra & Chorus

The making of the Ring

1981 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1981 Ring & Tristan Program

Explore the program for our Summer 1981 Wagner festival, featuring the Ring and Tristan and Isolde.

© Chris Bennion
1984 Ring

The last summer for Ring 1!

© David Kreitzer
From the TRISTAN UND ISOLDE Prelude

Hear Asher Fisch conduct the TRISTAN Prelude!

© Matthew McVay
1989: Ben Heppner as Walther von Stolzing

Hear the great Canadian tenor sing one of his most gorgeous roles.

Illustration by Alexandre Serebriakoff from the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s 1939 story-book version of the RING.
Asher Fisch Conducts Siegfried’s Funeral March

The orchestra mourns the death of a fallen hero.

2013 Ring Program Cover
2013 Ring Program

Explore the 2013 Ring Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2009 Götterdämmerung

From 2009 Ring cycle performances.

© Rozarii Lynch
2009 The Road to Valhalla Part 2 – Costumes

The making of the Ring

1983 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1983 Ring Program

Explore the 1983 Ring Program!

RING in English: Noel Tyl as Wotan

Hear the voice of Noel Tyl, one of our first Wotans.

© Rozarii Lynch
2003 Parsifal

The unforgettable opera that opened McCaw Hall!

© Chris Bennion
1979 Ring

Edward Sooter made a great addition to our Ring cast at its fifth consecutive summer.

© Bob Peterson
1976 Ring

A new Brünnhilde headlined our second complete cycle.

© Chris Bennion
1981 Ring

A new Siegfried added to the excitement of Seattle Opera’s most ambitious summer program yet.

2004-05 Lohengrin Cover
2004/05 Lohengrin Progarm

Explore the 2004/05 Lohengrin Program!

© Ron Scherl
1987: Leonie Rysanek as Sieglinde

The great Viennese soprano’s only Seattle appearance!

© Rozarii Lynch
Artist of the Year: GREER GRIMSLEY as Wotan

Listen to the voice of Seattle’s reigning king of the gods.

1988-89 Flying Dutchman Cover
1988/89 Flying Dutchman Program

Explore the 1988/89 Flying Dutchman Program!

76 Walkure Herald
1976: Seattle Opera’s Early Valkyries

“Ride of the Valkyries” — sung in English!

© Chris Bennion
1985 Die Walküre

The moment when the difference between Speight Jenkins and Glynn Ross became apparent!

© Bill Mohn
2009 RING – Road to Valhalla Part I: Rehearsals and Artists

Part one of our series previewing 2009 RING Cycle focused on the artists involved and their rehearsal process.

1991 Ring Program Cover
1991 Ring Program

Explore the 1991 Ring Program!

© Chris Bennion
DENNIS BAILEY as Froh

Hear the voice of Seattle Opera’s resident tenor in the ’70s!

© Chris Bennion
1982 Ring

A game of musical chairs ensued when several Ring singers switched parts.

© Chris Bennion
MARVELLEE CARIAGA as Fricka

Hear the mezzo who was Seattle’s original Queen of the Gods.

2003-04 Parsifal Cover
2003/04 Parsifal Progarm

Explore the 2003/04 Parsifal Program!

2010-11 Tristan und Isolde Cover
2010/11 Tristan and Isolde Program

Explore the 2010/11 Tristan and Isolde Program!

© Gary Smith
Siegfried’s Bear

Perhaps the wildest animal ever to appear on our stage…

© Chris Bennion
1980 RING

By 1980, Seattle’s Ring was a well-known west coast cultural phenomenon.

2009 DAS RHEINGOLD Preview

Three-minute complilation of footage from the final dress rehearsal of 2009′s DAS RHEINGOLD.

84 Tannhaueser Duesing
1984: Dale Duesing as Wolfram

Duesing implores the Evening Star to bear his love to the lady of his heart.

1994-95 Lohengrin Cover
1994/95 Lohengrin Program

Explore the 1994/95 Lohengrin Program!

© Matthew McVay
JULIAN PATRICK as Beckmesser

A serenade gone hilariously wrong!

2005 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
2005 Ring Program

Explore the 2005 Ring Program!

© Chris Bennion
2009 Siegfried

From the 2009 Ring cycle performances

© Gary Smith
JULIAN PATRICK as Alberich

One of our favorite baritones sings Alberich’s curse.

© Gary Smith
1985-1995 RING 2

Watch clips from our imaginative second production of Wagner’s Ring.

RING in English: Paul Crook as Mime and Raimund Herincx as Wotan

Hear the SIEGFRIED Riddle Scene–in English!

© Chris Bennion
1981 Tristan und Isolde

Our first production of Wagner’s great song of love and death.

1980 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1980 Ring Program

Explore the 1980 Ring Program!

© Ron Scherl
1987 Ring

Leonie Rysanek’s unforgettable Seattle appearance!

1971/72 Fliegende Hollander Cover
1971/72 The Flying Dutchman Program

Explore the 1971/72 Flying Dutchman Program!

© Bill Mohn
The Road to Valhalla Part 4: Special Effects

The Making of the Ring

© Des Gates
RING in English: Archie Drake as Gunther and James McCray as Siegfried

Hear Archie Drake sing Gunther–in English!

© Rozarii Lynch
2005 Ring

Our first RING in McCaw Hall–and Greer Grimsley’s first Wotan.

© Chris Bennion
1975 Ring

The first Ring performed complete within a week in the U.S. in a generation.

© Des Gates
Two Languages in the ’76 WALKÜRE Death-Announcement Scene

A cast substitution with unexpected results.

© Chris Bennion
1977 Ring

Simon Estes was a strong Hagen, and Ute Vinzing joined our Ring for the first time as Brünnhilde.

1
“The RING Goes to School”

Wagner’s mighty epic performed for–and by!–kids all over Washington State.

© Chris Bennion
1983 Ring

The final cycle produced by Glynn Ross.

© William E. Duncan
HENRY HOLT On Opera In English

Hear the voice of Seattle Opera’s first Music and Education Director!