Welcome to Seattle Opera's 50th Anniversary Site! 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.

For 31 years, Speight Jenkins has dedicated his life to Seattle Opera. With his uncanny ability to put together great teams and create extraordinary opera, Speight has taken us on journeys to fantastic places which we didn’t even know existed. Speight’s leadership has changed Seattle and made it a better place to live. Celebrate his final production, The Tales of Hoffmann, by exploring Speight’s own favorites from among the 169 operas he has produced on Seattle Opera’s mainstage since 1983. 

© Rozarii Lynch
2005 Florencia en el Amazonas

Watch scenes from this beautiful opera by Mexican composer Daniel Catán!

© Gary Smith
1994 Norma

None who were there will ever forget Jane Eaglen’s stunning Seattle Opera debut!

© Elise Bakketun
2011 Porgy and Bess

Seattle Opera’s first home-grown production of the greatest American opera.

© Gary Smith
Artist of the Year: JANE EAGLEN as Norma

The stunning debut of one of our favorite sopranos!

1995-96 Andrea Chenier Cover
1995/96 Andrea Chenier Program

Explore the 1995/96 Andrea Chenier Program!

1995-96 The Ring Cover
1995 Ring Program

Explore the 1995 Ring Program!

© Ron Scherl
1987: Leonie Rysanek as Sieglinde

The great Viennese soprano’s only Seattle appearance!

© Chris Bennion
1985 Die Walküre

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

1987-88 Orpheus & Eurydice Cover
1987/88 Orphée et Eurydice Program

Explore the 1987/88 Orpheus and Eurydice Program!

2007-08 I Puritani Cover
2007/08 I Puritani Program

Explore the 2007/08 I Puritani Program!

© Gary Smith
1994 Lohengrin

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

© Chris Bennion
1984 Tannhäuser

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

© Rozarii Lynch
2011 Don Quichotte

This innovative new production turned the stage into a library desktop, complete with giant books, ink wells, and feather pens.

© Gary Smith
2001 Billy Budd

Britten’s all-male nautical tragedy made its Seattle Opera debut in a spectacular production from Francesca Zambello, Alison Chitty, and Alan Burrett.

2000-01 Billy Bud Cover
2000/01 Billy Budd Program

Explore the 2000/01 Billy Budd Program!

© Gary Smith
1998 Tristan und Isolde

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

2007-08 Iphigenia in Tauris Cover
2007/08 Iphigenia in Tauris Program

Explore the 2007/08 Iphigenia in Tauris Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
Artist of the Year: LAWRENCE BROWNLEE as Arturo

Listen to an amazing feat of bel canto virtuosity from one of our favorite tenors.

© Rozarii Lynch
2009 Bluebeard’s Castle & Erwartung

This fascinating double-bill won its director Artist of the Year.

© Gary Smith
1985-1995 RING 2

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

1994-95 Lohengrin Cover
1994/95 Lohengrin Program

Explore the 1994/95 Lohengrin Program!

© Ron Scherl
1987 Ring

Leonie Rysanek’s unforgettable Seattle appearance!

1990-91 War and Peace Cover
1990/91 War and Peace Program

Explore the 1990/91 War and Peace Program!

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

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

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

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

© Gary Smith
1990 War and Peace

Our unforgettable War and Peace celebrated the end of the Cold War.

2003-04 Parsifal Cover
2003/04 Parsifal Progarm

Explore the 2003/04 Parsifal Program!

1993-94 Norma Cover
1993/94 Norma Program

Explore the 1993/94 Norma Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2004 La fanciulla del West

A rootin’, tootin’ barn-burner of a western with a strong Puccini cast.

© Ron Scherl
1986 RING

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

2009-10 Amelia Cover
2009/10 Amelia Program

Explore the 2009/10 Amelia 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.

Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, 2007
2007 Iphigénie en Tauride

Discover Seattle Opera and Metropolitan Opera’s co-production of Iphigénie en Tauride, claimed as a rare treasure, debuted in 2007.

2010-11 Don Quichotte Cover
2010/11 Don Quichotte Program

Explore the 2010/11 Don Quichotte Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2003 Parsifal

The unforgettable opera that opened McCaw Hall!

© Gary Smith
1991 Anna Bolena

Images highlighting 1991′s Anna Bolena

© Ron Scherl
1988 Orphée et Eurydice

Our powerful first production of this Gluck masterwork.

1990-91 Anna Bolena Cover
1990/91 Anna Bolena Program

Explore the 1990/91 Anna Bolena Program!

1984-85 Tannhauser Cover
1984/85 Tannhäuser Program

Explore the 1984/85 Tannhäuser Program!

© Chris Bennion
1985 Jenůfa

Featuring the Seattle Opera debuts of Stephen Wadsworth and Peter Kazaras!

© Gary Smith
1997 Der Rosenkavalier

A sumptuous production of Richard Strauss’s most popular opera.

1984-85 Jenufa Cover
1984/85 Jenufa Program

Explore the 1984/85 Jenufa Program!

1997-98 Der Rosenkavalier Cover
1997/98 Der Rosenkavalier Program

Explore the 1997/98 Der Rosenkavalier Program!

1990-91 Rusalka Cover
1990/91 Rusalka Program

Explore the 1990/91 Rusalka Program!

© Rozarii Lynch
2008 I Puritani

Explore this beloved cast, full of beautiful voices and frequent Seattle Opera artists.

© Ron Scherl
1989 Dialogues des Carmelites

Our only production of the Poulenc masterpiece.

2013 Ring Program Cover
2013 Ring Program

Explore the 2013 Ring Program!

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

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

© Matthew McVay
1989: Ben Heppner as Walther von Stolzing

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

2006-07 Don Giovanni Cover
2006/07 Don Giovanni Program

Explore the 2006/07 Don Giovanni Program!

© Chris Bennion
1985 Manon

The Seattle debut of Carol Vaness, a favorite soprano of the Seattle audience.

© Gary Smith
1990 Rusalka

Renée Fleming’s debut as Dvořák’s little mermaid.

© Rozarii Lynch
2006 & 2008 International Wagner Competitions

Hear the winners of our International Wagner Competitions!

© Wah Lui
2006 Der Rosenkavalier

Carol Vaness made her role debut as The Marschallin and Maestro Asher Fisch won Artist-of-the-Year honors for conducting this revival of Bruno Schwengl’s lavish production.

2005 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
2005 Ring Program

Explore the 2005 Ring Program!

2008-09 Bluebeard's Castle Cover
2008/09 Bluebeard’s Castle, Erwartung Program

Explore the 2008/09 Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung Program!

1990-91 Don Giovanni Cover
1990/91 Don Giovanni Program

Explore the 1990/91Don Giovanni Program!

2006-07 Der Rosenkavalier Artist Page
2006/07 Der Rosenkavalier Program

Explore the 2006/07 Der Rosenkavalier Program!

© Alan Alabastro
2012 Turandot

A stunning production of Puccini’s grandest opera with an all-star cast.

2003-04 La fanciulla del West Cover
2003/04 La fanciulla del West Program

Explore the 2003/04 Girl of the West Program!

© Ron Scherl
1990 WAR AND PEACE

Watch clips from Seattle Opera’s monumental production from the Goodwill Games!

© Rozarii Lynch
Artist of the Year: KATE LINDSEY as Amelia

Hear the luscious voice of a great mezzo singing the role she created.

1992-93 Pelleas et Melisande Cover
1992/93 Pelléas et Mélisande Program

Explore the 1992/93 Pelléas et Mélisande Program!

© Gary Smith
1996 Andrea Chénier

Superstar tenor required! Ben Heppner was the first Andrea Chénier at Seattle Opera since Franco Corelli in 1968.

© Gary Smith
1991 Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni as Seattle had never seen it before!

© Ron Scherl
1989 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

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

© Rozarii Lynch
2007: Brett Polegato as Oreste

Hear Oreste’s mad scene from Gluck masterpiece, in a co-production created with the Met.

1987 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1987 Ring Program

Explore the 1987 Ring Program!

1986 The Ring of the Nibelung Cover
1986 Ring Program

Explore the 1986 Ring Program!

2011-12 Porgy and Bess Cover
2011/12 Porgy and Bess Program

Explore the 2011/12 Porgy and Bess Program!

© Gary Smith
1995 Ring

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

© Wah Lui
2007 Don Giovanni

Polish barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien triumphed as Mozart’s seductive bad boy.

© Rozarii Lynch
2010 Amelia

Seattle Opera’s beautiful world premiere from 2010.

© Rozarii Lynch
2010: Jennifer Zetlan as The Flier in Amelia

A fantastic young American soprano created the role of the heroine’s namesake in Amelia.

© Rozarii Lynch
2005 Ring

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

© Gary Smith
1993 Pelléas et Mélisande

Dale Chihuly’s designs matched Debussy’s evocative, translucent music perfectly.

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

Explore the 1998/99 Tristan and Isolde Program!

2012-13 Turandot Cover
2012/13 Turandot Program

Explore the 2012/13 Turandot Program!

© Elise Bakketun
Christiane Libor debuts as Leonore

Hear the German soprano who triumphed at Seattle Opera recently in Fidelio.

1985-86 Manon Cover
1985/86 Manon Program

Explore the 1985/86 Manon Program!

1985 Die Walkure Cover
1985/86 Die Walküre Program

Explore the 1985/86 Die Walküre Program!

1989-90 Dialogues des Carmelites Cover
1989/90 Dialogues of the Carmelites Program

Explore the 1989/90 Dialogues of the Carmelites Program!