Artist of the Year: BRIAN ASAWA as Arsamene

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Brian Asawa won Artist of the Year in 1996/97 for his performance as Arsamene in “Xerxes.” Asawa returned to Seattle in 2007 to sing Tolomeo in “Giulio Cesare.” In this excerpt, Arsamene gives his brother, King Xerxes, a piece of his mind. (Xerxes, who desires Arsamene’s beloved Romilda, has just banished his brother from the realm.) In the singing translation by stage director Stephen Wadsworth, Arsamene tells Xerxes “I shall go, but soon you will find that force is worthless, for love is kind. You may part us and command that I wander away, but my heart will never stray.” Daniel Beckwith conducts the orchestra of Seattle Opera.