© Stewart Reif
1979 La boheme

Archie Drake’s first outing as Benoit/Alcindoro–a role he owned for decades at Seattle Opera.

© Des Gates
1971 Carmen

A fantastic cast brings Bizet’s stunning opera alive.

© Howard Staples
1973 Daughter of the Regiment

Anna Moffo’s Seattle Opera appearance!

1964/65 Boris Godunov Program Cover
1964/65 Boris Godunov Program

Explore the 1964/65 Boris Godunov Program!

© Des Gates
1968 Aida

Starring Seattle Opera’s first African-American singer!

From Dover
Stravinsky’s Visit to Seattle Opera

as told by Hans Lehmann

76 Walkure Herald
1976: Seattle Opera’s Early Valkyries

“Ride of the Valkyries” — sung in English!

© Des Gates
1967 Lakmé

Joan Sutherland’s Seattle debut!

© Chris Bennion
1975 Ring

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

66 Loh
1966 – Wagner’s Seattle Opera Debut

The first Wagner production at Seattle Opera!

© Stewart Reif
1978 Magic Flute

Seattle Opera’s first production of Mozart’s great fairy-tale.

© David Medley
“What Is This Thing Called Opera?”

Opera education and outreach, ’70s-style!

© William E. Duncan
HENRY HOLT On Opera In English

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

75 Rosenkavalier 2
1975 Der Rosenkavalier

A huge cast assembled for Strauss’s great comedy.

© Des Gates
1968 Andrea Chenier

Franco Corelli at Seattle Opera.

© Ken Howard
1972 La Périchole

Our only performance of this charming operetta.

© Des Gates
1970 Of Mice and Men

Seattle Opera’s first original commissioned work.

Wildermann-William-01
WILLIAM WILDERMANN as Hagen

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

© William Jensen
1965 Boris Godunov

Jerome Hines sang his greatest role in Seattle.

1965/66 La Boheme Program Cover
1965/66 La Boheme Program

Explore the 1965/66 La Boheme Program!

© Des Gates
1969 The Elixir of Love

The first Seattle Opera appearance of the appealing Mary Costa.

© Des Gates
1972 Black Widow

World Premiere of a new Pasatieri opera!

© William Jensen
1964 Lucia di Lammermoor

Roberta Peters was Seattle Opera’s first Lucia.

From Glenn Ross archives
The Premiere: Of Mice and Men

as told by composer Carlisle Floyd

© Chris Bennion
1982 Il trovatore

A starry production of Verdi’s great melodrama.

© Des Gates
1982 Carmen

A seductive production of Carmen that had it all.

© Chris Bennion
1982 Ring

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

RING in English: Noel Tyl as Wotan

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

© Chris Bennion
1979 Ring

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

© Chris Bennion
MARVELLEE CARIAGA as Fricka

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

© Des Gates
1968 Don Giovanni

Joan Sutherland returned to Seattle as Donna Anna.

© Margaret Marshall
1966 Lohengrin

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

© Des Gates
1975 Götterdämmerung

The first time the world ended at Seattle Opera!

© Des Gates
1969 Tosca

Dorothy Kirsten’s Seattle appearance.

© Des Gates
1971 La boheme

Our second production of Puccini’s perennially popular tragedy.

© Chris Bennion
1981 Tristan und Isolde

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

© Chris Bennion
1978 Ring

Johanna Meier and Alberto Remedios joined our cast this summer.

72 Glynn Ross bw
Glynn Ross Receives 1972 First Citizen Award

Remarks from the award ceremony

© Chris Bennion
1980 RING

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

71 Tommy program 4
1971 Tommy

The world’s first ‘rock opera’ was Bette Midler’s only Seattle Opera appearance!

© Chris Bennion
MALCOLM RIVERS as Alberich

Hear Seattle’s first malevolent Lord of the Ring.

© Des Gates
1979 Lucia di Lammermoor

Polish soprano Zdizislawa Donat was a memorable Lucia.

© Des Gates
1973 Rigoletto

Italian baritone Matteo Manuguerra shines in Seattle Opera’s second staging of Rigoletto.

© Chris Bennion
1979 Don Giovanni

A great star, but a compromised performance!

© Des Gates
JAMES McCRACKEN as Otello

Hear an astonishing “Si, pel ciel” from a great American tenor!

© Margaret Marshall
1965 Rigoletto

Seattle Opera opens its doors with Rigoletto.

© Des Gates
1973 Manon Lescaut

Our first production directed, designed, and built entirely in-house!

© Seattle Opera
The Cecilia Schultz Auditions

A precursor of Seattle Opera’s Young Artists Program.

© Stewart Reif
1978 Falstaff

Seattle Opera’s first production of Verdi’s comic Shakespearean masterpiece.

© Chris Bennion
1982 Barber of Seville

Starring June Anderson as Rosina!

© Chris Bennion
1981 Don Pasquale

Sir Geraint Evans returns!

© Peter Riches
1970 Madama Butterfly

Seattle Opera’s first production of Puccini’s beloved tragedy.

© Des Gates
1973 Die Walküre

Glynn Ross begins introducing his favorite opera tetralogy to Seattle.

75 Trovatore 1
1975 Il trovatore

A multi-national cast brought Verdi’s tuneful melodrama to Seattle.

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

Hear Archie Drake sing Gunther–in English!

© Chris Bennion
1976 Thaïs
76 Of Mice and Men
1970: Of Mice and Men World Premiere

Hear Archie Drake in this thrilling American premiere.

1964/65 Lucia di Lammermoor Cover
1964/65 Lucia di Lammermoor Program

Explore the 1964/65 Lucia di Lammermoor Program!

© Paul Seligman
1964 Carmen

The first performance of Bizet’s classic tale in Seattle Opera history!

© Martha Swope, courtesy of Met Opera Archives
1967 La bohème (Met Tour)

A Met tour of a beloved opera.

© William Waight
THOMAS PASATIERI at SEATTLE OPERA

A favorite young composer of ours in the 1970s!

© Chris Bennion
1978 Carmen

A 1978 production of Bizet’s thrilling opera.

© Chris Bennion
1980 Aida

A splendid production of Verdi’s masterpiece–complete with live horses!

© Margaret Marshall
1966 Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci

Starring husband-and-wife James McCracken & Sandra Warfield!

From Glenn Ross archives.
Glynn Ross on Forging a Ring

Excerpt from The Journal of the Wagner Society of Northern California

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

Hear the SIEGFRIED Riddle Scene–in English!

© Des Gates
1970 Les contes d’Hoffmann

Joan Sutherland wowed the opera-goers of Seattle in 1970 by singing all three ladies in “The Tales of Hoffmann.”

© Des Gates
1970 Salome

Klara Barlow was Seattle’s first necrophilic nymphomaniac princess.

1965/66 Il trovatore Program Cover
1965/66 Il trovatore Program

Explore the 1965/66 Il trovatore Program!

©  Des Gates
FRANCO CORELLI as Roméo

Listen to Corelli’s stunning “Ah, lève-toi soleil!”

© Stewart Reif
1971 Don Carlo

Fiorenza Cossotto stole the show with “O don fatale.”

© Margaret Marshall
1965 La boheme

Beverly Sills’ only Mimì!

© Des Gates
1969 Der Rosenkavalier

Régine Crespin’s Seattle Opera appearance!

© Des Gates
1967 Romeo and Juliet

The unforgettable Seattle debut of Franco Corelli!

© Chris Bennion
1983 Ring

The final cycle produced by Glynn Ross.

1966/67 Lakme Program Cover
1966/67 Lakme Program

Explore the 1966/67 Lakme Program!

© Chris Bennion
THE RING in English

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

© Met Opera Archives
1966 Madama Butterfly (Met Tour)

The Seattle Opera debut of Julian Patrick!

1965/66 Samson Program Cover
1965/66 Samson and Delilah Program

Explore the 1965/66 Samson and Delilah Program!

© Met Opera Archives
1967 La traviata (Met Tour)

Seattle Opera’s first Traviata wasn’t ours at all—it came from the Met.

© Des Gates
1976 Of Mice and Men

The return of this great American work, first performed in Seattle in 1970.

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

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

© Margaret Marshall
1966 Il trovatore

Sherrill Milnes’s Seattle Opera debut!

1966/67 Il barbiere di Siviglia Program Cover
1966/67 The Barber of Seville Program

Explore the 1966/67 The Barber of Seville Program!

1965/66 Lohengrin Program Cover
1965/66 Lohengrin Program

Explore the 1965/66 Lohengrin Program!

© Des Gates
1976 The Seagull

Thomas Pasatieri’s opera based on the Checkov play.

Joshua Hecht as Scarpia, Jean Fenn as ToscaTosca 1964Richard Vedvick Photo.
1964 Tosca

The fledgling company’s first production.

1964/65 Rigoletto Program Cover
1964/65 Rigoletto Program Cover

Explore the 1964/65 Rigoletto Program!

© Des Gates
1974 Siegfried

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

1966/67 Turandot Program Cover
1966/67 Turandot Program

Explore the 1966/67 Turandot Program!

© Fehl
1974 Mefistofele

A sexy devil bewitched Seattle Opera in 1974.

© Chris Bennion
1982 Abduction from the Seraglio

Seattle Opera’s only production of this tuneful comedy.

© Des Gates
1976 Aida

An Aida featuring several RING singers.

© William Jensen
1964 Faust

Seattle’s first French-language opera production!

© Chris Bennion
1977 Ring

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

© Stewart Reif
National and International Casts

How Glynn Ross organized the two casts necessary for presenting opera in Seattle.

© Des Gates
1967 Turandot

Giovanni Martinelli’s one Seattle Opera appearance!

© Chris Bennion
1983 Peter Grimes

Jon Vickers as Britten’s tragic fisherman misfit.

© Stewart Reif
1977 Le roi de Lahore

Joan Sutherland in a Massenet rarity—also starring the young James Morris!

© Des Gates
1972 Faust

Starring Norman Treigle as the devil!

© Chris Bennion
1981 Turandot

Glynn Ross’s third and final Turandot–a production worthy of an MGM Bible epic spectacular!

76 Mice&Men 24
The Casting of George, Of Mice and Men

as told by Julian Patrick

1969/70 Turandot Cover
1969/70 Turandot Program

Explore the 1969/70 Turandot Program!

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

A cast substitution with unexpected results.

Glynn Ross
GLYNN ROSS Welcomes You To The RING

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

74 Cosi 10
1974 Così fan tutte

Seattle Opera’s first-ever performance of Mozart’s intriguing comedy.

© Des Gates
1968 The Crucible

The first contemporary opera presented by Seattle Opera.

© 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.

© Chris Bennion
1980 La traviata

Romanian soprano Mariana Nicolesco was a beautiful Violetta.

© Howard Staples
1972 Der Fliegende Holländer

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

1964/65 Faust Program Cover
1964/65 Faust Program

Explore the 1964/65 Faust Program!

© Chris Bennion
1981 Manon Lescaut

Carol Neblett made her debut as Puccini’s coquette.

© Des Gates
1982 “Hollywood Die Fledermaus!”

The world’s favorite operetta, starring several popular television stars of the day.

© Chris Bennion
1983 Marriage of Figaro

Starring Kaaren Erickson as Susanna.

67 Lakme dg
JOAN SUTHERLAND as Lakmé

Listen to Sutherland and Tourangeau sing the famous “Lakmé” Flower Duet!

© Seattle Opera
1973 Noye’s Fludde

350 schoolchildren starred in a Seattle Opera production in 1973!

© Seattle Opera
Opera By Children

A pioneer opera education program, which later became a model for programs nationwide.

© Des Gates
1969 Mantra

Seattle Opera goes psychedelic!

© Des Gates
1966 Barber of Seville

Seattle’s first completely comic opera!

© Des Gates
1969 Turandot

Nilsson as the Ice Princess.

74 Barber 1
1974 Barber of Seville

A lively production of Rossini’s great comedy.

© Des Gates
1980 The Queen Of Spades

Seattle Opera’s only production of Tchaikovsky’s Pushkin-inspired tragedy.

© Margaret Marshall
1965 Samson et Dalila

James McCracken brought down the house!

© Des Gates
1977 Madama Butterfly

Korean soprano Sung-Sook Lee was Seattle Opera’s second Butterfly.

(l-r) Ernest Adams, Aurelio Fabiani, Glynn Ross, Rudolph Kruger, and Dr. Arturo di Filippi (1970’s)
1970 Opera America Conceived

with Glenn Ross in 1970

87 Rhinegold Decker
Geraldine Decker as Erda

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

© Des Gates
1967 Otello
© Dan Carter photo
1977 La Cenerentola

Cinderella comes to Seattle Opera for the first time.

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

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

© Chris Bennion
DENNIS BAILEY as Froh

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

© Des Gates
1972 Lucia di Lammermoor

Beverly Sills sang Lucia in Seattle.