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Speakers Bureau

All about Opera: our Speakers Bureau connects audiences of all ages and walks of life with all aspects of opera production and performance.

Pre-Performance Talks

Our guarantee: everyone learns something new, whether it’s your first opera or your 101st! Beginning 90 minutes before curtain, join Education Director Sue Elliott on an interactive exploration of the context, music, and real-world resonance of each mainstage opera. You’re sure to benefit from her “insider tips” and discussions of theater magic. These entertaining and engaging presentations will take you on a journey inside the music, behind the scenes, and onstage with performers – all without leaving the comfort of the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall. Know before you go – buy your pre-performance tickets today!

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Seattle Opera’s Seattle University Series

Monthly talks hosted by Seattle University feature Seattle Opera educators and guests discussing a wide range of topics that include how operas reach the stage, alternate portrayals in film and other media, literary sources and adaptation, and much more. Presentations begin at 7:00 pm on the SU campus. Admission is free.

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Public Previews of Mainstage Operas

Need a quick refresher on an upcoming Seattle Opera mainstage production? Join Seattle Opera educators at a library, museum, café, or community center near you for an engaging multimedia presentation that covers the basics of history, music and stagecraft in preparation for your visit to McCaw Hall. View events calendar.

Norm Hollingshead’s Opera Plus

These free talks by one of Seattle’s most passionate opera experts will increase your enjoyment and appreciation of Seattle Opera productions. Presentations include entertaining anecdotes, recorded excerpts featuring legendary singers, and astute commentary. Visit

Interested in hosting a talk?

Our Speakers Bureau members (both staff and volunteers) love to visit all kinds of organizations including retirement communities, schools, museums, libraries, community centers, restaurants, and groups including service organizations, educators, travel groups, and even improv comedy troupes – yours could be next!

Want to volunteer?

If you have a passion for opera and enjoy public speaking, consider becoming a volunteer member of the Seattle Opera Speakers Bureau. Talks encompass a wide range of subject matter, including repertoire-specific presentations, general introductions to opera, and explorations of particular eras, composers and performers. With your help we can open up the world of opera by inspiring deeper connections with its history, music and stagecraft.

To book a presentation for your group, become a volunteer, or find out more about our Speakers Bureau, please email the Education Department or call 206.389.7630

Bring a group to the opera and enjoy big discounts and a free ticket too!

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Photo Credits

© Bill Mohn photo
©Alan Alabastro photo