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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 a member of our Education department on an interactive exploration of the context, music, and real-world resonance of each mainstage opera. You’re sure to benefit from “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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Opera InQUIZitive: Mythic Edition!
A Seattle Opera Adult Education & Trivia Series
with Jonathan Dean and Tony Kay

Join Seattle Opera for this season’s free Adult Education & Trivia series—an exploration of music and myth, with plenty of fun and games to boot! Jonathan Dean, author of Seattle Opera’s supertitles and Spotlight Guides, and Tony Kay, critic, trivia master, and NW champion film fanatic, will lead inquisitive minds through a series of mythic archetypes, ranging from beloved operas to pop culture, with nightly trivia games such as “What’s My Line,” “Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me” and “Jeopardy.”

October 28, 2014: The Devil – Don Juan and Friends
November 18: The Tyrant – Scarpia and Worse
December 16: The Hero’s Quest
January 27, 2015: The Diva Goddess
February 24: God, King, and Father
March 24: The Clown – from Arlecchino to Zerbinetta
April 28: Donna Abandonnata– Ariadne and Her Sisters
May 26: The Musician

Presented in the Wyckoff Auditorium in the Bannan Center for Science & Engineering on the Seattle University campus, Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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

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Photo Credits

© Bill Mohn photo
©Alan Alabastro photo