Watch Listen Learn

Opera Guides

Spotlight Guides are small, informative booklets that explore the basic musical, cultural, and political issues found in every opera. With a sly sense of humor, they summarize the story and pack an amazing amount of information into an easy-to-read, yet surprisingly comprehensive guide. Spotlight Guides are delivered to our high school program participants and to every Seattle Opera subscriber to help our patrons prepare themselves for a fulfilling night at the theater.

2014/15 Spotlight Guides
2013/14 Spotlight Guides
2012/13 Spotlight Guides
2011/12 Spotlight Guides
2010/11 Interactive Spotlight Guides
2009/10 Interactive Spotlight Guides
2008/2009 Season
2007/2008 Season

2014/15 Spotlight Guides

2013/14 Spotlight Guides

2012/13 Spotlight Guides

Turandot

Educational guide covering Puccini's Turandot. Meet the dramatic fairy-tale characters of Puccini's exotic swansong, as well as the elements that make Puccini's operas among the most beloved ever composed.
This guide is also available in our official iPad app.

Available Downloads:
PDF | iPad


Fidelio

Educational guide covering Beethoven's Fidelio. The guide discusses how Beethoven's life, career, and politics come together in his only opera.

Available Downloads:
PDF | iPad


Cinderella (La Cenerentola)

Educational guide covering Rossini's La Cenerentola. We explore Rossini's career, the worlds of Italian comedy and bel canto opera that come together in La Cenerentola, and meet an array of Cinderellas from around the world.

Available Downloads:
PDF | iPad


La Bohème

Educational guide covering Puccini's La Bohème. The guide discusses how Puccini and his librettists transformed Murger's collection of stories about Bohemian life into the world's favorite opera, and inspects details of the incredible musical storytelling.

Available Downloads:
PDF | iPad


La Voix Humaine & Suor Angelica

Educational guides covering Poulenc's La voix humaine and Puccini's Suor Angelica. Explore these two brief operas, both coming to Seattle Opera for the first time, and get to know their stories and why they were written.

Available Downloads:
PDF | iPad


2011/12 Spotlight Guides

Porgy and Bess

Educational guide covering Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. The guide, available in both PDF and Kindle formats, introduces the characters of Catfish Row and explores the history behind this great American opera.

Available Downloads:
PDF | KINDLE EDITION


Carmen

Educational guide covering Bizet's Carmen. The guide introduces opera’s most famous femme fatale, whose cigarette-smoking, uninhibited way of life shocked audiences in nineteenth-century Paris.

Available Downloads:
PDF | KINDLE EDITION


Attila

Educational guide covering Verdi's Attila. The guide discusses Verdi’s motivation behind this now-rarely-performed opera, which makes its Seattle premiere this season, and compares the title character to the real-life Attila the Hun.

Available Downloads:
PDF | KINDLE EDITION


Orpheus and Eurydice

Educational guide covering Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice. The guide explains Gluck’s impact on modern opera, the Orpheus myth, and what makes this Paris version different from the composer’s earlier Orfeo ed Euridice.

Available Downloads:
PDF | KINDLE EDITION


Madama Butterfly

Educational guide covering Puccini's Madama Butterfly. The guide discusses the strength of Puccini’s exciting and dramatic music, as well as the composer’s fascination with the exotic—everything from America’s Wild West to Asia’s pentatonic music.

Available Downloads:
PDF | KINDLE EDITION


Don Pasquale

Educational guide covering Donizetti's Don Pasquale.The guide gives a brief introduction to this year’s Young Artists Program production.

Available Downloads:
PDF | KINDLE EDITION


2010/11 Interactive Spotlight Guides

The Magic Flute (Kindle)

The Magic Flute Spotlight Guide for Kindle is now available for free download. Connect your device via USB to transfer the file or email the file directly to your Kindle (Amazon delivery fees apply). For Kindle help visit Amazon Support.
Download


Tristan und Isolde

Interactive educational guide covering Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. The guide includes musical examples from the opera, an introduction to Wagner’s use of motifs plus knowledgeable insight into this exciting work


Lucia di Lammermoor

Interactive educational guide covering Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. The guide includes mp3's, the opera’s literary history, plus a description and musical examples of the bel canto opera style.


The Barber of Seville

Interactive educational guide covering Rossini’s Barber of Seville. The guide introduces the humor, the beautiful singing, and the wild life of opera’s most popular comedy.


Don Quixote

Interactive educational guide covering Massenet’s Don Quichotte. The guide introduces the opera’s distinguished literary source as well as the subtle balance of words and music characteristic of French opera.


The Magic Flute

Interactive educational guide covering Mozart’s Magic Flute. The guide features a thorough musical introduction to what is often considered the greatest music Mozart ever wrote.


2009/10 Interactive Spotlight Guides

2008/2009 Season

2007/2008 Season

Save up to 50% on tickets and have fun with people your age.

Learn More

Do opera lovers 'Tweet'? Now follow Seattle Opera on Twitter! Updated Daily.

Learn More

Receive all the latest news from Seattle Opera plus special offers too.

Sign Up Today

Photo Credit

All Photos © Seattle Opera