Madama Butterfly Simulcast

Opera Myths

Opera is an art form with rich traditions and a long history, yet it is as alive as the performers on the stage. At Seattle Opera, we strive to deliver musically extraordinary, theatrically compelling productions for all audiences. Those not familiar with opera may have a few misconceptions about “the ultimate art.” When you attend Seattle Opera’s simulcast, you’ll discover that opera offers something for everyone. Here are a few myths we hope to dispel.

MYTH: I won’t understand it.

TRUTH: English subtitles are projected above the stage at McCaw Hall (and on our huge screen during the simulcast). You will always know what is going on in the story.

MYTH: Singers use mics.

TRUTH: Opera singers sing without amplification. This is ALWAYS true at Seattle Opera. So if you sit in the back row, you are hearing that person’s voice with nothing else in the way. That is some voice!

MYTH: I won’t know the music.

TRUTH: You will know the music, especially in Madama Butterfly! Opera music is heard all over TV, cartoons, and the movies. See if you recognize any of these, from Madama Butterfly, Turandot, and Carmen:

Madama Butterfly - Un bel di vedremo


Turandot: Nessum Dorma


Carmen - Habenera


See? You know opera after all!

MYTH: What about all that piped in music coming from the orchestra pit like the touring shows.

TRUTH: Members of the Seattle Symphony play for Seattle Opera and for Madama Butterfly there are over 60 orchestra musicians playing with us (plus more than 25 members of our Chorus too!). No piped in music or amplification. Ever.

MYTH: I have to dress up.

TRUTH: In Seattle, you'll see opera-goers wearing everything from ball gowns to Birkenstocks. Feel free to dress up for a special night out, dress down for comfort, or find your own happy medium. When it comes to the opera, almost anything but the most casual wear is considered appropriate.

MYTH: It’s all old people.

TRUTH: Seattle Opera has the largest Young Professional opera-going organization in the country. We regularly have over 650 members and they usually all bring a guest too. That’s a lot of young people. Learn more about BRAVO!.

MYTH: It’s too expensive.

TRUTH: Our simulcast is FREE for the community. Plus you’ll find that we have lots of ways for you to participate at a variety of prices. Check out our Ways to Save information.

Start talking now!

Just use the hashtag #OperaAtKey in your tweets.