Seattle Opera - 2014 The Consul

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Seattle Opera.

The Consul

New Heartbreaking Contemporary Explore.

Feb. 22 - Mar. 7, 2014
"With dramatic ideas aplenty, this production is wonderful in every respect."
-The Seattle Times

From the 2013/14 Season

Overview

By Gian-Carlo Menotti

This gripping American drama wowed Broadway audiences during its original run, earning both the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music. A devoted wife and mother clashes with the bureaucracy of a nameless police state while trying to obtain an exit visa for her family. The suspenseful narrative surprises with several magical touches and is buoyed by a melodic score in which love, hope, and redemption all play their part. Don’t miss this riveting Seattle Opera premiere!


In English with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Approximate Running Time: 3 hours, with 2 intermissions

Audio described performance for visually impaired patrons available on Sunday, February 23. Description begins 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the matinee.

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Synposis

Long Story Short

Bureaucracy and totalitarianism can close every border except one.

Who's Who?

Magda Sorel is everywoman: daughter, wife, mother, victim, and heroine. 
John Sorel, her husband, is a wanted enemy of the state. 
His Mother and Baby live with Magda in a shabby apartment. 
The Secret Police Agent is hot on John's trail. 
Assan, a glass-cutter, is John's contact in the underground. 
The Secretary works for the Consul and tries not to think about all those who need her help. 
Some of them include: Nika Magadoff, a vaudeville magician; Anna Gomez, a concentration camp survivor; Mr. KofnerVera Boronel; and an older Foreign Woman.

Where and When?

An unidentified totalitarian state, mid 20th century.

What's Going On? 

John Sorel bursts into the small apartment he shares with his family. He is bleeding. The secret police broke up a meeting he was having with fellow revolutionaries, injured him, and followed him home. When they enter to search the apartment, he hides, and his wife Magda covers for him. The Sorels' only real option is to flee the country. John goes into hiding and Magda goes to the Consulate of an unidentified country, hoping to emigrate legally so they can begin a new life where there is freedom and opportunity.

The only opportunity Magda finds, however, is a chance to fill out paperwork: forms, questionnaires, and applications. The secretary who guards the office of the unseen Consul is a nightmare: "These photos are not the right size." "This paper must be notarized." "No one is allowed to see the Consul, the Consul is busy." "I don't see how we can help you." "I can't make an exception, it would upset our system." "Next!" Magda takes her place as one of many people, all of them beset with terrible problems, lingering in the Consul's office, waiting, waiting, hoping beyond hope to hear good news. 

Meanwhile, her life goes from bad to worse. With no money, no food, no heat in the apartment, her child grows sick and dies, as does John's old mother. The secret police wise up to the code Magda uses to pass messages to John's friends in the underground. And the police agent who stalks Magda is seen in the Consul's office, chatting companionably with the unapproachable bureaucrat. As Magda edges closer and closer to despair, John sneaks back into the country to try and rescue her. But the secret police arrest him, at the Consul's office, and in the end, it all comes down to whether the secretary will break the rules and do the right thing...

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Spotlight Guides

Discover more about The Consul; it's history, its composer, and its inspiration.

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WAYS TO SAVE

Seattle Opera believes in opera for all. There are many ways to attend for less, including $25 tickets for every performance; up to 35% off with season ticket packages; special pricing for patrons age 21-39; and student, senior, military, teen, and group discounts.

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Cast

Marcy Stonikas

Magda Sorel

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tosca, Tosca; Prima Donna/Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Young Artist: 2009/10; 2010/11
Seattle Opera Debut: Second Lady, Die Zauberflöte (’10)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Magda Sorel, The Consul; Leonore, Fidelio (’12); Turandot, Turandot (’12)
Recently: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Wolf Trap Opera Company); Salome, Salome (Utah Opera); Tosca, Tosca (Opera Santa Barbara) 
Upcoming: Leonore, Fidelio (Volksoper Vienna)

Last updated: January 2014

Marcy Stonikas

Magda Sorel

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28
Mar 1, 5, & 7

Vira Slywotzky

Magda Sorel

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Magda Sorel, The Consul

Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2008/09; 2009/10
Seattle Opera Debut: Inez, Il trovatore (’10)
Recently: Catherine, A Death in the Family (Center for Contemporary Opera, Armel Opera Festival and Festival D'Avignon); Mercédès, Carmen (Sarasota Opera); Nedda, Pagliacci (Chautauqua Opera)
Upcoming: Roxane, Cyrano de Bergerac (Victor Herbert Renaissance Project - Live!)

Last Updated: February 2014

Vira Slywotzky

Magda Sorel

Feb 23 & 28 only

Michael Todd Simpson

John Sorel

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Cecil, Mary Stuart
Seattle Opera Debut:
Hermann, The Tales of Hoffmann (’05)
Previously at Seattle Opera: John Sorel, The Consul (’14); Marcello, La boheme (’13); Escamillo, Carmen (’11)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2003/04; 2004/05

Hometown: Gastonia, NC
Recently: Ravenal, Showboat (Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera); Demetrius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Metropolitan Opera) 
Upcoming: Lescaut, Manon (Metropolitan Opera); Escamillo, Carmen (Washington National Opera); Ravenal Showboat (Dallas Opera) 

Last updated: December 2014

Michael Todd Simpson

John Sorel

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28
Mar 1, 5, & 7

Lucille Beer

Mother

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Mother, The Consul

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Erda, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently:  Verdi's Requiem (The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra); Messiah (Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra)
Upcoming: Dvorak’s Stabat Mater (Albany Symphony Orchestra); Evening of arias and duets (Portland Chamber Orchestra); Italian mezzo-soprano arias (Catskill High Peaks Festival)

Last Updated: February 2014

Lucille Beer

Mother

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28
Mar 1, 5, & 7

Sarah Larsen

The Secretary

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Maddalena, Rigoletto; The Secretary, The Consul
At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: The Composer, Ariadne auf Naxos


Hometown: Roseville, MN
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2011/12, 2012/13
Seattle Opera Debut: Mercédès, Carmen (’11)
Previously at Seattle Opera: 1st Touriere, Suor Angelica (’13); Tisbe, La Cenerentola (’13); Suzuki, Madama Butterfly (’12)
Recently: Stéphano, Roméo et Juliette (Des Moines Metro Opera); Neris, Medea (The Glimmerglass Festival); Sarelda, The Inspector (Wolf Trap Foundation)
Upcoming: Suzuki, Madama Butterfly (Tacoma Opera); Mercédès, Carmen (Santa Fe Opera); Soloist, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Seattle Symphony)

Sarah Larsen

The Secretary

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28
Mar 1, 5, & 7

Steven LaBrie

Secret Police Agent

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Secret Police Agent, The Consul

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Dancaïre, Carmen (Dallas Opera); Carmina Burana and Don Alvaro, Il viaggio a Reims (Wolf Trap Opera Company)
Upcoming: Raimbaud, Le comte Ory (Des Moine Metro Opera); Schaunard, La bohème (Dallas Opera)


Last Updated: February 2014

Steven LaBrie

Secret Police Agent

Seattle Opera debut

Colin Ramsey

Mr. Kofner

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Mr. Kofner, The Consul

Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Il Frate, Don Carlo (Austin Lyric Opera); Angelotti, Tosca (Opera Naples); Colline, La bohème (Utah Lyric Opera) 
Upcoming: Cadmus/Somnus, Semele (Pacific Music Works); Alidoro, La Cenerentola (Green Mountain Opera Festival); Mr. Kofner, The Consul (Opera Santa Barbara)

Last updated: February 2014

Colin Ramsey

Mr. Kofner

Seattle Opera debut

Deborah Nansteel

Foreign Woman

Hometown:Silver Spring, MD
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2012/13
Seattle Opera Debut: The Nursing Woman, Suor Angelica ('13)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Foreign Woman, The Consul (’14)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2012/13
Recently: Nettie Fowler, Carousel and Elvira Griffiths, An American Tragedy (Glimmerglass Opera); Soloist, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Seattle Symphony)
Upcoming: Tisbe, La Cenerentola (Washington National Opera)

Click here to read an interview with DEBORAH NANSTEEL on our blog.

Last updated: February 2015

Deborah Nansteel

Foreign Woman

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28
Mar 1, 5, & 7

Dana Pundt

Anna Gomez

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Anna Gomez, The Consul
At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Semele, Semele

Hometown: Liberty City, TX
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2012/13 
Seattle Opera Debut: Clorinda, La Cenerentola (’13) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Suor Genovieffa, Suor Angelica (’13)
Recently: Marchesa del Poggio, Un giorno di regno (Seattle Opera Young Artists); Second Niece, Peter Grimes (Des Moines Metro Opera) 
Upcoming: Queen of the Night, Die Zauberflöte (West Bay Opera); Semele, Semele (Seattle Opera)'

Last Updated: February 2014

Dana Pundt

Anna Gomez

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28
Mar 1, 5, & 7

Margaret Gawrysiak

Vera Boronel

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Vera Boronel, The Consul

Hometown: Geneseo, IL
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2007/08; 2008/09
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Frugola, Il tabarro (Opera Theatre of St. Louis); Dame Quickly, Falstaff (Wolf Trap Opera Company); Witch, Hansel and Gretel (Virginia Opera)
Upcoming: Ježibaba, Rusalka (North Carolina Opera); Mistress Hibbons, The Scarlet Letter (Opera Colorado); Marquise, La fille du régiment (Arizona Opera)

Last Updated: February 2014

Margaret Gawrysiak

Vera Boronel

Seattle Opera debut

Alex Mansoori

Nika Magadoff

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Nika Magadoff, The Consul

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2008/09; 2009/10 
Seattle Opera Debut: Juan, Don Quichotte (’11) 
Recently: Soloist, A Modern Person’s Guide to Hooking Up and Breaking Up (New York Festival of Song); Monostatos, Die Zauberflöte (Ravinia Festival and Chicago Opera Theater); Monostatos, Peter Brook’s Une flûte enchantée (Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord) 

Last Updated: February 2014

Alex Mansoori

Nika Magadoff

Feb 22, 23, 26, 28<br />Mar 1, 5, & 7

Cast

Creative Team

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco and Mary Stuart
Seattle Opera Debut: Don Quichotte (’11)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Speight Concert ( ’14); The Consul (’14); La bohème (’13) 

Hometown: Cecina, Italy
Recently: The Barber of Seville (Opéra national de Paris); L'elisir d’amore (Bayerische Staatsoper); Madama Butterfly (Hamburgische Staatsoper)
Upcoming: La fanciulla del West (Hamburgische Staatsoper); La traviata (Teatr Wielki, Warsaw); Simon Boccanegra (Oper Frankfurt)

Last updated: December 2014

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

David P. Gordon

Set Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: The Consul

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Seattle Opera Debut
Professor of Set Design, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
Recently: Der Fliegende Holländer (Sarasota Opera); Breath and Imagination (Hartford Stage); Die Vogel (LA Opera)
Upcoming: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Philadelphia Theatre Co.)

Last Updated: February 2014

David P. Gordon

Set Designer

Melanie Taylor Burgess

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: The Consul

Hometown: Lewiston, ID
Seattle Opera Debut:  Elektra (’08)
Previously at Seattle Opera: La voix humaine (’13), Attila (’12); Ariadne auf Naxos (Young Artists Program ’10)
Recently: Stu for Silverton and Trouble in Mind (Intiman Theatre); Big River (Village Theatre)
Upcoming: The Foreigner (Village Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Short Tree and the Bird that Could Not Sing (Cincinnati Playhouse)

Last Updated: February 2014

Melanie Taylor Burgess

Costume Designer

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut: Norma (’94)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Don Giovanni (’14), The Consul (’14); Fidelio (’13)

Hometown: Elkhart Lake, WI
Recently: La donna del lago (Metropolitan Opera); Capriccio (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Così fan tutte (Houston Grand Opera)
Upcoming: Turandot (Teatro alla Scala); Don Pasquale (Gran Teatre del Liceu); Béatrice et Bénédict (Glyndebourne Festival)

Last updated: December 2014

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

Mark Haim

Choreographer

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: The Consul

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut Recently: Choreographer, This Land Is Your Land (Festival Ardanthé, Paris, and Joyce Theater, NY); Choreographer, Stu for Silverton (Intiman Summer Festival)
Upcoming: Choreographer, The Tales of Hoffmann (Seattle Opera); Faculty (American Dance Festival, North Carolina); Collaborator and performer, Mori/Asukawa Dance Project (Osaka, Japan)


Last Updated: February 2014

Mark Haim

Choreographer

Lynn Baker

Diction Coach

Lynn Baker is an assistant conductor and English diction coach at New York City Opera.  She also serves as coach for vocal works staged by New York City Ballet. She has been on the coaching staff of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music, Leonard Bernstein:  Best of All Possible Worlds Festival, the Renata Scotto Opera Academy, The Juilliard Opera Center, Opera New Jersey, Bard SummerScapes Festival, Gotham Chamber Opera, Washington National Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Delaware, American Opera Projects, Tulsa Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera. She is a frequent collaborative recitalist and an avid performer of new and contemporary opera and art song, and has performed in such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center, the Pierpont Morgan Library and the East Room of the White House. She is also an associate editor for transcriptions for the International Dialects of English Archive.  This is her fifth opportunity to work with the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program.

Lynn Baker

Diction Coach

Creative Team

Orchestra & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Alex Velinzon, Concertmaster
John Weller, Assistant Concertmaster
Simon James
Jennifer Bai
Blayne Barnes
Cecelia Poellein Buss
Ayako Gamo
Leonid Keylin
Clark Story
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky

Violin II
Gennady Filimonov, Principal
Artur Girsky, Assistant Principal
Natasha Bazhanov
Linda Cole
Kelly Farris
Xiao-po Fei
Artur Girsky
Kimberly Houglum
Mae Lin

Viola
Susan Gulkis Assadi, Principal
Sayaka Kokubo, Assistant Principal
Penelope Crane
Wesley Dyring
Shari Link
Laura Renz

Cello
Eric Han, Principal
Walter Gray, Assistant Principal
Roberta Downey
Vivian Gu
Hélène Ferret-Kaufman
Chuck Jacot

Double Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Jonathan Burnstein
Travis Gore
Matt McGrath

Flute/Piccolo
Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby, Principal

Oboe
Ben Hausmann, Principal

English Horn
Selina Greso

Clarinet
Craig Rine

Bassoon
Seth Krimsky, Principal

French Horn
Mark Robbins, Principal
Jonathan Karschney

Trumpet
David Gordon, Principal
Toby Penk

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal

Timpani
Ron Johnson, Principal

Percussion
Michael Werner, Principal

Harp
Valerie Gordon, Principal

Keyboard
David McDade

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

 

Actors

Geoffrey Alm
Rosetta Greek
David S. Hogan

Orchestra & Additional Artists

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All performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Photos © Elise Bakketun