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Seattle Opera.

Beatrice & Benedict

Fiery. Witty. Romantic. Buy Tickets.

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Feb. 24, 25, 28

Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10, 2018

Much ado about Shakespeare.

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Overview

By Hector Berlioz

Kick off Seattle’s citywide Shakespeare celebration with an all-new one-of-a-kind theatrical hybrid! Overheard confessions, unfortunate reactions, tender reconciliations, and plenty of witty banter glide on a warm breeze of masterful orchestration. In this novel adaptation of Shakespeare’s lively comedy Much Ado About Nothing, Berlioz’s exuberant opera score is paired with English text lifted directly from the Bard himself. The result: a crossover cultural event sure to have the whole town talking.

"The creative combination of Seattle Symphony Orchestra Maestro Ludovic Morlot and ACT Theatre Artistic Director John Langs will bring a freshness to Berlioz's unique opera." —Aidan Lang, Seattle Opera General Director

"It’s a beautiful story in an epic setting at a time when the world needs a bittersweet romance and joy." —John Langs, ACT Theatre Artistic Director

Listen to the music

Copyright Philip Newton.

Beatrice and Benedict is currently available to purchase as part of a season ticket package. Individual opera tickets go on sale May 24. Remind Me

In English with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes with 1 intermission

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Synopsis

ACT I
Returning victorious from battle, the forces of Don Pedro of Sicily visit the estate of Leonato, his daughter Hero, and her cousin Beatrice. Hero loves Claudio, one of Don Pedro’s soldiers; Beatrice hates all men, but especially Benedict, Claudio’s misogynistic best friend and another of Don Pedro’s soldiers. Hero is overjoyed by Claudio’s return, while Beatrice and Benedict immediately resume their ‘merry war of words.’

A wedding is arranged between Claudio and Hero, and Claudio suggests that Benedict, too, should get married. But Benedict tells his friends he’d rather die. Don Pedro and Claudio conspire to make Benedict fall in love; arranging a situation in which Benedict can eavesdrop on them, they discuss with Leonato how sad it is that Beatrice loves Benedict, the woman-hater. Benedict, amazed by what he has overheard, vows he will return Beatrice’s love.

Hero and her friend Ursula, meanwhile, play the same trick on Beatrice. On the eve of her wedding to Claudio, Hero and Ursula muse about the nature of love.

ACT II
At the wedding of Hero and Claudio, all are happy (and tipsy) except Beatrice, who is confused by her feelings about Benedict. She remembers how she had nightmares about him coming to harm when he was away at war, and admits to herself that she loves him.

Benedict and Beatrice are arguing about their feelings, and their future, when the others interrupt them. Claudio and Hero reveal love poems that Beatrice and Benedict have written about each other, and in the end both admit their love and agree to a truce—until tomorrow.

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Cast

Daniela Mack

Beatrice

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Rosina, The Barber of Seville (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Jacqueline Kennedy, JFK (Fort Worth Opera); Carmen, Carmen (Arizona Opera)
Upcoming: Cenerentola, La Cenerentola (Arizona Opera); Bradamante, Alcina (Santa Fe Opera)

Daniela Mack

Beatrice

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 28
Mar. 7, & 10

Hanna Hipp

Beatrice

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Dorabella, Così fan tutte, and Beatrice, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Kraków, Poland
Seattle Opera Debut: Isolier, Count Ory (’16)
Recently: Magdalene, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Glyndebourne); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro and Beppe, L'amico Fitz (Scottish Opera)
Upcoming: Magdalene, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Page, Salome (De Nationale Opera, Amsterdam); Composer, Ariadne auf Naxos (Glyndebourne) 

Last updated: January 2017

Hanna Hipp

Beatrice

Feb. 25
Mar. 3, & 9

Alek Shrader

Benedict

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Benedict, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Alva, OK
Seattle Opera Debut: Jupiter/Apollo, Semele (’15)
Recently: Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Oviedo); Alfred, Die Fledermaus (Cincinnati Opera); Tom Rakewell, The Rake’s Progress (Pittsburgh Opera)
Upcoming: Ferrando, Così fan tutte (Tokyo); Endimione, Diana’s Grove (Minnesota Opera); Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Arizona Opera)

Alek Shrader

Benedict

Feb. 24, 28
Mar. 7, & 10

Andrew Owens

Benedict

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville; Benedict, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Newton, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Leicester, Mary Stuart (’16)
Recently: Mads, Peer Gynt (Theater an der Wien); Aureliano, Aureliano in Palmira (Caramoor Festival); Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Arizona Opera)
Upcoming: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Opera San Antonio); Chevalier Léon, La mère coupable (On Site Opera)



Andrew Owens

Benedict

Feb. 25
Mar. 3, & 9

Laura Tatulescu

Hero

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Despina, Così fan tutte, and Hero, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Munich, Germany
Seattle Opera Debut: Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro ('16)
Recently: Musetta, La bohème (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino); Marzelline, Fidelio (Cincinnati Opera); Norina, Don Pasquale (Florida Grand Opera)
Upcoming: Karolka, Jenůfa (Bayerische Staatsoper)

Laura Tatulescu

Hero

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Avery Amereau

Ursule

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Ursule, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Jupiter, FL
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Madrigal Singer, Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera); Handel’s Messiah (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra); Beethoven’s Choral Fantasie (Spoleto Festival)
Upcoming: Carmen, Carmen (Opera Columbus); Dryad, Ariadne auf Naxos (Glyndebourne Festival); Berlioz’s Les nuits d’eté (American Classical Orchestra)

Avery Amereau

Ursule

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Kevin Burdette

Somarone

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte, and Somarone, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Knoxville, TN
Seattle Opera Debut: Mustafà, L’italiana in Algeri (’06)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Masetto, Don Giovanni (’07)
Recently: Stefano, The Tempest (Metropolitan Opera); Stobrod Thewes, Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia); Sulpice, The Daughter of the Regiment (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Beck Weathers, Everest (The Dallas Opera); General Polkan, The Golden Cockerel (Santa Fe Opera); Nick Shadow, The Rake's Progress (Boston Lyric Opera)

Kevin Burdette

Somarone

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Craig Verm

Claudio

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Papageno, The Magic Flute 
At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Guglielmo, Così fan tutte, and Claudio, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Houston, TX
Seattle Opera Debut: Papageno, The Magic Flute (’17)
Recently: Count, Capriccio (Santa Fe Opera); Belcore, L'elisir d'amore (Opera Philadelphia); Elmer Gantry, Elmer Gantry (Florentine Opera)
Upcoming: Billy Budd, Billy Budd (Des Moines Metro Opera); Ping, Turandot (Pittsburgh Opera); Tancredi and Daniel, War Stories (Opera Philadelphia)

Craig Verm

Claudio

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Daniel Sumegi

Don Pedro

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: The Bonze, Madame Butterfly; Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville; Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict; Ramfis, Aida

Hometown: Sydney, Australia 
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Fafner and Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13) 
Recently: Fasolt/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Australia); Johhny Iselin, The Manchurian Candidate (Austin Opera); Walter, Luisa Miller (San Francisco Opera) 
Upcoming: Hunding, Die Walküre (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra); Palemon, Thaïs (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)



Daniel Sumegi

Don Pedro

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Cast

Creative Team

John Langs

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Seattle Opera Debut

John Langs is the Artistic Director of ACT Theatre, in Seattle. He has directed productions at Playwrights Horizons NY, Ensemble Studio Theater NY, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago, Circle X in Los Angeles, The Resident Ensemble Players in Delaware, A.C.T, The New Century Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theaters of Seattle and The Seattle Shakespeare Company where he is an Associate Artist. John received his directing degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he returns annually to prepare a new crop of actors for a career in the theater. Over the course of his career he has enjoyed directing a wide variety of productions. Some of his favorites include King Lear (Seattle Footlight Award for Best Production of the Year), The Shaggs Philosophy of the World (Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award for Best Original Musical, Backstage Garland Award for Best Direction), Brothers Karamazov (seven LADCC Awards including Best Production of the year and Best Direction). John received the first annual Seattle Gregory Award honoring excellence in direction for The Adding Machine. As a dedicated fan of original work John has shepherded over a dozen projects to their premiere production.The original musical The Shaggs, for which he served as co-creator and director, was nominated for Lucile Lortel and Drama Desk awards celebrating excellence Off Broadway. 

John Langs

Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Ludovic Morlot

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Lyon, France
Seattle Opera Debut
French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Amongst the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra won two Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating Carnegie Hall performance in 2014. During the 2016–17 season, Morlot and the Seattle Symphony complete their cycle of Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos, present several world premieres, continue their highly innovative series; Sonic Evolution and [untitled], and release several more recordings on the orchestra’s label, Seattle Symphony Media. 

In 2016-17, Morlot makes debuts with the Minnesota Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Netherlands Radio and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras and returns to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has a particularly strong connection with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other recent notable performances have included the Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle, Budapest Festival, Orchestre National de France, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras. He was Chief Conductor of Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie for three years (2012–2014). During this time he conducted several new productions including La Clemenza di Tito, Jenufa and Pelléas et Mélisande.

Morlot was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.

Ludovic Morlot

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Creative Team

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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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Production Sponsors

Nesholm Family Foundation
Marks Family Foundation

Photos © Philip Newton