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Seattle Opera.

Content Advisories

Read our content advisories below to help decide whether an opera is right for you and your family. If you have specific questions or concerns, please email seattle.opera@seattleopera.org.

Please note: No babes in arms in the theater.


Il trovatore

January 12–26, 2019
Performance Time: Approximately 2 hours, 50 minutes including 1 intermission

Movie-style rating: PG-13 for:

  • Mature themes and content
  • Frequent references to war and violence
  • On-stage death through suicide and war

The music of Il trovatore is catchy and easily recognizable to most audience members, but the plot is intensely violent and at times shocking, similar to an episode of television's "Game of Thrones." Parents should be prepared for discussions about the themes of retributive vengeance and oppression of the outsider. For those who have experienced war or violence in their lives, this production may trigger strong emotions.

Themes include infanticide, suicide, fratricide, capital punishment, post-traumatic stress disorder, war, discrimination, and sexual jealousy. This staging includes a pile of dead bodies—casualties of war—that grows as the show progresses, as well as a shadow puppetry depiction of the opera's backstory including a beheading and the death of a baby.

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The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

February 23–March 9, 2019
Performance Time: Approximately 1 hour, 25 minutes with no intermission

Movie-style rating: PG-13 for:

  • Some coarse language
  • Brief drug use
  • Adultery, though there is no overtly sexual staging

Children may appreciate this opera’s contemporary setting, fast-moving scenic picture, and juxtaposition of different sound worlds. The title character is depicted taking drugs and questioning the paternity of his girlfriend’s child. Sung in English; the libretto includes some coarse language.

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Carmen

May 4–19, 2019
Family Day: Sunday, May 12
Performance Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes including 2 intermissions

Movie-style rating: PG-13 for:

  • Seduction and sexually explicit staging, including removal of undergarments and suggested sexual acts on stage. There is no nudity on stage. 
  • Violence, particularly against women; a female character is stabbed to death on stage
  • Smoking; the title character works in a cigarette factory

Carmen's familiar music, eye-catching sets and costumes, and intense drama appeal to children and adults alike. In this opera, cigarette-smoking and bullfighting are associated, metaphorically, with the danger and allure of sex. At the climax, a male character stabs the character of his ex-girlfriend to death in full view of the audience. Parents should be prepared for discussions about the themes of seduction, obsession, fate, and gender roles in different cultures.

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Rigoletto

August 10–28, 2019
Performance Time: Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes including 1 intermission

Movie-style rating: PG-13 for:

  • Violence, including murder and suicide
  • Sensuality and sexual violence
  • Brief nudity: in one scene a male character is fully exposed from the back

The music of Rigoletto is catchy and familiar to many audience members, but much of the story revolves around mature content including abuse of power, sexual assault, rape, murder (one character is an assassin and another is killed on stage), and suicide. Themes include teasing and bullying, judging people based on looks, self-hatred, chastity vs. promiscuity, and when overprotection becomes child abuse.

The Duke, a central character, is a womanizer who brags about his conquests. In some cases these encounters are consensual; in other cases the audience does not see the entire event and consent is unclear. This production may trigger strong emotions for people who have experienced rape or sexual assault.

Some viewers will see an immediate connection to present-day politics in various parts of the world. This staging of Rigoletto was originally meant to highlight the misdeeds of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

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Cinderella

October 19–November 1, 2019
Performance Time: Approximately 2 hours, 55 minutes including 1 intermission

Movie-style rating: G

Children tend to find Cinderella’s music and humor appealing, and they may enjoy noticing the differences between this opera and other Cinderella stories they may know. Many parents appreciate this opera for its moral lessons: the ‘good’ characters are rewarded for their kindness, intelligence, and strength, while the ‘bad’ characters are punished (mostly by laughter) for superficiality, greed, and self-importance. The three-hour running time may be a challenge for very young children.

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Eugene Onegin

January 11–25, 2020
Performance Time: Approximately 3 hours, 10 minutes including 2 intermissions

Movie-style rating: PG for:

  • Use of guns in the staging of a duel
  • The on-stage killing of one character

Younger audiences may find Eugene Onegin's lush orchestra, glittering costumes, and lively dance scenes more compelling than the nuanced psychology of the characters portrayed by the solo singers. Tweens and teens will get more out its sad story of unfulfilled love than younger children.

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Charlie Parker's Yardbird

February 22–March 7, 2020
Performance Time: Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission

Movie-style rating: PG-13 for:

  • Drug use and addiction
  • Depiction of mental health issues
  • Racism as a central theme

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird includes frank portrayals of the real-life jazz saxophonist’s triumphs and demons, including heroin and alcohol addiction, depression, and attempted suicide. Parents should also be prepared for discussions about racism. Children may appreciate the recognizably American context and jazz idiom of the music.

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La bohème

May 2–19, 2020
Performance Time: Approximately 2 hours, 36 minutes including 2 intermissions

Movie-style rating: PG for:

  • Depictions of poverty and illness
  • The on-stage death of a character

The familiar and accessible music and eye-catching sets and costumes of La bohème appeal to children and adults alike. Children typically find the darker second half interesting, but not as relatable as the cheerful first half. Young opera-goers are unlikely to connect to the theme of nostalgia that pervades the work.

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2018/19 Season

Seattle Opera's blockbuster 2018/19 season includes The Gershwins'® Porgy And Bess®, Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Verdi's Il trovatore, a west coast premiere of the new opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Bizet's Carmen.

Explore the 2018/19 Season

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2019/20 Season

Seattle Opera’s remarkable 2019/20 season includes, Verdi’s Rigoletto, Rossini’s Cinderella, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Daniel Schnyder’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and Puccini’s La bohème. Plus: One night concert by The Costa-Jackson Sisters.

Explore the 2019/20 Season

Photos © Philip Newton