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Seattle Opera's First Simulcast

Marcie Sillman

Ever wonder why people like opera? You can find out next month, and it won't cost you a dime. Seattle Opera plans its first live simulcast at Key Arena on May 5. Free tickets are available starting at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning (4/9/12). KUOW's Marcie Sillman reports.


When the curtain goes up on the opening night of "Madama Butterfly", more than 2,000 opera fans will be at McCaw Hall to see the show. And for the first time in Seattle Opera's history, as many as 8,000 more people may be watching from Key Arena.

That's where Seattle Opera will host a free, live, high definition simulcast. It's part of an ongoing audience development grant from the Wallace Foundation.

Seattle Opera Executive Director Kelly Tweedale says for too long, opera's had a snooty reputation. Tweedale thinks it's because most people haven't had a chance to see an opera production.

Tweedale: "I think there's a lot of perception of what opera is and what it isn't. And as soon as you charge a price tag, someone has to make a decision about whether it's something they're going to enjoy. And for a lot of our audiences in Seattle, they actually have never been to an opera."

Tweedale says the May 5 simulcast will be family friendly, with activities and behind–the–scenes, pre–show videos. The free tickets will be available on Seattle Opera's website. The simulcast is part of Seattle Center's 50 anniversary celebration, "The Next Fifty." Kelly Tweedale says that's fitting, because a 1962 opera performance at the World's Fair led to formation of Seattle Opera.

I'm Marcie Sillman, KUOW News.

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