Want to learn more about our casting schedule?
Casting in the Past
Seattle Opera is now offering two equally-skilled casts—this is in contrast to our previous “Gold and Silver” system that included two casts, one which performed the majority of the time. Previously, our Wednesday and Saturday casts typically featured artists who had sung their role many times, whereas our Sunday and Friday casts were often up-and-coming singers. Because of the performance schedule, this meant that one cast had 5 performances and the other had only 2 performances.
The historical cast scheduling system in place here presented significant challenges in attracting the very best talent to our stage. Understandably many of the world’s best singers do not want to commit to only two performances in Seattle.
Under Aidan Lang’s leadership, when hiring for a double-cast role, the company is now selecting two individuals whose unique credentials and/or artistry are of a comparable outstanding caliber, and who regularly perform at the great opera houses around the world.
Now, in order to attract the very best talent to our stage, we are offering our valued singers more equitable performance opportunities. With 8 performances of a work, both casts will perform four times. With 7 performances, one cast will perform three times, the other four times. For most operas, the casts will alternate every other performance.
Learn more about Each cast in the 2017/18 season
Madame Butterfly The Barber of Seville Così fan tutte Beatrice & Benedict Aida
Learn more about the Casting Process
Listen to General Director Aidan Lang and Director of Artistic Administration Aren Der Hacopian discuss how they cast singers in Seattle Opera productions. Using examples from the five operas of the 2017/18 season (Madame Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, Così fan tutte, Beatrice and Benedict, and Aida), they discuss the great casting puzzle: juggling the singers who are available with Seattle Opera's need for two casts in major roles, the specific requirements of each opera (and production), and the ideal of properly balanced ensembles.
Hear for Yourself
Listen to some passages from our recent production of La traviata. You can hear two equally excellent versions of “Sempre libera” and “Amami, Alfredo”, as sung by each of our Violetta’s (Corinne Winters and Angel Blue). You’ll also hear Weston Hurt and Stephen Powell as they perform the role of Germont, singing different verses of “Di Provenza il mar.”
While different, both sets of singers are performing on a level worthy of the Seattle Opera stage—or indeed any stage in the world.
Di Provenza il mar
Photo © Philip Newton