Favorite Performances in a Lifetime, S Jenkins- UW Campus

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My Favorite Performances in a Lifetime in Opera
Schedule: Tuesday, October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Seattle - UW Main Campus, Physics Astronomy Auditorium, Room 118
Cost: $135.00
Capacity: 150 

What does it take to make an unforgettable opera performance? A combination of superb singers, a dynamic conductor, plus a thought-provoking, intelligent production accomplishes this feat. It fulfills what Monteverdi, the first great opera composer, dreamed about in the 17th century. Since 1944, Speight Jenkins has attended well over a thousand opera performances, and only a few have had all of these vital ingredients. Those rare, special performances will be the subject of this course. Through live recordings and photographs, along with his recollections, Jenkins will revisit these performances and what made them unforgettable. Performances will include: Boris Godunov with Ezio Pinza, a Tristan und Isolde with Birgit Nilsson and Otello with Placido Domingo, James Levine conducting; I Puritani with Lawrence Brownlee, and Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen in the ’90s and 2000s. Occasionally an artist such as Carol Vaness or Beverly Sills made an average opera night something never to be forgotten—or the fates conspired to make a highly touted event an artistic disaster. The disappointments are not nearly as interesting.

Speight Jenkins was General Director of Seattle Opera from 1983 to 2014. Recognized nationally as a leading authority on opera, a politically active arts advocate, and a beloved civic figure in Seattle, Jenkins was among the most influential and accomplished general directors in the United States. His passion for opera and deep knowledge of the art form influenced Seattle Opera’s many innovative productions, substantial publications, comprehensive education programs and services, and helped build the great audience for opera in Seattle.  He has received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Seattle University, an honorary doctorate of music from the University of Puget Sound, and an honorary doctorate from the New England Conservatory. On the occasion of his retirement, celebrated at Seattle Opera by a magnificent gala, Seattle and King County proclaimed August 9, 2014 “Speight Jenkins Day,” he won the 2014 Governor’s Arts Organization Leadership Award, and the city of Seattle named a street after him. He is married and has two children and three granddaughters.