An adventure in community storytelling, exploring stories of your most precious possessions.

For centuries, opera has championed the long-ago and far-away as one form of musical storytelling. What if we found a way for opera to celebrate the here and now, to explore stories of our time and our place?

Join us for an adventure in community storytelling through Seattle Opera's Belonging(s) project - an exploration of the stories of your most precious possessions.

When an opera company commissions a new work, it usually begins and ends with the composer and librettist. This time we're taking a different approach: we started with your story and the stories of your friends, your neighbors and others you pass by on the street. Belonging(s) began with an online repository of videos-a digital quilt created by you, your friends, and the people you pass on the street-that tell stories of our most precious possessions: those objects or memories that help us understand our lives, our relationships, and our legacies.

Think about this: if you had to leave your home today, and couldn't return, what would you want to take with you? Why is that object, that memory, or that connection to your past so important?


We commissioned librettist Jessica Murphy Moo and composer Jack Perla to weave selected stories into a new opera. The WWII stories of two women in Seattle, one Japanese-American and the other German-American, inspired the fictional tale of two families in this soon-to-be-named work.

Your new opera is now complete, but we need your help to bring it to life.


This spring we’re planning a dynamic workshop to prepare your opera for its first performance, and we want you to get involved. At the Belonging(s) Project Workshop, our creative team will work with singers, piano, and chamber orchestra to rehearse and revise your brand new opera. This is a crucial and exciting period in the development from page to stage, and you can make it possible.

Your opera needs your support. By donating to the Belonging(s) Project Workshop, you’re playing an important role in a new approach to opera creation. Your gift underwrites the development of an opera that tells the stories of your community, including people who wouldn’t normally imagine connecting with opera.

Your donation in any amount will help make the Belonging(s) Project Workshop a reality.

Belonging(s) Creative Team

Jack Perla, Composer
Composer and pianist Jack Perla creates new musical works for stage and recording, using a palette that includes symphonic, operatic, choral & chamber music, as well as multiple jazz idioms. Jack has completed commissions for Houston Grand Opera and LA Opera, and premiered his comic opera Love/Hate with San Francisco Opera. He is currently working on a commission for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Jessica Murphy Moo, Librettist
Jessica Murphy Moo is a writer, teacher and editor. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Image, and Memorious. Her nonfiction has appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine and The Atlantic Online, among other publications. She has held teaching positions at Emerson College, Harvard University, Boston University, and Seattle Pacific University, and she now teaches for an online writing workshop organization based in the Seattle area.