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Who's Who in Education

Sue Elliott, Director of Education…

…and the opera’s resident crazy Canuck. On the way to directing Seattle Opera’s education and community engagement programs, I count music lessons, family canoe trips, and farm work among my most formative experiences. Following an OPERA America fellowship in 1999-2000, I made my unintended operatic debut at Houston Grand Opera during curtain calls of Carmen in 2000 and have spent more than 16 years helping make opera matter as an educator, new work producer, community connector, strategic planner, stage manager, event organizer, and idea generator. As a recovering clarinetist and pianist, my investment portfolio includes Music Performance degrees from McGill University, University of Toronto and University of Southern California. I spend my free time on squirrel patrol in the Olympic Sculpture Park with dog Lilly, staring down at the long black line as a Masters swimmer and appreciating the power and beauty of this musical storytelling we call opera.

Barbara Lynne Jamison, Youth Programs Manager

Growing up in a family of musicians, I was very fortunate to learn the joy of music at a very early age. Road trips were opportunities to sing in canon and four-part harmony, and evenings and weekends were dedicated to orchestra rehearsals, piano lessons, and singing competitions…and, oh, yes…practicing! Bach, Handel and Rameau escorted me into a love of Baroque operas and cantatas, and I’ve spent most of my career singing these gems. While my music education began in lullabies and on road trips, it continued with Vocal Performance degrees from Florida International University and Manhattan School of Music. I began working as a teaching artist and choral conductor and found that these gave me insight into performing, and my performance experience guided me in teaching this art to others. Upon winning a Dean's Scholar award to Boston University, I began my pursuit of a doctoral degree in Music Education. Aside from making music, I love to cook. But don't ask me for a recipe—I rarely follow one. I enjoy helping anyone discover a piece of the musician that lives deep within each of us, and am busy helping to cook up new opportunities to do just that here at Seattle Opera.

Robert McClung, Community Programs Manager

Much of my childhood was spent attending theater in Connecticut and New York, often after having been thrown headfirst into a family car equipped with a child-safe lock and a clip-on tie. I remember feeling gripped by Peter Pan but exhausted by Madame Butterfly. This changed when I studied music in college, where daily coursework complemented evenings at concert halls and theaters. I learned that attending opera is contagious and can often lead to a terminal love for the art form: sitting in the balcony amongst the binoculared aficionados instilled a passion for opera and combined my interests in live theater and classical music. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Music Education from Temple University, I worked in the Metropolitan Opera Archives before returning to Temple to study Musicology. In Philadelphia, I continued my work in education as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a tutor to public school students while preparing educational materials for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. After finishing my graduate work, I did my time at The Glimmerglass Festival before moving west to join the Education department at Seattle Opera, where it is my great pleasure to explore the works of each operatic season by raising the curtain before the community and revealing what lies behind it.

Seattle Opera Education Department

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