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Seattle Opera.

Beatrice & Benedict

Feb. 24-Mar. 10, 2018

"Imaginative ... Fast-paced, action-packed and nobly sung."
- The Seattle Times

Overview

By Hector Berlioz
An operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing

"It’s a beautiful story in an epic setting at a time when the world needs a bittersweet romance and joy." –John Langs, Stage Director

Beatrice and Benedict are both firmly committed to being single. And the idea that they might fall in love with one another? Laughable! Until, by "chance," Benedict overhears a friend say that Beatrice really loves him. Beatrice hears a rumor that Benedict feels the same. The seed planted, love blooms wild. Berlioz puts music to the logic-defying, wholly intoxicating experience of falling in love.

"The creative combination of Seattle Symphony Orchestra Maestro Ludovic Morlot and ACT Theatre Artistic Director John Langs will bring a freshness to Berlioz's unique opera." –Aidan Lang, Seattle Opera General Director

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Listen to the music

Copyright Philip Newton.

Sung and Spoken in English | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes including 1 intermission

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Synopsis

For an in-depth look at how this unique production came to be, check out our recent blog post: What is Beatrice and Benedict?

ACT I
Returning victorious from battle, the forces of Don Pedro of Sicily visit the estate of Leonato, his daughter Hero, and her cousin Beatrice. Hero loves Claudio, one of Don Pedro’s soldiers; Beatrice hates all men, but especially Benedict, Claudio’s misogynistic best friend and another of Don Pedro’s soldiers. Hero is overjoyed by Claudio’s return, while Beatrice and Benedict immediately resume their ‘merry war of words.’

A wedding is arranged between Claudio and Hero, and Claudio suggests that Benedict, too, should get married. But Benedict tells his friends he’d rather die. Don Pedro and Claudio conspire to make Benedict fall in love; arranging a situation in which Benedict can eavesdrop on them, they discuss with Leonato how sad it is that Beatrice loves Benedict, the woman-hater. Benedict, amazed by what he has overheard, vows he will return Beatrice’s love.

Hero and her friend Ursula, meanwhile, play the same trick on Beatrice. On the eve of her wedding to Claudio, Hero and Ursula muse about the nature of love.

ACT II
At the wedding of Hero and Claudio, all are happy (and tipsy) except Beatrice, who is confused by her feelings about Benedict. She remembers how she had nightmares about him coming to harm when he was away at war, and admits to herself that she loves him.

Benedict and Beatrice are arguing about their feelings, and their future, when the others interrupt them. Claudio and Hero reveal love poems that Beatrice and Benedict have written about each other, and in the end both admit their love and agree to a truce—until tomorrow.

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Dig Deeper: Beatrice & Benedict

Who is Hector Berlioz? What is an opéra-comique? Learn more about the story and the music of Beatrice & Benedict in our in-depth, multimedia Spotlight Guide.

Read the Spotlight Guide

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Cast

Daniela Mack

Beatrice

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Jacqueline Kennedy, JFK (L’Opéra de Montréal); Bradamante, Alcina (Santa Fe Opera); Carmen, Carmen (Arizona Opera); Bradamante, Alcina (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Carmen, Carmen (Opera Philadelphia); Isabella, The Italian Girl in Algiers (Santa Fe Opera)

Last updated: February 2018

 

Daniela Mack

Beatrice

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 28
Mar. 7, & 10

Hanna Hipp

Beatrice

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Dorabella, Così fan tutte, and Beatrice, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Kraków, Poland
Seattle Opera Debut: Isolier, Count Ory (’16)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Dorabella, Così fan tutte (’18)
Recently: Isabella, The Italian Girl in Algiers (Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier); The Composer, Ariadne auf Naxos (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Magdalena, Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg (Royal Opera, Covent Garden)
Upcoming: Frances, Gloriana (Teatro Real); Clairon, Capriccio (Garsington Opera); Hansel, Hansel and Gretel (Royal Opera Covent Garden)

Last updated: February 2018

Hanna Hipp

Beatrice

Feb. 25
Mar. 3, & 9

Alek Shrader

Benedict

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Benedict, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Alva, OK
Seattle Opera Debut: Jupiter/Apollo, Semele (’15)
Recently: Oronte, Alcina (Santa Fe Opera); Endimione, Diana’s Garden (Minnesota Opera); Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Arizona Opera)
Upcoming: Candide, Candide (Washington National Opera and Santa Fe Opera); Stage director, Dido and Aeneas (University of Notre Dame)

Last updated: February 2018

Alek Shrader

Benedict

Feb. 24, 28
Mar. 7, & 10

Andrew Owens

Benedict

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville; Benedict, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Newton, PA
Seattle Opera Debut: Leicester, Mary Stuart (’16)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (’17)
Recently: Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola (Arizona Opera); Mads, Peer Gynt (Theater an der Wien); Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville (Opera San Antonio)
Upcoming: Snout, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theater an der Wien); Arturo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Philadelphia)

Last updated: February 2018

 

Andrew Owens

Benedict

Feb. 25
Mar. 3, & 9

Shelly Traverse

Hero

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Hero, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut
Seattle Opera Chorus Member since 2015
Recently: Dora, The Three Feathers (Seattle Opera Educational Tour); Mabel, The Pirates of Penzance (Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan); Soloist, Living Music Tour: works by living composers (Pacific Northwest Tour)
Upcoming: Valencienne, The Merry Widow (Tacoma Opera); Pamina, The Magic Flute (Vashon Opera)

Last updated: February 2018

Shelly Traverse

Hero

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Avery Amereau

Ursule

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Ursula, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Jupiter, FL
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Kate Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Grand Théâtre de Genève); Dryad, Ariadne auf Naxos (Glyndebourne Festival)
Upcoming: Page, Salome (Salzburg Festival); Soloist, Brahms Alto Rhapsody (American Classical Orchestra); Soloist, Vivaldi Recital (Orchestra of St. Luke’s)

Last updated: February 2018

Avery Amereau

Ursule

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Kevin Burdette

Somarone

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte, and Somarone, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Knoxville, TN
Seattle Opera Debut: Mustafà, L’italiana in Algeri (’06)
Previously at Seattle Opera:  Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte (’18); Masetto, Don Giovanni (’07)
Recently: Señor Russell, The Exterminating Angel (The Metropolitan Opera); Stobrod Thewes, Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera); Sulpice, The Daughter of the Regiment (Washington National Opera)
Upcoming: Sacristan, Tosca (Philadelphia Orchestra); Voltaire, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo, Candide, and Major Domo, Ariadne auf Naxos(Santa Fe Opera)

Last updated: February 2018

Kevin Burdette

Somarone

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Craig Verm

Claudio

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Guglielmo, Così fan tutte, and Claudio, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Houston, TX
Seattle Opera Debut: Papageno, The Magic Flute (’17)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Guglielmo, Così fan tutte (’18)
Recently: Doug Hansen, Everest (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Tancredi, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda/Daniel, I Have No Stories to Tell (Opera Philadelphia); Billy Budd, Billy Budd (Des Moines Metro Opera)
Upcoming: Masetto, Don Giovanni (Dallas Opera); Haly, The Italian Girl in Algiers (Santa Fe Opera)

Last updated: February 2018

Craig Verm

Claudio

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Daniel Sumegi

Don Pedro

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: The Bonze, Madame Butterfly; Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville; Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict; Ramfis, Aida
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Zuniga, Carmen

Hometown: Sydney, Australia 
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Don Pedro, Beatrice and Benedict (’18); Don Basilio, The Barber of Seville (’17); Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’16); Fafner/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13)
Recently: Fasolt/Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Australia)
Upcoming:  Pogner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia); Jokanaan, Salome (Israeli Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Malmö Opera)

Last updated: May 2018

Daniel Sumegi

Don Pedro

Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Christine Marie Brown

Margaret

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Margaret, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Columbia, MD
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: The Baker's Wife, Into the Woods (Village Theatre); Annie Oakley, Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Elmire, Tartuffe (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
Upcoming: Soccer Mom, The Wolves, and Mona, Oslo (ACT Theatre, Core Company Member); Hermione, The Winter's Tale (Engaged Theatre Program)

Christine Marie Brown

Margaret

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Brandon O’Neill

Don Juan

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Don John, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Spokane, WA
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Kassim, Disney's Aladdin  (Broadway, New Amsterdam Theatre); Carmine, A Bronx Tale, the Musical (Broadway Co., Longacre Theatre);Mr Collins/Mr. Whickham/Ms. Bingley, Pride and Prejudice (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Upcoming: Phoebus, The Hunchback of Notre Dame ( 5th Avenue Theatre); Antipholus of Ephesus, Boys From Syracuse (Showtunes Theatre Co., Benaroya Hall); 2018 Core Company Member (ACT Theatre)

Last updated: February 2018

 

Brandon O’Neill

Don Juan

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Avery Clark

Borachio

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Borachio, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Fort Smith, AR
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:  Rev. Hale, The Crucible (ACT Theatre); Drew, Straight White Men, and Tesman, Hedda Gabler (Studio Theatre)
Upcoming: Oslo and Christmas Carol (ACT Theatre; Core Company Member)

Last updated: February 2018

 

Avery Clark

Borachio

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Marvin Grays

Leonato

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Leonato, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Denver, CO
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Doorman/Police Officer, Six Degrees of Separation (Theatre 912); Walter Cunningham, Bufkin Beauties, staged reading (Hedgebrook Women's Playwright Festival); Martin Luther King, Dr. King's Dream (one-person show) (Mixed Blood Theater Company)

Marvin Grays

Leonato

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Chip Sherman

Messenger/Friar

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Messenger/Friar Francis, Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Nashville, TN
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:   Middle Scrooge, A Christmas Carol (ACT Theatre); Bailey/Ensemble, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Book-It Repertory); Alexander the Great, Alex and Aris (ACT Theatre)
Upcoming: 2018 Core Company Member (ACT Theatre)

Last updated: February 2018

 

Chip Sherman

Messenger/Friar

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 24, 25, 28
Mar. 3, 7, 9, & 10

Cast

Creative Team

John Langs

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Seattle Opera Debut
John Langs is the Artistic Director of ACT Theatre in Seattle. He has directed productions at Playwrights Horizons NY, Ensemble Studio Theater NY, The Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago, Circle X in Los Angeles, The New Century Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theaters of Seattle, and The Seattle Shakespeare Company where he is an Associate Artist. Some recent directing highlights include King Lear (Seattle Footlight Award for Best Production of the Year), The Shaggs Philosophy of the World (Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award for Best Original Musical, Backstage Garland Award for Best Direction), and Brothers Karamazov (seven LADCC Awards including Best Production of the Year and Best Direction). Langs received the first annual Seattle Gregory Award honoring excellence in direction for The Adding Machine. 

John Langs

Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Ludovic Morlot

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Lyon, France
Seattle Opera Debut
Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. During his tenure the orchestra has won two Grammy Awards for recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label. He has regular relationships with the Chicago Symphony and New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras. Outside North America, recent and future debuts include the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony (closing concert of the Wien Modern Festival), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, and MDR Leipzig and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras. Morlot has also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London and on tour in Germany. As Chief Conductor of La Monnaie (2012-2014), he conducted several new productions including La clemenza di TitoJenůfa and Pelléas et Mélisande. This season he makes his debut with the Orchestra of St Luke’s and returns to the Atlanta and Houston Symphony Orchestras.

Last updated: February 2018

Ludovic Morlot

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Matthew Smucker

Set Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice and Benedict

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: The Crucible (ACT Theatre); Into the Woods (Village Theatre); Man of La Mancha (5th Avenue Theatre)
Upcoming: Lauren Weedman Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (ACT Theatre); Matilda (Village Theatre); Last Night and the Night Before (Denver Center Theatre)

Last updated: February 2018

Matthew Smucker

Set Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Deborah Trout

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: Beatrice and Benedict
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The Turn of the Screw

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: The Marriage of Figaro (’09)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor (’10); An American Dream (’15)
Recently: The Crucible (ACT Theatre);  Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Cyrano (Portland Center Stage)

Last updated: November 2017

Deborah Trout

Costume Designer

Connie Yun

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: An American Dream and Beatrice and Benedict
At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The Turn of the Screw

Hometown: East Lansing, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Die Fledermaus (’06)
Previously at Seattle Opera: An American Dream (’17 and ’15); As One (’16); Tosca (’15)
Recently: Così fan tutte; The Difficulty of Crossing a Field; The Match Girl Passion (Portland Opera)
Upcoming:La Cenerentola; Orfeo ed Eurydice (Portland Opera); Skylight (ACT Theatre)

Last updated: December 2017

Connie Yun

Lighting Designer

Creative Team

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Blayne Barnes
Eugene Bazhanov
Brian Fox
Ayako Gamo
Caitlin Kelley
Leonid Keylin
Rachael Pearson
Mikhail Shimdt, Concertmaster
John Weller
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky, Asst. Concertmaster

Violin II
Evan Anderson
Natalia Bazhanov, Asst. Principal
Stephen Bryant
Kelly Farris
Xiao-po Fei
Artur Girksy, Principal
Andy Liang
Joy Rhee

Viola
Susan Gulkis Assadi, Principal
Mara Gearman, Asst. Principal
Timothy Hale
Penelope Crane
Joseph Gottesman
Sayaka Kokubo

Cello
Nathan Chan, Principal
Bruce Bailey
Roberta Downey
Emily Hu
Charles Jacot
Joy Payton-Stevens, Asst. Principal

Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Jonathan Burnstein, Asst.Principal
Brendan Fitzgerald
Jennifer Godfrey

Flute
Jeffrey Barker, Principal
Robin Peery

Piccolo
Robin Peery

Oboe
Mary Lynch, Principal
Stefan Farkas

English Horn
Stefan Farkas

Clarinet
Emil Khudyev, Principal
Eric Jacobs

Bassoon
Paul Rafanelli, Principal
Stefanie Przybylska

Horn
Jeff Fair, Principal
Jenna Breen
John Turman
Jonathan Karschney

Trumpet/Cornet
David Gordon, Principal
Christopher Stingle
Michael Myers

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Timpani
Matt Drumm, Principal

Percussion
Michael Clark, Principal

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal
John Carrington

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

 

 

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Chorus

Soprano
Carissa Castaldo
Jennifer Cross
Karen Early Evans
Melanie Hingson
Dana Johnson
Linda Mattos
Mary McLaughlin
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox
Lyndee White

Mezzo
Lorraine Burdick
Laura Eichelberger
YeonSoo Lee
Rachelle Moss
Gail Neil
Elizabeth Peterson
Melissa Plagemann
Susan Salas

Tenor
Nathan Barnes
Ben Cleveland
Joel Cummings
Jon Farmer
Andrew Etherington
John Marzano
Logan Skirm
Stephen Wall

Bass/Baritone
Dan Aarthun
Michael Dunlap
Craig Grayson
Glenn Guhr
Michael Heitmann
Kwangsuk Ku
Ben Kramer
Dierre Lopez
Julian Reisenthel

 

 

Supernumeraries

Rosetta Greek
Shawn Kavon
Gary Lee
Rich Lewis
Kevin Swantek

 

 

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

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Performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Production Sponsors

Nesholm Family Foundation
Marks Family Foundation
City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Media Partner

KUOW-FM


Main Photo © Philip Newton | Photos © Jacob Lucas; © Tuffer; © Jacob Lucas