Lots of special events coming up in February at Seattle Opera with many of them in support of the upcoming world premiere of a brand new opera, A Thousand Splendid Suns which opens on February 25th at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.
Based on the best selling novel by Khaled Hosseini (which has also been adapted into a stage play which was seen at Seattle Rep a few years back) A Thousand Splendid Suns is set in recent day Afghanistan and focuses on the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila and the sacrifices they must make in order for them and their families to survive under the Taliban regime. With music by Sheila Silver and a libretto by Stephen Kitsakos, this new opera is directed by Roya Sadat, one of Afghanistan’s first female filmmakers.
Tickets for A Thousand Splendid Suns at: https://www.seattleopera.org/on-stage/2023-a-thousand-splendid-suns/
Information about the many events happening in February at Seattle Opera down below:
SEATTLE, WA—In conjunction with its upcoming world premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns, Seattle Opera offers a slate of unique educational and cultural events to celebrate Afghan art, culture, and history, and provide a deeper look into the making of a new opera.
First up is Jashin: A Celebration of Afghan Arts, a cultural festival highlighting the remarkable achievements of Afghan artists. The lineup of events on Saturday, February 11, includes a concert by world-renowned rubab player Homayoun Sakhi, an exhibition of rescued artworks by the artist-activist group ArtLords, the unveiling of an embroidery project created by local Afghan women in partnership with Refugee Artisan Initiative, and a presentation by film director and A Thousand Splendid Suns stage director, Roya Sadat. The event will also feature opportunities to support local Afghan artists and refugees through financial and supply donations.
Jashin offers northwest audiences the chance to learn more about Afghan culture and engage with a community that has recently resettled in western Washington. “Since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, Washington state has welcomed thousands of Afghan refugees who worked and fought alongside Americans during the decades-long conflict with the Taliban,” said Lokela Alexander Minami, associate director of community engagement. “Despite this, the American public knows little about Afghanistan’s rich and diverse culture. Jashin offers an opportunity to celebrate this culture, and we hope our audiences will come away with an appreciation of contemporary Afghan music and art, as well as an understanding of how they can help support our new Afghan neighbors.”
Other events connected to A Thousand Splendid Suns include an Opera Talk with the creators of the opera, a film screening of director Roya Sadat’s A Letter to the President, a special Community Conversation on International Women’s Day, and a recital from cast member John Moore.
Beyond A Thousand Splendid Suns, the winter also features engaging opportunities for opera fans of all ages, including Kamala Sankaram and Kelley Rourke’s The Jungle Book, a retelling of the classic story performed by Seattle Opera’s youth program participants. In March, School Opera Tour returns with Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World, a charming production coming to 50 schools across Washington State, in addition to public performances in June. And finally, on April 4, local favorites Martin Bakari and Ellaina Lewis team up with Tacoma pianist Joe Williams for a recital program featuring musical settings of Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poetry.
· The Jungle Book
February 3–5, The Opera Center
Join Seattle Opera and our talented cast of youth performers for the Youth Opera Project production of The Jungle Book. This unique take on the familiar tale is based on both Eastern and Western classical music traditions and focuses on how the wolf pack welcomes Mowgli into their fold in a beautiful story of compassion, justice, and forgiveness. Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/junglebook. Availability is limited.
· Jashin: A Celebration of Afghan Arts
Saturday, February 11, from 1:00–5:30 PM, The Opera Center
Spend your afternoon at the Opera Center and experience a cultural festival celebrating Afghan history, culture, and arts. Info and RSVP at seattleopera.org/jashin.
· A Letter to the President film screening
Sunday, February 12, at 1:00 PM, SIFF Film Center
Presented in partnership with SIFF, A Letter to the President is the second feature film by Afghan film producer, director, and A Thousand Splendid Suns director, Roya Sadat. Called a “righteously compelling feminist drama” by Variety, the film was Afghanistan’s entry for Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Oscars. Includes post-film Q&A with director Roya Sadat. Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/siff.
· Opera Talk: The Creators Behind A Thousand Splendid Suns
Friday, February 24, at 7:00 PM, The Opera Center
Hear from the team of creatives who took on the challenge of adapting Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling novel for the opera stage: composer Sheila Silver, librettist Stephen Kitsakos, conductor Viswa Subbaraman, and stage director Roya Sadat. Info and RSVP at seattleopera.org/sunstalk.
· John Moore in Recital
Thursday, March 2, at 7:30 PM, The Opera Center
Fresh off his debut as Rasheed in A Thousand Splendid Suns, John Moore has prepared a special recital program to highlight his “smooth, suave high baritone and exceptionally handsome stage presence” (OperaWire). Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/johnmoore.
· School Opera Tour: Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World
Touring March–May 2023; public performances June 25, The Opera Center
The School Opera Tour is back! This spring, our cast of professional performers brings this charming story of beauty and bravery to 50 schools across Washington State. More info at seattleopera.org/tour for school tours and seattleopera.org/frida for public performances.
· Community Conversation: Celebrating Afghan Women’s Resilience
Wednesday, March 8, at 7:00 PM, The Opera Center
In this special International Women’s Day event co-hosted by Refugee Women’s Alliance and Refugee Artisan Initiative, learn more about the vital work being done in our community to support local Afghan women refugees and women still living in Afghanistan. Info and RSVP at seattleopera.org/resilience.
· Women in Opera webinar
Every Wednesday March 29–May 3 (6 sessions), from 2–3 PM, online
Join Judy Tsou, UW Head Music Librarian Emeritus, as she illuminates women’s involvement in opera as creators, directors, and conductors and scrutinizes opera’s often troubling treatment of women as characters. Info and registration at seattleopera.org/womeninopera.
· Recital: “From His Heart’s Deep Core”
Tuesday, April 4, at 7:30 PM, The Opera Center
Seattle Opera favorites Martin Bakari (The Marriage of Figaro) and Ellaina Lewis (Blue) team up with Tacoma pianist Joe Williams for a special night of opera, classical art song, and jazz. The program will feature music from Richard Thompson and other African American composers, with settings of Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poetry, which has resonated with and inspired artists for generations across many musical genres. Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/recital.