“Just Look Up!” Opera + Ballet in the City


Performance dates:

7:30 PM   Friday & Saturday    April 15-16, 2016



The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center

11100 NE 6th Street, Bellevue 98004

Tickets for Opera + Ballet in the City are available at the door and at Brown Paper Tickets   800.838.3006  

$35 (VIP seating)   $27 (Adult)   $18 (St/Sr)  

BELLEVUE, WA - Just Look Up!  Bellevue’s own CITY OPERA BALLET salutes the city's higher and higher skyline with higher education from across the lake to open the company's 2nd annual spring repertory program of Opera + Ballet in the City.   University of Washington professor, Rachael Lincoln, directs her new contemporary masterpiece "Thieves and Beggars,"  welcoming to the stage COB Music Director, Philip Tschopp,  to conduct a spectacular concert of opera plus classical and contemporary ballet, featuring the company’s three divisions:  Ballet Bellevue, Bellevue City Opera and  Orchestra Bellevue.

Resident Choreographer, Jennifer Porter, stages three of her most popular contemporary ballets plus classic scenes from Swan Lake with swans Shannan Behrens, Tanya Ariana Bendis, Mija Bishop, Chessa Chalmers, Lorraine Constantine, Victoria Gutierrez, Julie Heffner and Mireya Mascarello .  The program also previews COB 2016/17 Season opener Romeo and Juliet  and  the company’s next three seasons of favorite operas:  Cosi fan tutte (opening August 26, 2016), La Traviata ( August 2017), and  La Boheme ( August 2018).

From among the region’s finest vocalists, this reprise of last year’s Opera + Ballet features soprano Tess Altiveros, tenor Eric Neuville and Baritone Gregory Lewis singing Mimi’s aria (Si Chiamano) and the sublime duet between young lovers Mimi and Rodolfo which closes Act I of La Boheme. La Traviata’s boisterous Brindisi duet replete with chorus and orchestra sparks the ear and heart with festive cheer.

With the effervescent overture to Cosi fan tutte, COB’s Orchestra Bellevue stakes its claim to future seasons of its own concerts.

“Dreamers Often Lie” by guest choreographer and director, Amber Willett, is a first look into her all new ballet of Romeo and Juliet (to premiere October 2016) with music by Jon Steinmeier and designs by Bruce Jackson. Steinmeier’s original score is the world premiere of the first new music to be written for Romeo and Juliet since 1935.  William Shakespeare’s speech by Mercutio on the folkloric “Queen Mab”  has inspired the presence of dark fairies which might have populated Juliet’s dream on the night before her arranged wedding to Paris. Torn between familial duty and her dizzying passion for Romeo, Juliet is plagued not only by visions of her imminent wedding day, but also of ominous fate to come.  The duet of first love is danced by Chessa Chalmers and David Strong, returning to his native Bellevue for this production.

Jennifer Porter’s “Duet” to Pavane by Gabriel Faure, danced by Lara Seefeldt and Thomas Phelan, clicks  the shutter on the subtle and not so subtle experience of “getting to know you,”   and her “Disconnected” is back by popular demand to the music of Philip Glass* (Runaway Horses from Mishima).   Sure to send the audience home laughing, Porter’s staging of the show’s finale from Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen  stars Nathan Cook and Thomas Phelan in a charming romp of drunk poets and scheming fairies entwined in some of the most delightful music from early opera ever set to pen and paper.

(*used by permission from Dunvagen Music)

Rachael Lincoln’s “Thieves and Beggars” is performed by her University of Washington dance students (Tess Abrahamson-Richards, Rosy Gentle, Ivana Lin, Jasmmine Ramgotra, Dominique See and Megan Stutesman) to the  original score of Ivory Smith with costumes of Deb Skorstad, scenic design and projections by Grant Bowen and masks by Elijah Evenson.   

In humble admiration for the Paris Opera Ballet model, Bellevue’s new CITY OPERA BALLET features not only Ballet Bellevue but also Bellevue City Opera, the company’s new opera division.  COB’s inaugural opera, The Marriage of Figaro (August 2015), well-chosen as perhaps the most perfect opera ever written, was a great success, paving the way for the company’s schedule of Cosi fan tutte (August 2016), La Traviata (August 2017) and everyone’s beloved La Boheme  (August 2018).  Orchestra Bellevue with Music Director/Conductor, Philip Tschopp, boasts players selected from the finest of the region’s instrumentalists (members of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Auburn Symphony), as well as our community’s top student musicians.

CITY OPERA BALLET is a non-profit organization based in downtown Bellevue, dedicated to bringing the finest professional arts to the region through performances of opera and ballet with live orchestra.  This rare treasure in our city combines a passion for excellence, dedication to present outstanding regional talent, and the commitment to fully live musical presentation of classical works, contemporary masterpieces and new works by Northwest artists.  Recent projects include Giselle (2014), Stravinsky’s Firebird (2014), Nutcracker (2014), Opera + Ballet (2015), and Handel’s Messiah:  Ballet/Oratorio (2015).  Future productions include Cosi fan tutte (August 2016), Amber Willett’s Romeo and Juliet (October 2016), followed by two of Jennifer Porter’s most magnificent works, The Snowman (Thanksgiving weekend 2016) and Firebird (March 2017).