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An ode to some of our favorite past Opera productions in Bellevue.

Opera returns to Bellevue with City Opera Ballet's Cosi Fan Tutte scheduled for Friday, August 26th (7:30 PM) and Sunday, August 28th (2 PM) at Meydenbauer Hall.

City Opera's production of Mozart's most effervescent opera promises to be a delight for opera lovers and opera newbies alike, and features a cast of favorite regional performers including Tess Altiveros (Fiordiligi), Brendan Touhy (Ferrando), Laurel Semerdjian (Dorabella), Jose Rubio (Guglielmo), Charles Robert Stephens (Don Alfonso), and Erica Row (Despina). Directed by Barry Johnson (PLU, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Opera)

This Cosi will be set in Texas (Amarillo!) - with a charming new libretto by Shawn Stendevad (Fairbanks Opera) full of "Y'alls" and "What the Sam Hill's!". Recitatives will be in English (Texish!) and arias in Italian.

As ever, City Opera is accompanied by Orchestra Bellevue, an ensemble of select instrumentalists chosen from the best regional orchestras including the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera orchestras, directed by COB's resident conductor, Philip Tschopp.


Mozart’s 1786 comic opera continues the plot of The Barber of Seville several years later. Mix a vengeful villain, a powerful and scheming count, and a pair of star-crossed lovers with a clever countess, and you have all the makings of a romantic comedy filled with mishaps and manipulation.

Heralded by composer Johannes Brahms as a “miracle” of invention, Marriage of Figaro was the first of three collaborations between Mozart and Da Ponte; their later collaborations were Don Giovanni and Cosi Fan Tutte.  With its clever combination of farce and pathos, class and sexual intrigue, Figaro is the perfect comic opera of love, desire and forgiveness.

“I chose to set our Figaro in roughly 1910 England.  The concept of the class system is integral to this piece, of course, and there was certainly a distinct class system at that time/place.  Yes, this will be a kind of ‘Downton meets Mozart’ and should resonate immediately and easily with modern audiences, yet still retain its classic sensibility,” said Opera Director, Robert Neu   (Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Lyric Opera of the North, Skylark Opera).

Le Nozze di Figaro will be sung in Italian with recitatives and supertitles in English. Following the performances, viewers are invited to stay for a 30-minute post-show discussion featuring members of the creative team, artists and conductor.


Just Look Up! City Opera Ballet salutes Bellevue's higher and higher skyline with higher education from across the lake! Opening the company's 2nd annual spring repertory program of Opera + Ballet in the City, University of Washington professor, Rachael Lincoln, directs her new contemporary piece ("Thieves and Beggars")to the original score of Ivory Smith with costumes of Deb Skorstad, scenic design and projections by Grant Bowen and masks by Elijah Evenson.

As the program unfolds, COB Music Director, Philip Tschopp, conducts a spectacular concert of opera plus classical and contemporary ballet, featuring Ballet Bellevue, Bellevue City Opera and Orchestra Bellevue in a preview of La Boheme (to premiere August 26. 2016), La Traviata overture and "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (Brindisi) with soprano Tess Altiveros and tenor Eric Neuville, Jennifer Porter's popular "Disconnected" (*music by Philip Glass, Runaway Horses) and "Duet" music by Gabriel Faure, selections from "The Fairy Queen" and favorite moments from "Swan Lake"

Also, see a preview of Amber Willett's original "Romeo and Juliet" ballet, which will premier October 7, 2016, with original music by Jon Steinmeier, designs by Julia Welch and Bruce Jackson.
(*used by permission from Dunvagen Music)