In an alternate world—one not disrupted by Covid-19—Seattle Opera would be about to open their main stage production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci to a packed house. In an alternate world, arts organizations would be thriving, and those that love theater, dance, and live music would fill Seattle’s many venues with applause.
But that is not this world.
This is precisely why it’s so impressive that Seattle Opera is launching a new performance series called Community Serenades to bring live opera to various settings for seniors and people experiencing homelessness. They’re doing it because, especially right now, we could all use a little lift, particularly the most vulnerable in our community.
When Seattle Opera asked us to provide pizza for their upcoming event at Plymouth Housing, it felt like a match made in heaven: Pagliacci Pizza has been working with Plymouth Housing to help end chronic homelessness, Pagliacci co-owner Matt Galvin is the co-chair of the Plymouth Housing luncheon (their major fundraiser), and, of course, Pagliacci, the opera.
Not only is Seattle Opera bringing soprano Tess Altiveros and pianist Elisabeth Ellis to perform, but they also engineered a supply drive of necessary items for Plymouth Housing tenants—with Pagliacci supplying the meal.
“Seattle Opera remains resolute in service to our community, even during these challenging times,” said Seattle Opera General Director Christina Scheppelmann. “We hope our new initiative will bring healing, joy, and hope to our neighbors.”
Community Serenades is just one example of how Seattle Opera has remained resilient during the pandemic: creating art in the new reality of social distancing, and taking action to help local communities.
And while McCaw Hall won’t be packed for Seattle Opera’s production of Pagliacci, the show will go on in a form designed for virtual and distanced audiences. Members of the public can help ensure Seattle Opera’s future through the pandemic crisis and support programming like Community Serenades at seattleopera.org/give.
Bravo, Seattle Opera, and thank you.