Classical Music on the Cheap: Free Opera!

Curious about opera but hesitant about the price tag? A night at the opera can be an extravagant experience…but it doesn’t have to be. Seattle’s bursting with free and fabulously cheap operatic events in the coming month. Here are three ways to get your feet wet without making a dent in your wallet.

Soprano Patricia Racette in Seattle Opera's production of "Madama Butterfly" (Photo: Marty Sohl)

On May 5, join thousands of opera-goers at KeyArena for Seattle Opera’s simulcast of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Cameras mounted around the stage at McCaw Hall will capture the performance, which will be broadcast live to the audience at KeyArena. Seattle Opera is offering 8000 free tickets to the simulcast, the first event of its kind in the company’s history. Snag your seat today.

Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” series brings taped performances of Met productions to movie theaters around the country. This is a great way to get an introduction to the operatic classics, with world-class productions presented by one of the most renowned opera companies. At the price of a movie ticket, it’s a steal. Several theaters in the Seattle area host “Live in HD” showings. On May 2, catch Verdi’s La Traviata at AMC Pacific Place 11 in downtown Seattle. For those wanting a more epic opera experience, mark your calendars for May 9-16, when the Met will broadcast Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle at theaters around the city.

With chapters across the nation, Opera on Tap connects classical vocalists with audiences in bars, restaurants, and cafes. Seattle’s active Opera on Tap chapter hosts monthly events around the city. On May 30, join this charismatic group of singers for an evening of operatic hits at Ballard’s Conor Byrne Pub.