What We’re Hearing This Month: Classical Music Picks for May

This month is full of wild and wacky happenings in the Seattle classical music scene. World-famous violinist Hilary Hahn skips over Benaroya Hall and plays a show at the Neptune. Seattle Opera broadcasts a live stream of one of their productions to a crowd of 8,000 (screaming?) fans at KeyArena. An instrument called the “fire organ” anchors an opera at On the Boards. You’ve got to hear it to believe it!

Trimpin (Photo: Toni Gauthier)

May 5 — Seattle Opera hosts its first ever simulcast at KeyArena. Watch Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on the big screen while the action unfolds at McCaw Hall. Tickets to this event are free.

May 15 & 17 — Head to Benaroya Hall for Seattle Symphony‘s production of Bartok’s deliciously dark opera, Bluebeard’s Castle. With lavish sets designed by Dale Chihuly, this staging is one you won’t want to miss.

May 18 – 20 — Notorious sound artist, sculptor, and composer Trimpin presents The Gurs Zyklus at On the Boards. Half opera, half performance art, this production features vocalists and a kinetic sound sculpture called the “fire organ”.

May 18-19 — Celebrated violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg joins the Seattle Symphony for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Also on the program is Mozart’s Requiem, the composer’s haunting final work.

May 19Seattle Modern Orchestra‘s final concert of the 2011-12 season, “Music on Paintings”, features pieces inspired by works of visual art. Experience their performance of Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel” in the atmospheric Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center.

Hilary Hahn & Hauschka (Photo: Mareike Foecking)

May 29 — What happens when one of the world’s best classical violinists collaborates with one of the world’s greatest champions of the prepared piano? Catch violinist Hilary Hahn — famous for her interpretations of Bach — at the Neptune Theater with German experimental tunesmith Hauschka. The pair is on tour promoting their genre-bending album SILFRA.

May 30 — Wash down your opera with a cold pint of tasty local brew. The singers of Opera on Tap take over Ballard’s Conor Byrne Pub for an evening of sudsy, operatic fun. Cheers!