Seattle arts learning to adjust in the age of the pandemic

Jun 10, 2020, 11:58 AM

To quote Seattle Opera, the show must go online. With elaborate stage productions canceled and performing arts on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle Opera is one of many artistic groups having to get … well, creative.

Painters turn Seattle streets into a pandemic-inspired art walk

One online concert — courtesy of video conferencing technology — featured Mezzo soprano Sarah Larsen singing in her home, while pianist Jay Rozendaal accompanied her from his house.

Sunday Songs with Sarah and Jay – Part 1

Enjoy part one of our recital series "Sunday Songs with Sarah and Jay." Mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen (last seen as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel) is joined by Coach/Accompanist and Orchestra Librarian, Jay Rozendaal for a three-part recital series of songs. These two wonderful musicians had prepared a full recital for our audiences, but due to current circumstances had to cancel. Now we can bring you their program digitally!#SOConnectedProgram for April 19, 2020:Fables de la Fontaine Sarah and Jay perform three of the Fables de la Fontaine. This series of fables written by Jean de la Fontaine run the gamut from light-hearted and fun, to slightly darker and more sinister, but always with a moral at the end. Translations are provided as subtitles in the video recording. Le corbeau et le renard (The raven and the fox) by Charles LecocqLe loup et l'agneau (The wolf and the lamb) by Charles LecocqLa cigale et la fourmi (The grasshopper and the ant) by Charles TrenetYour financial support powers Opera at Home and also sustains us until we can join each other as a community to enjoy opera together again.Support Opera at Home: seattleopera.org/giveVideo Editing by Bill Mohn

Posted by Seattle Opera on Sunday, April 19, 2020

“We’ve never had a situation like this,” says Seattle Opera General Director Christina Shepplemann. “This is completely new.”

Like Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet is also offering performances online, but they’re productions that were recorded in the past.

Artistic Director Peter Boal says, as long as social distancing rules are in place, “most of the repertory that we know, for ballet companies, is not possible. Excerpts are, but entire ballets are really challenging.”

The ballet company is also offering its dancers online classes so they can stay toned while staying home.

But ballerina Sarah Villwock says that, too, has its challenges.

For instance, there’s no ballet bar to hold onto, in her home.

“I’ve actually been using my cat tree, as my bar to hold onto. I have three cats that always get in the way of my class,” Villwock said. “For flooring, I’ve been using my husband’s desk chair mat. I’ve just moved that over to the cat tree, and that’s my little class setup.”

Despite the challenges, artists say they will continue to perform, not just because it’s how they make a living, but how they live.

“Regardless of what’s going on in the world, in that moment, when you dance, you are all encompassed in that activity,” Villwock described. “I just think that it’s a beautiful art form to be able to express yourself.”

Robert McPherson, who’s preparing an online concert for Seattle Opera adds, “When you feel like you have something to say, even at times when it’s challenging, there’s still this thing that burns inside of you. There’s still something you have to say so that’s why I have felt this need to continue and soldier on in spite of everything going on. Or sometimes maybe because of it.”

Local News

Echo Glen...
Dalton Day

Echo Glen youth detention center, site of recent escape, understaffed, underfunded, report says

A 2018 report indicates that employees of Echo Glen insist that the detention facility is short staffed, and that its counselors are not sufficiently trained.
1 day ago
Washington voting...
Nick Bowman

Washington weighs significant changes to how (and when) it votes in 2022

A trio of proposals related to how Washington conducts its elections could bring dramatic voting changes to the state by the end of the legislative session.
1 day ago
Paine Field 5G...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

5G concerns, fog lead to more cancellations at Paine Field

More Alaska Airlines flights out of Paine Field were cancelled Thursday, citing issues created by the combination of 5G signals and fog.
1 day ago
catalytic converter...
MyNorthwest Staff

Competing proposals for catalytic converter theft crackdown up for Thursday vote

Competing proposals from Democrats and Republicans to crack down on catalytic converter thefts are set for committee votes on Jan. 27.
2 days ago
Gov. Jay Inslee, long-term care tax...
MyNorthwest Staff

Gov. Inslee approves 18-month delay on long-term care tax

The Washington State Senate voted to delay implementation of the new long-term care payroll tax on Wednesday. 
2 days ago
Rideshare companies...
Nick Bowman

Rideshare companies pour millions into PAC ahead of push for Washington ballot initiative

Rideshare companies have poured over $2 million into a new PAC, in what appears to be the precursor for a Washington ballot initiative. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Seattle arts learning to adjust in the age of the pandemic