Tue, Sep 29


Online Even via Zoom

Literary Inspiration in Opera: Verdi & Wagner

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Literary Inspiration in Opera: Verdi & Wagner

Time & Location

Sep 29, 2020, 7:00 PM PDT – Oct 06, 2020, 8:30 PM PDT

Online Even via Zoom

About the Event

Folio Seattle and Seattle Opera present Literary Inspiration in Opera: Verdi & Wagner. In this two-part series, Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean will offer an entertaining analysis of the literary interests of two titans of nineteenth-century opera, Verdi and Wagner. 

In Part One, learn how Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s keen dramatic instincts were honed by his study of his favorite playwrights, including Victor Hugo, Friedrich Schiller, Eugène Scribe, and, above all, William Shakespeare. 

In Part Two Jonathan Dean will explore how Verdi’s German contemporary Richard Wagner crafted a new kind of opera out of his enthusiasm for ancient Greek drama, chivalric medieval romance, northern European myths and legends, and German singer-songwriter schools including the Minnesingers and the Mastersingers.

About Jonathan Dean

Jonathan Dean first joined Seattle Opera for a post-college internship in the summer of 1995. As Dramaturg, he helps audience, staff, and visiting artists access, understand, and interpret opera.

Skilled in four languages, Dean translates libretti into the English captions that appear above Seattle Opera’s stage.  Since 1997, he has created captions for more than 75 operas.  His translations of Italian, French, and German operas, as well as captions for operas in English, have been seen at many opera companies around America and the world.

As Director of Public Programs and Media from 2010 to 2015, he helped build the company’s considerable online presence, represented the company to the media, and directed Seattle Opera’s in-house publications, including the large-format book 50 Years of Seattle Opera and a 14-cd set of Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Prior to that, Dean wrote and taught on behalf of Seattle Opera. He was Quizmaster for “OperaMania!” on Classical KING FM 98.1, a trivia game show featuring teenage opera enthusiasts. His two hour-long English adaptations for children of Wagner’s Ring operas, Theft of the Gold and Siegfried and the Ring of Fire, introduced thousands of children all over Washington to the passion and fascination of opera.





  • Folio Member - Part Two


    +$0.50 Service fee


    +$0.50 Service fee