Seattle’s New Populist Opera House

Opera audiences tend to be a fairly conservative bunch, artistically speaking, and opera houses have generally followed their lead. But in the Pacific Northwest, the newly renovated home of the Seattle Opera has risen in a mass of populist glass and metal, inviting comparisons to the Gehry-designed shrine to Jimi Hendrix located mere blocks away. “Metallic scrims cross the plaza in front of the hall and extend into the spacious multilevel lobby, in a further gesture meant to break down the barriers between opera and the public. At night the scrims will glow with colored lights keyed to the music being performed.”