Opera Director Eats Hat

Speight Jenkins bows to Pittsburgh, and other tales of woe.

The operatic repertory contains many tragedies, but none perhaps so crushing to Seattle Opera General Director Speight Jenkins as Sunday, Feb. 5's Super Bowl loss. When the Seahawks' playoff win assured that they'd be facing Pittsburgh, Mark Weinstein, general director of Pittsburgh Opera, called Jenkins to suggest a wager: The manager in the losing city would pose for a photo, in front of his board of directors, wearing the winning team's jersey. True to Jenkins' word, at press time, he was preparing to pose for the humbling photo—along with some board members sporting referee shirts and blindfolds. GAVIN BORCHERT


After 10 years at the helm of Hugo House, artistic director and co-founder Frances McCue will resign to pursue writing and teaching. "We've spent these years building a healthy, accessible, vibrant place," says McCue. "We're thrilled to be able to pass it on to others who will lead it." Program Director Lyall Bush will become executive director, consolidating the two positions of artistic and program director. According to McCue, Bush "has heart, a great intellect, a deep understanding of literature and the writer's life, and a desire to help folks create new work." A new director of development position will be established, and Hugo House will continue its mission to mold talented writers. As poet Richard Hugo once wrote, "What lives is what he left in air, definite, unseen. . . . " McCue will exit in June. KELLIE HWANG


Pacific Northwest Ballet has announced its second season under the direction of Peter Boal—and if anything, it's more ambitious and enticing than the first. At least a dozen ballets new to the company's repertoire are on the list, many by choreographers that Seattleites often have to redeem frequent-flyer miles to see: Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Robert Joffrey, Christopher Wheeldon, Molissa Fenley . . . stop us before we drool. True, in order to see the Morris ballet (Pacific), you have to endure my least-favorite dance in the repertoire (Kent Stowell's grandiose Carmina Burana, which, truth be told, has many avid fans). But you can't have everything. Or, on second thought, with Boal in charge, maybe you can. For more info, call 206-441-2424 or go to www.pnb.org. LYNN JACOBSON


Seattle Symphony also announced its 2006–07 season this week. Not to slight the orchestra's own contributions, but it's the guest list that really raises goose bumps: to name only a few, Gidon Kremer, Hilary Hahn, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Deborah Voigt, Renee Fleming, and the Kirov, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia orchestras. See www.seattlesymphony.org for full details. GAVIN BORCHERT


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