Opera on Tap

Launched in 2005 in New York City, Opera on Tap has chapters in 12 cities. The three "managing divas" of Seattle's branch, arranging venue bookings and programming, are Popova, Megan Chenovick, and Erica Row. Chenovick had performed with NYC's Tap, and Popova approached her about starting one here; their first gig was last September at In the Red Wine Bar on Phinney Ridge. There's no set roster for Opera on Tap Seattle; the three send their singer acquaintances details of each month's gig and the planned theme. (Tonight's program: "That Crazy Little Thing Called Love!", which traces the emotional roller-coaster of a relationship from infatuation to rage and beyond.) Anyone who's free and has appropriate repertory under their belt—meaning ready for public airing without rehearsal—can propose themselves. Tap singers have often crossed paths and boast similar resumes, working to stitch together a post-college living through teaching, roles with smaller area companies (Tacoma, Bellevue, Kitsap, Vashon, and Skagit Operas), or in outreach performances with the Seattle Opera Guild. What makes opera such a hard sell? "They feel like it's too fancy, basically," Chenovick thinks. But guided past the perceived barriers of language, class, money, and the other baggage attached to opera, people find out it's not so unfamiliar: "These story lines in many ways would be easily transferable to a contemporary soap opera," she says. GAVIN BORCHERT

Sun., Feb. 26, 8 p.m., 2012

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