The Combat: A Muslim Christian love story in a time of war

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Marketing image for Seattle Opera's The Combat, a Muslim Christian love story in a time of war, presented in the Seattle Opera Studios. April 1, 2, 6, 7, & 9, 2017. Photo courtesy of Seattle Opera
Marketing image for Seattle Opera’s The Combat, a Muslim Christian love story in a time of war, presented in the Seattle Opera Studios. April 1, 2, 6, 7, & 9, 2017. Photo courtesy of Seattle Opera

This April, Seattle Opera invites you to experience an intimate, immersive performance of The Combat—a star-crossed love story between a Muslim warrior and the Christian knight she encounters in battle. GRAMMY-Award winning conductor Stephen Stubbs will lead singers and an early-music ensemble in a location usually only opera singers and stage directors get to see—the Seattle Opera rehearsal studios. Viewers will stand* for the 50-minute presentation, which is appropriate for all ages and offered without intermission. 

“By performing in unique venues outside of McCaw Hall—and with singers so close you can practically feel the vibrations—Seattle Opera continues its mission to make our art a vibrant, accessible treasure for the entire community,” said General Director Aidan Lang.  

For more than 500 years, Muslim/Christian relationships have been reflected in art and culture. Based on Tasso’s epic poem set during the Crusades, The Combat combines works by Claudio Monteverdi and François Couperin to illustrate the continued relevance of these themes, and how different cultural identities impact the lives of the two central characters. A Muslim warrior and a Christian crusader fall in love, unaware of each other’s faith. When they meet again during a nighttime battle, they fail to recognize one another, with tragic consequences.

The Combat will include the company debuts of both Maestro Stubbs, as well as Stage Director Dan Wallace Miller.

Miller is founder and Artistic Director of Vespertine Opera Theater, a Seattle-based company that presents rarely performed operas, such as Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Poulenc’s Le Mamelles de Tirésias, in unique spaces. This summer Miller will be Assistant Director on Silent Night with Atlanta Opera. As Seattle Opera’s Resident Assistant Director he has worked on many productions, including Katya Kabanova and The Magic Flute.

Stubbs has played guitar, theorbo, and lute for Seattle Opera productions of Orphée et Eurydice and Julius Caesar. In 2015, he won a GRAMMY Award in the Best Opera Recording category for conducting Boston Early Music Festival Ensemble’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers by Charpentier. He is the Artistic Director of the Boston Early Music Festival, founder of Pacific MusicWorks, and Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington.

Eric Neuville, a celebrated performer on Seattle Opera’s mainstage most recently seen as Gastone in La traviata, performs as Testo—a poet from long ago who animates his characters like a puppet master.Thomas Segen and Tess Altiveros will respectively perform the roles of Tancredi, the crusader; and Clorinda, the warrior woman he loves.  

Prior to the performance, attendees can grab a drink from the in-house bar to enjoy during the performance. Supported in part by The Wallace Foundation and True-Brown Foundation, The Combat reflects Seattle Opera’s commitment to providing opera in new spaces and at different price points—ultimately reducing barriers that have hindered this art form’s accessibility.

 The Combat premieres Saturday, April 1, and runs through Sunday, April 9. Tickets are available online at seattleopera.org/thecombat or by calling 206.389.7676. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $40. Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676.

The Combat

Performed at Seattle Opera Studios, 200 Terry Avenue North, Seattle. The Combat is presented in South Lake Union at Seattle Opera’s leased warehouse building, which houses our rehearsal space, administrative offices, props shop, and costume shop.