Mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann, a music instructor at Western Washington University, is happy to be singing in the chorus of Seattle Opera’s presentation of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” opening Saturday, Jan. 16, at McCaw Hall in Seattle Center, and running through Jan. 30.
She lives in Shoreline, with her husband, who is a professional percussionist and a middle school band director in the Shoreline School District.
Plagemann says that audiences love the opera because the story is accessible, it’s funny and touching, and of course, she adds, Mozart’s music is “absolutely gorgeous.”
It’s also the first production being directed by Seattle Opera’s new artistic director, Aidan Lang.
“It’s a production he first mounted in New Zealand before coming to Seattle,” says Plagemann, “and the set is really amazing, with rooms that slide in and out of view onstage for the different scenes.”
I particularly love working with composers to perform new music and chamber music.
Melissa Plagemann, mezzo-soprano
The comic opera, in brief, is about clever servants who outwit their arrogant masters on one madcap wedding day.
Plagemann says that her voice and training are best suited to classical music, as opposed to jazz or pop, so most of her performance experience lies in that area.
“I particularly love working with composers to perform new music and chamber music, which gives me the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians on a more intimate level.”
It’s Plagemann’s fifth year teaching at Western, and she says she loves working with collegiate-level singers.
“That’s the age when they are really maturing vocally and musically, and taking responsibility for their own learning and development. I love helping them along that journey, and watching them really come in to their own as musicians and people!”
Seattle Opera’s production of “Figaro” is double-cast, and Plagemann says both casts at Seattle Opera are excellent vocally and dramatically.
“As an extra bonus for me, in addition to my chorus part, I have a very small role in the production, as one of the bridesmaids in Figaro’s wedding to Susanna. There are two of us, and we have a sweet little duet to sing as the couples are saying their vows.”
When: “The Marriage of Figaro,” Jan. 16-30
Where: McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle Center
Details: seattleopera.org, 800-426-1619