The Combat
Immersive Baroque Pastiche based on
Montiverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
Seattle Opera
Seattle Opera Studios
2017

Scenic Design: Christopher Mumaw
Costume Design: Candace Frank
Lighting Design: Marnie Cumings
Conductor: Stephen Stubbs
All photos copyright Philip Newton

Dan Wallace Miller’s staging is imaginative and extremely effective, creating a graceful courtship in the first act, a tense and fraught second act with a deadly swordfight, and a stately processional for the third.

...What a relevant, timely and thought-provoking production. For those who think opera is an antique, elitist art form with no connection to our own time, here is a show to change your mind.
Everything about this production is designed to break down whatever perceptions you may have about the grandness of opera; this one is all about intimacy.

...When the music stopped, we stood there in stunned silence, the way you would at a funeral... No one could say anything for a while.

...Then, before we could applaud or speak, we were led out of the room where the music stopped. There was gravitas and anguish in the air. And only when I was outside again did I remember that the grief I had just been part of was not my private sorrow, but something brought forth by art.

With this remarkable production of The Combat, visionary director Dan Wallace Miller and his cast transformed not only the Seattle Opera rehearsal building, but also my heart. This is a profound experience of theater.
The imaginative stage direction of Dan Wallace Miller (plus the essential contribution of longtime fight director Geoffrey Alm) meets the consort of baroque instruments directed by [Stephen] Stubbs, and the result is an hour-long, exciting, gut-wrenching immersion in the forces of love and humanity versus intolerance, and the human toll taken in the battle between those opposing forces.

...Don’t miss it. Hope, request, that it will be brought back.
Stage Director Dan Wallace Miller is to be congratulated for making this battle so realistic.

...I’m getting chills as I write this -it was moving not only because of the deaths of loved ones in war, but because human beings haven’t yet found a way to make peace with one another. The irony of ‘defending the faith’ by killing those you love is made very clear with this beautifully performed musical drama.