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Originally published May 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Page modified May 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM

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Seattle Opera’s ‘Tales’ ends with suprise for Speight Jenkins

Saturday night was not only the closing night of “Tales of Hoffmann” at Seattle Opera, but the last production overseen by the company’s general director, Speight Jenkins.


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When Seattle Opera general director Speight Jenkins (shown at right) came onstage to rapturous applause after “Tales of Hoffmann” Saturday night, he was ready to stand with the cast and give a little talk. He was not ready for the swarm of company staff, crew and musicians that also massed on stage, gathering for a historic moment: “Hoffmann” was Jenkins’ final production at Seattle Opera; he’s retiring at the end of the summer, after 31 years. (He’ll be honored at a celebratory weekend of events, Aug. 7-9.) Jenkins recovered sufficiently from the surprise to continue his speech, in which he thanked his wife of 48 years, Linda; longtime opera-board president John Nesholm; opera executive director Kelly Tweeddale; and his assistant, Mary Brazeau, for always “getting me to the church on time.”

(Note: The Seattle Times will publish a Jenkins retrospective this summer.)

Melissa Davis,

assistant features editor



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