13 Seattle-area arts and culture events to look forward to in 2022

Opera singer


Can we finally welcome the comeback of the theater and many other live performances in 2022, to join the artistic groups that have reopened in 2021? Fingers crossed and fervent wishes sent for an end to the pandemic, here are some of the artistic and cultural events we look forward to seeing in the New Year. (As always, please check the event websites for COVID requirements and the latest information, and consider safety recommendations from local health authorities as they are updated.)

Classical music

Sibelius cycle

Seattle Symphony is embarking on an ambitious two-year Sibelius cycle, presenting the seven symphonies of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and the original version of his Violin Concerto. Each program also includes new works – world premieres from Seattle Symphony commissions – by contemporary composers responding to Sibelius pieces. The cycle begins with Seattle Symphony Music Director Thomas Dausgaard conducting Sibelius’ First Symphony in February and his Second Symphony in April.

Symphony No. 1, February 3-5; Symphony No. 2, April 7-9; Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle; $ 24 to $ 134; seattlesymphony.org. Both programs will also be broadcast live on live.seattlesymphony.org ($ 129.99 / year or $ 12.99 / month subscription) and available for on-demand viewing for one week after the initial date.


This new opera, featuring an African-American family experiencing the joy of raising a son and the grief of having their son killed by a police officer, was described by the Washington Post in 2020 as “a triumph” and “the best new opera that hardly anyone has seen. Created by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson, the opera premiered in July 2019 at the Glimmerglass Festival but its 2020 dates at Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, among others, were wiped out by pandemic closures. Fortunately, the New York Times opera titled “powerful – as well as unfortunately timely“will soon be seen in more places, with Seattle Opera among the companies planned to present it in 2022.

February 26-March 12; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $ 35 to $ 249; seattleopera.org.


To dance

whim for him

Leader in the presentation of free outdoor dance throughout the pandemic, the contemporary company of Oliver Wevers returns to the cinema – three of them – present a trio of world premieres, choreographers Ethan Colangelo, Jakevis Thomason and Wevers himself.

January 21-29, Cornish Playhouse, 201 Mercer St., Seattle; January 26, Vashon Center for the Arts, 19600 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon; January 27, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave., Langley; $ 5 to $ 60; caprice.org.

“Swan Lake”

While it was a joy to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet tentatively return to performing (both fall repertoire programs were small-scale subscriber-only works), I can’t wait for them to dive deep – a swan dive, so to speak – in an enormous and glorious ballet of stories, with the rising score by Tchaikovsky and a long, long row of swan ballerinas on pointes. Bring it on.

April 15-24; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $ 30 to $ 190 (digital access only $ 35); pnb.org.

Mark Morris Dance Group and Musical Ensemble

Still beautifully musical, the Seattle native’s longtime modern dance company returns to Meany Hall, with its own musicians, to perform three contemporary works: “Words,” to music by Mendelssohn; “Rock of Ages” on Schubert and “Festival Dance” on a work for three pianos by Hummel.

April 21-23; Meany Hall, University of Washington campus, Seattle; $ 70; Meanycenter.org.

– MM


Jazmine Sullivan

Last year, Jazmine Sullivan shattered a six-year album drought with her acclaimed “Heaux Tales”, reminding the world of her status as R&B royalty. The arrival of the worthwhile project after one of the singer’s prolonged interruptions felt like a low-key event – as “low key” as it gets when your album launch features at least one Super Bowl duet with Eric Church. Tickets to hear Sullivan’s captivating meditations on womanhood and relationships, spliced ​​into stereotypically defying vignettes on “Heaux Tales,” at Paramount were quickly picked up – many by opportunistic resellers it seems, as around 200 resale tickets were available at the time of writing. But if anyone’s voice is worth paying a premium, it’s Sullivan’s.

February 17, Paramount Theater, 911 Pine St., Seattle; to settle; stgpresents.com.

Billie Eilish

After pandemic delays, the biggest American pop star of Gen Z is finally returning to Washington as a real arena headliner with a two-night sold-out stage at the Climate Pledge Arena. The wait was long enough for Eilish to unload an acclaimed second album in last year’s hypnotically sparse film “Happier Than Ever,” backed by an Apple TV + doc and his own special Disney + concert. – the new pandemic standard for superstar album deployments. Two years after winning the Grammy Awards, the 20-year-old reformed neo-goth pop juggernaut has a chance to win three of the top four at this year’s ceremony, along with his big brother / writing partner Finneas for best. new artist separately.

March 25-26, Climate Pledge Arena, 334 First Ave. N., Seattle; to settle; Climatepledgearena.com.

Olivia rodrigo

2021 belonged to Olivia Rodrigo, the queen of pop who is fortunate enough to follow in Eilish’s Grammy footsteps. Just a week after the start of the new year, Rodrigo, the last teenage Disney star to climb the pop charts, dropped the song of the year with “Driver’s License” – a love smash that got America in her feelings like no one over the age of 21 could. The 18-year-old quickly stifled whispers of a hit, months later, releasing her acclaimed debut album “SOUR”, which evokes cutscenes of Taylor Swift singer-songwriter and pop-punk. from the turn of the century. While she can easily play in the shiny all-new hockey arena across town, Rodrigo’s first headlining tour arrives at the relatively intimate WAMU Theater on just three dates.

April 6, WAMU Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; to settle; lumenfield.com.



600 highwaymen: “A thousand ways (third part): an assembly”

Of all the experiences with the theater of the pandemic era, “A Thousand Ways” must be the most sensitive to the moment and to the bizarre new conditions in which we have lived: locked in and fundamentally alienated from one another, but intimately linked to strangers across the globe in our questions (what’s going on? For how long? Will it get me or someone I love?) and our fear. “A Thousand Ways” began in September, when pairs of strangers volunteered to call each other on the phone and answer prompts and sometimes intimate questions. This continued in November, when pairs of strangers met face-to-face at On the Boards (separated by a plexiglass barrier) to do the same. In “Part Three,” 12 strangers will come together in a room to collectively tell a story of perseverance. It sounds odd and slightly awkward, but it is also happening right now.

March 3-12; On the Boards of Directors, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $ 20 to $ 28; ontheboards.org.

“Pewter cat shoes”

In this twisted 2018 piece by Trish Harnetiaux, shredder employees from a shoe store somewhere in the Pacific Northwest take to the wilderness for a little self-discovery and teamwork commissioned by the employer. What happens next gets a bit swirling: there’s a new employee who needs to be introduced to the mysteries of the workplace “system”, someone working on a nacho novel and a mysterious casino in the mountains. Directed by Maggie L. Rogers.

April 15-May 7; Washington Ensemble Theater at 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; ticket price not yet announced; washington ensemble.org.

“Sell Kabul”

The year is 2013 and the Obama administration has started withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. Taroon, who worked as a translator for US forces, is hiding in his sister’s apartment in Kabul – he is a target of the Taliban – and is trying to get the special immigrant visa the US owes him. Meanwhile, his wife, who lives separately, has just given birth. A New York Times reviewer describes the game, by Sylvia Khoury, as having “elements of a Greek tragedy and spy thriller … if I bit my fingernails again, I would be out of my fingernails now.” Lucky for us, local genius Valerie Curtis-Newton leads – she excels at incredibly complex relationships, high-stakes decisions, the human consequences of seemingly impersonal political decisions and cultural forces, and the other things that make Selling Kabul vibrate. “.

April 22-May 22; Seattle Representative, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; ticket price not yet announced; seattlerep.org.

– BK

Visual art

Christina quarles

You have never seen a body like the bodies of painter Christina Quarles: they are rubbery and liquid, with improbable geometries and impossible physics, and sometimes they are stacked and fused, like several selves bursting out of a single piece of flesh. Which really makes sense when you learn that the Los Angeles-based artist paints explicitly about gender and race – but she’s also very interested in painting. “The paintings feel like they speak ambiguously about the painting itself,” critic Debra Brehmer recently said. written in Hyperallergic, “with the numbers playing a supporting role.”

from February 12 to June 5; Frye Museum of Art, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle; free; frymuseum.org.

“Our blue planet: global visions of water”

The uncertainty and financial costs of COVID-19 have put a damper on traveling art exhibitions, causing some museums to focus more on exhibits from permanent collections and local loans – “Our Blue Planet” at the Seattle Art Museum is one of these exhibitions, featuring a hundred books on the theme of water. Expect a vast array of artifacts, across centuries, mediums, and the world: photographs from India in the United States, Japanese woodcuts, video works from the Philippines and the northwestern part of the country. Pacific, fluorescent light sculptures and paintings of Germany from the 19th century to the 21st century. century in Australia.

March 18-May 30; Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; $ 19.99 to $ 29.99; 206-654-3100, seattleartmuseum.org.

– BK