City Arts Magazine and Seattle Weekly Previews of Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Read Gavin Borchert of the Seattle Weekly's preview of our upcoming show, Les Mamelles de Tiresias. He came to visit rehearsal last week and got a peek at some of the surprises we have in store!

Meanwhile, Phillipa Kiraly of City Arts Magazine sat down with Artistic Director Dan Wallace Miller for a look at Les Mamelles de Tiresias as well as a look at the history of the company and how it came to be formed.



Acclaimed Music Directors Dean Williamson and David McDade join Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Here is our second press release for our upcoming production of Les Mamelles de Tiresias, announcing involvement of two exceptional Music Directors and giving a bit of information on this historic adaptation.

       Acclaimed Music Directors Dean Williamson and David McDade join Vespertine Opera Theater’s production of a New Edition of Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias,

Adapted by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, Edited by Seattle Opera Young Artists Program alumna Emily Hindrichs

Who: Vespertine Opera Theater
Where: Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S., Seattle, WA 98118
When: April 2 and April 4, at 8:00pm
SEATTLE – Vespertine Opera Theater is pleased to announce the addition of two exemplary artists to its US premier of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears’ adaptation of Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias (The Breasts of Tiresias). Dean Williamson and David McDade join the production as music directors and accompanists for this 2-piano edition.
Dean Williamson, the former Artistic Director of Opera Cleveland and one of the founders of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, is widely known throughout the United States as an ambitious conductor of great acclaim. Opera News says that his conducting in Seattle Opera’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann “[was] both steady and impassioned, [and] was a major factor in the production’s success”. The Seattle PI says “his work is inevitably lucid and organic, even poetic, which cannot be said for many conductors.”
David McDade, the Head Coach and Accompanist at Seattle Opera, and most recently the Chorus Master of their production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, has served as the Assistant Conductor for all of Seattle Opera’s productions of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Both McDade and Williamson join this production to provide music direction and accompaniment on the two pianos in this unique dual piano English adaptation.
This new edition was painstakingly reconstructed and edited by Emily Hindrichs, a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program who made her Seattle Opera mainstage debut in 2011 singing Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. Inspired by a recording of Les Mamelles de TIresias, Poulenc’s friend, Benjamin Britten, collaborated with Peter Pears and Poulenc himself, to create an English language 2-piano adaptation for his own music festival in Aldeburgh, England. The fruit of this historic pairing would have been forever lost to history if not reassembled and edited by Emily Hindrichs from Britten’s own handwritten notes in his score. This edition premiered in its current form last October at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Vespertine Opera Theater stages this all-new production in the unique cabaret setting of the Columbia City Theater, Seattle's oldest vaudeville theater.
Click here to get tickets!



Tickets on sale now!

Tickets are now on sale for Les Mamelles de TIresias! Please click the "Upcoming and Current Productions" tab at the top of the site to purchase.



Press Release and Support

We have officially been granted a 501(c)(3) permit by the IRS, giving us official license to operate as a Public Charity! Please consider making a small donation by clicking on our "Donate/Support" button at the top of the site, or by clicking this link:

All donations you make will be tax deductible and we will provide you with a receipt that you will be able to reference on your tax returns.

We have also issued a press release with more information regarding our upcoming production of Les Mamelles de Tiresias.

Tickets will go on sale Monday, March 11th!

Vespertine Opera Theater presents

Francis Poulenc’s Surrealist comedy,

Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias)

The U.S. Premiere of an English, Two-Piano adaptation

by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears

Who: Vespertine Opera Theater with notable people
Where: Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S., Seattle, WA 98118
When: April 2 and April 4, at 8:00pm
SEATTLE – Vespertine Opera Theater is excited to announce THE U.S. PREMIERE of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears’s English language, two-piano adaptation of Francis Poulenc’s first operatic masterpiece, Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias). This outrageous and uproarious comedy, based on a play of the same name by French poet and author Guillaume Apollinaire, literally defined the term surrealist, which the author coined in the play's preface. Performed at Columbia City Theater—Seattle’s oldest Vaudeville theater—Les Mamelles de Tirésias promises to be a joyful celebration of Surrealism with cabaret-style seating and drink service.
This tale of love, struggle, and the battle of the sexes centers on Therese who has grown tired of being a housewife and expectant mother. In a fit of frustration, her breasts turn into balloons and float away. She then grows a beard and becomes the famous male general Tiresias, who wages a militant campaign against childbirth and the status of women. This is much to the consternation of The Husband who, upon realizing his wife is no longer a woman, must find a way to bear the burden of childbirth himself. He does, and has 1,041 children in one afternoon. Meanwhile, he is plagued by the affection of The Gendarme who staunchly believes The Husband to be a woman.
With only two performances, Tuesday, April 2nd and Thursday, April 4th at 8:00pm, Les Mamelles de Tirésias is a night of theater not to be missed! Come experience opera like you never have before. The doors will open at 7:00pm, and all are invited to come early and enjoy a drink or two. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets, $25 General Admission, $20 Students and Seniors. For more information and links to purchase tickets, please visit
Artistic Staff
Therese/Tiresias - Tess Altiveros was last seen at Vespertine Opera Theater as Elle in La Voix Humaine and Mimi in La Bohème. Melinda Bargreen, formerly of The Seattle Times, describes Altiveros as “…just a star!”
The Husband - Jose Rubio was last seen at Vespertine Opera Theater as Marcello in La Bohème. Opera News heralds Rubio as “commanding in voice and presence… a major operatic find.” He has been heard most recently at Portland Opera and Cincinnati Opera.
The Gendarme - Daniel Oakden
The Newspaper Woman - Annalisee Brasil
Presto - Jeremy Irland
Lacouf - Matthew Richardson
The Son - Wesley Morgan
Director - Dan Wallace Miller is Vespertine Opera Theater’s founder and Artistic Director. Peter Kazaras, stage director and Artistic Director of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, has said Miller is “blessed with an indefatigable imagination and the technical mastery to make his vision manifest… [an] exciting new directorial voice!”. This will be his and Vespertine Opera Theater’s fourth production.
Set and Lighting Designer - Marnie Cumings is marking her third production with Vespertine Opera Theater after Savitri and La Voix Humaine. She has designed lights most recently for organization such as Washington Ensemble Theater, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Bindlestiff Theatre in San Francisco.
Costume Designer - Savannah Baltazar makes her debut at Vespertine Opera Theater with this production. She is the Resident Costume Designer at Stone Soup Theater, and has worked at several local companies, including Sound Theater Company and Burien Little Theater.  
Vespertine Opera Theater
Vespertine Opera Theater, founded in 2011, is a Seattle-based company that specializes in producing rarely performed operas in unique settings along with familiar classics in ways that open them up to new perspectives. We employ talented and eager young singers and designers who collaborate to provide an operatic experience unlike any other. Our goal is to continue producing works that challenge the perception of how opera can be performed, understood, and enjoyed.
Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias)
Music by Francis Poulenc
Libretto based on Les Mamelles de Tirésias by Guillaume Apollinaire
English Translation by Peter Pears, John Cranko, and Colin Graham
Arrangement for voice and two pianos by Benjamin Britten and Viola Tunnard
Premiere in its reconstructed form: Aldeburgh Music Festival, October 1st, 2012
Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
2 Performances, April 2 and April 4, at 8:00pm.
Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes with one intermission
General Admission: $25
Students and Seniors: $20
Tickets can be purchased through

Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the show!



Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Vespertine Opera Theater is excited to announce its Spring 2013 production: the US Premier of Benjamin Britten's adaptation of Les Mamelles de Tiresias (The Breasts of Tiresias) by Francis Poulenc. Visit our Upcoming and Current Productions page for more information.

Check back on the blog for more information on the production as we get closer to the date!



Welcome to the New Site!

Vespertine Opera Theater's new site is up and running! With this new design, we hope to bring you more information and activities on our productions. We've added a section devoted to our previous productions that list production information as well as have extensive galleries on display so that you can peruse our archival photos. Check back soon for short trailers from these productions!

We've also added a section for information on how you can support Vespertine Opera Theater, which will be fully operational once we receive our pending Non-Profit 501(c)3 permit, in addition to a comment section where you can easily send us your questions and observations.

We also have a blog where you can stay updated on all of our activities, including information on the rehearsal process and our upcoming events and productions!

Thanks for visiting the site, and be sure to check back very soon for the announcement of our Spring 2013 production! It's going to be a lot of fun.