Seattle Opera Welcomes a Neighbor to Their New Civic Home

KING FM announcers Lisa Bergman and Mike Brooks in front of the Opera Center. Photo by Shane Welch

KING FM 98.1 is getting a new home at the Opera Center, Seattle Opera’s civic home at Seattle Center, which had its grand opening in December 2018. In early 2020 KING FM will move into 4,000 square feet of space on the Opera Center’s second floor. This large area was deliberately left empty when Seattle Opera moved into the building—Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang stated that the Opera was looking to rent to an organization with a comparable vision and mission.

In addition to sharing those values, the arrangement will be financially positive for both organizations—Seattle Opera is able to put the rental income towards operational costs of its new civic home and KING FM will benefit from an exceptional new space that they wouldn’t have been able to develop themselves. These reciprocal advantages are something that is to be celebrated, when many arts organizations are struggling financially.

Seattle Opera and KING FM are looking forward to continuing to work together. KING FM CEO Brenda Barnes said in the press release, “We have worked closely with Seattle Opera for years, and look forward to finding more opportunities to collaborate once we are only a floor apart. We are thrilled to be moving into this beautiful space, and to be in such close proximity to one of our most important partners.”

Seattle Opera and KING FM have a history of collaboration with Saturday evening opera recordings hosted by Seattle Opera staff, as well as live broadcasts of Seattle Opera performances at McCaw Hall throughout the season. They are looking forward to supplementing these with live broadcasts from the rehearsal studios on Friday evenings.

With two organizations that not only value classical music and performance—but have also had immense success in creating diversity within their audiences—Seattle can look forward to a great partnership. As Lang said, “Seattle Opera and KING FM believe that stronger collaboration is critical to the success and sustainability of the major arts institutions in Seattle. With this agreement, we are creating a more viable future for performance, music, and civic engagement in this community.” 

Dates for the hosted recordings of Seattle Opera’s upcoming performances can be found on their website.