UW News

March 9, 2011

Seattle Opera general director to speak at World Voice Day event April 18

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Seattle Opera general director Speight Jenkins

Seattle Opera general director Speight Jenkins

Dr. Tanya Meyer, UW assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, will introduce the local program “A Celebration of the Human Voice” and the guest speaker at 6:20 p.m. Meyer, who practices at the Otolaryngology Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, received fellowship training at the New York Center for Voice and Swallowing Disorders. Jenkins talk begins at 6:30 p.m.

Every year, otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons and other voice health professionals worldwide join together to recognize World Voice Day. The event encourages men and women, young and old, to assess their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good voice habits. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery sponsors the U.S. observance of World Voice Day.

Jenkins has been general director of Seattle Opera since 1983. He  is recognized nationally as a leading authority on opera, a politically active arts advocate, and one of the most influential and accomplished general directors in the country. His knowledge of opera is reflected in his companys  innovative productions, publications, and education programs and services. Jenkins has extended Seattle Operas reputation as a Wagner center by producing all ten of the composers major operas.

Because of his passion for the arts and energetic leadership style, the Seattle Times named Jenkins one of the 150 most influential people who have shaped the character of Seattle and King County. ArtsFund presented him with its “Outstanding Achievement in the Arts” award, and Opera News cited Jenkins as one of the 25 “most powerful” names in American opera.

For more than three decades, Jenkins has been an annual guest on the Metropolitan Opera Quiz. His previews of every Seattle Opera production are broadcast on 98.1 Classical KING FM, and his CD-lectures on Wagners Ring have become a mainstay in opera libraries.

Formerly Jenkins was an editor of Opera News, wrote reviews and articles for a number of publications including the New York Post, and hosted the Metropolitan Opera telecasts. A graduate of the University of Texas, Jenkins earned a law degree at Columbia University and served four years in the United States Army as a member of the Judge Advocate Generals Corps.

The event is sponsored by the Northwest Chapter Voice Foundation, and is free and open to all.

For more information, contact Allison Comer, UW Department of Otolargology-Head & Neck Surgery, 206-543-5662