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Seattle Opera to Teatro Zinzanni: It's time to go

Teatro Zinzanni, on lower Queen Anne in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman
Teatro Zinzanni, on lower Queen Anne in Seattle

Update: Teatro Zinzanni announced this week it will give its final performance in the Queen Anne location on Sunday, March 5th. The dinner/cabaret theater has been actively seeking a new location in central Seattle.

Zinzanni founder and director Norm Langill wrote a letter to supporters this week to break the news of the temporary closure. 

Seattle Opera declined an offer of $8 million dollars from the developer who's buying the land; an Opera spokeswoman says work on its new headquarters must begin this spring so the Opera staff can move in before the lease on its current offices expires in 2018.

Original story:

Seattle Opera will move ahead with the sale of property it owns on lower Queen Anne hill. 

That means long-time tenant Teatro Zinzanni will have to leave the square block.

The property in question was donated to Seattle Opera by the Kreilsheimer Foundation more than a decade ago. The idea was that the Opera could use proceeds from sale of the land to help fund construction of new headquarters across the street at Mercer Arena, on the Seattle Center campus.

Teatro Zinzanni first leased the property in 2006, and has renewed that lease with the understanding that the Opera would eventually sell the property.

Earlier this year, a prospective buyer announced it would only close on a deal if Teatro Zinzanni was off the premises. The dinner cabaret and thousands of supporters have asked to remain until the buyer gets its construction permits.

Now the Opera says it needs to proceed with the sale to move ahead with its own project, long delayed due to the recession.

In a prepared statement, Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang called the announcement "bittersweet."

The Opera wants Teatro Zinzanni to vacate the so-called K-block by March 15, with finalization of the sale set for March 31.