‘Powerhouse baritone’ Western professor heads to Seattle stage

To Western Washington University students, Richard L. Hodges might be best known as the Director of Voice Studies — but to the rest of the U.S., he’s a versatile opera performer, writer, director and composer.

Described as a “powerhouse baritone” by the Wall Street Journal, Hodges’ career has taken him to cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit and, most recently, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Now Hodges is gearing up to perform in the ensemble of “X: The Life & Times of Malcolm X,” the same show he performed at the Met in November 2023. A reboot of the 1986 opera by Anthony, Thulani and Christopher Davis, the production “imagines Malcolm as an Everyman whose story transcends time and space” according to the Met’s website.