Opera Moves Outdoors


August 25th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Opera Omaha

Omaha, NE—This Saturday, Turner Park at Midtown Crossing will host Opera Omaha’s fifth Opera Outdoors concert. This isn’t a full opera, but rather a selection of some popular tunes as well as a preview for Opera Omaha’s upcoming season—arias, duets and full choral pieces from Verdi, Puccini, and Cherubini.

Amanda Consol, Stage Director for this Opera Outdoors performance, has worked on major opera productions in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Beijing, and she came to Omaha for the first time last season as assistant director for Flight.

“It’s a collection of opera favorites so, arias, duets, coral numbers that are the most famous the ones that you recognize the most, for the most part,” Consol said. “And there’re a couple that are maybe less well known, but it’s a perfect evening for someone who hasn’t seen opera before, or for someone who loves opera and wants to see their favorite parts. So for someone that hasn’t seen opera before, it’s got your tunes, shorter numbers that kind of give you a chance to say, ‘oh what is this opera thing this is kind of cool.’ We’ve got the chorus performing, so they’ve got a couple big choral numbers, and if you haven’t seen opera chorus before, opera chorus can be kind of a big exciting introduction of what’s happening. So the first number of the evening is actually going to be the ‘Anvil Chorus’ from Trovatore, and it’s just a great welcoming number where you’ve got a full chorus, and we’ve added children to it so we’ve got twenty four kids in the chorus who add a lot of energy.”

The thing to remember for Opera Outdoors is that it’s casual. Guests can enjoy a picnic at Turner Park while listening enjoying some of the best vocals in Omaha.

Moving outdoors is a welcome change of pace for the audience as well as the organizers, Consol explained.

“It does a couple things, and one of the things it does is it frees me up, where rather than feeling like I have to figure out, OK what is this piece about and what can we tell that’s going to change the world and how can we make art out of this, we get to say: this is a lovely fun piece. How can we have a fun time with it? How can we use this piece to give the community a moment of collective experience? Some of the numbers are full of joy, so that chance to have collective joy is for me the most exciting part.”

Rather than the typical supertitles for translation, radio personality Dave Wingert will introduce each number to give some context to the scene, so the audience can pay more attention to the music.

“I travel for work all the time, so I’m in Omaha, I’m in Philadelphia, I’m in Washington D.C. I’m wherever I am making work, so I don’t always have that chance to sit down with my community and see what’s happening, but to take this opera community and say, hey, we’re going to make an evening of community entertainment, community joy, community experience that gives us the chance to say what is this opera thing and how can we have fun with it, and how can we let other people have fun with it too?”

Opera Outdoors will show at Turner Park at Midtown crossing this Saturday, October 26 at 7:30pm with a 6:30 pre show from the Omaha Conservatory of Music’s Frontier Strings group. Also before the show, the evening will include a Kids Zone with face painting and balloon animals, costume dress-up and arts and crafts station, and lawn games for all ages. The concert is open to the public—no tickets necessary. In the case of rain, the performance will move to the Omaha Conservatory of Music.  For more information, visit operaomaha.org.


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