In the Park with Opera Omaha

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September 9th, 2016

Omaha,NE — Another season of Opera Omaha is upon us starting in Turner Park.

From left: Leah Partridge and Andrew Bidlack from 2015's Opera Outdoors event. Photo by OnPxl.

From left: Leah Partridge and Andrew Bidlack from 2015’s Opera Outdoors event. Photo by OnPxl.

Opera Omaha will present Opera Outdoors on Friday, Sept. 9th at 7:30 p.m. in Midtown Crossing at Turner Park for the fourth consecutive year. Opera Outdoors is a free, outdoor concert featuring a sort of operatic greatest hits. The concert will feature a pair of acclaimed soloists, Soprano Leah Partridge and Tenor Jonathan Boyd, both of whom will be featured in Opera Omaha’s main season productions of La Boheme and Cosi fan Tutte. Together they will perform selections from Verdi, Mozart and many more. Opera Omaha General Director Roger Weitz said tonight’s event is one of the organization’s favorites.

 
“We want to make this accessible and we want to reach all kinds of audiences,” Weitz said. “It’s great for people that are giving it a try for the first time because you’re sitting outside, you’re wearing what you want to wear. You might be sitting on a blanket or a lawn chair. Maybe you brought a picnic with you. It’s just a lovely night. We’ve been blessed with great weather for the most part. It’s a chance to relax and enjoy opera in a more casual setting.”

 
Along with La Boheme and Cosi fan Tutte, Opera Omaha’s main season will also feature the modern opera Flight by English composer Jonathan Dove. It’s wraps up what Weitz thinks is a diverse season that showcases what the organization is all about.

 
“Opera Omaha is known for creating innovative new productions of all kinds of opera,” he said. “We are the only professional opera company in the state so we take our role as opera producers very seriously. We want to do a wide variety of work dating all the way from the beginning of opera all the way to modern pieces that are just now being composed today.”

 
Tonight’s show features a pre-performance from the Omaha Conservatory of Music’s Frontier Strings Group at 6:30 p.m. and the main performance will also feature the Opera Omaha chorus and Ragazzi Chorus accompanied by pianist Scott Arens. For Weitz, tonight’s event is a chance for opera veterans and newcomers alike to see what the art form has to offer.

 
“What makes opera so unique and so special is that it really is this amazing combination of different art forms that come together,” he said. “You have this amazing whole that is greater than the some of its parts. You have, of course, the singing. You have the Omaha Symphony. You have the storytelling; these amazing texts of literature, poetry or brand new works. All of the visual side; the scenery, costumes, lighting. It’s dramatic storytelling to the extreme with some of the most beautiful music ever written.”

 
Opera Omaha’s Opera Outdoors event is tonight, September 9th at 7:30 p.m. in Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park on 33rd and Farnam St. The event is free and open to the public and with a pre-performance at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the event, visit www.OperaOmaha.org.

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