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Opera in the Park

  • Garner Park 333 South Rosa Road Madison, WI, 53705 United States (map)

Madison Opera’s Opera in the Park celebrates its seventeenth year on Saturday, July 21, at 8 pm in Garner Park on Madison’s West Side.  The annual free concert of opera and Broadway favorites closes the company’s 2017/18 season and provides an enticing preview of the 2018/19 season.

A Madison summer tradition that often attracts over 15,000 people, Opera in the Park is an enchanting evening of music under the stars, featuring selections from opera and Broadway.  Opera in the Park 2018 features soprano Elizabeth Caballero, soprano Brenda Rae, tenor John Lindsey, and baritone Levi Hernandez.  Caballero and Hernandez recently starred in Madison Opera’s acclaimed production of Florencia en el Amazonas.  Lindsey is making his debut, and will return to the company as the Prince in Rusalka in April.  Rae is making her Madison Opera debut.  She did her undergraduate work at UW-Madison before going on to Juilliard and an international career; she is singing Cunegonde in Candide at Santa Fe Opera this summer, and is performing at Opera in the Park in between performances there.

The four soloists are joined by the Madison Opera Chorus and Madison Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gary Thor Wedow.  The evening is hosted by Madison Opera’s General Director Kathryn Smith and WKOW TV’s 27 News co-anchor George Smith.

Opera in the Park is the most wonderful and most unique performance we give at Madison Opera ” says Smith.  “We have beautiful voices performing music from many centuries in many languages, while thousands of members of our community relax together under the same night sky.  It truly shows how music and opera can connect us.  I am so grateful to all of our supporters for enabling us to produce this free concert every summer, harnessing the community-building power of music.”

Opera in the Park 2018 features arias and ensembles from Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, which open the 2018/19 season in November; Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, which will be performed in February; and Dvořák’s Rusalka, which will be performed in April.  The program also includes selections from La Bohème, Turandot, La Sonnambula, The Marriage of Figaro, El Niño Judío, La del Soto del ParralMy Fair Lady, Candide, On the Town, and more.  As always, this spectacular evening will include one number conducted by the audience with light sticks.

Garner Park is located at 333 S. Rosa Road.  Parking is available in the CUNA Mutual Group and University Research Park lots.  Attendees are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets, and chairs.  Alcohol is permitted but not sold in the park.  On the day of the concert, Garner Park will open at 7am.  Audience members may not leave items in the park prior to this time. The rain date for Opera in the Park is Sunday, July 22 at 8pm.

Weather policy: We will decide by 5pm on Saturday if we need to postpone the concert to Sunday due to the weather. That decision will be posted on the homepage of our website, through social media, on our voicemail, and through the media.

While Opera in the Park is free to attend, it would not be possible without the generous support of many foundations, corporations, and individuals who believe in the importance of music in the community.  Madison Opera is grateful to the sponsors of Opera in the Park 2018:  the Berbeewalsh Foundation, the John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation, Full Compass Systems, the Raymond B. Preston Family Foundation, University Research Park, Colony Brands, Evjue Foundation the charitable arm of the Capital Times, Hooper Foundation, MG&E Foundation, Johnson Bank, National Guardian Life, Wisconsin Bank & Trust, Wisconsin Arts Board, Dane Arts, and Madison Arts Commission.  Madison Magazine, Wisconsin Public Radio, Magic 98, and La Movida are media sponsors for this community event.

RELATED EVENTS

Prelude Dinner at Opera in the Park 2018 | July 21, 2018 | 6pm

This annual fundraiser to benefit Opera in the Park helps support Madison Opera’s free gift to the community. The event includes dinner catered by Upstairs Downstairs, VIP seating at the concert, a complimentary light stick, and a reception with the artists following the performance.  Tickets are $145 per person or $1,100 for a table of eight.  More information is available at www.madisonopera.org Reservations for the Prelude Dinner are now being taken. For more information please contact Beth Tolles at tolles@madisonopera.org or call (608) 238-8085.

Volunteers: Opera in the Park is a success because of the dedicated volunteers that help us run the event every year. We have a variety of different volunteer tasks that suit a wide range of skill levels, including set-up, clean-up, helping with parking, handing out programs, and selling light sticks. For a full list of tasks and descriptions, click HERE.

Sign up by clicking HERE

For more information on volunteering, contact Michael Hoke at hoke@madisonopera.org or (608) 238-8085.

Earlier Event: July 21
Die Fledermaus
Later Event: July 22
Die Fledermaus