Opera in the Park to Move to the Eastside

For the first time in two decades, the summertime staple concert series will be held outside of Washington Park.

Opera in the Park (Andie Petkus Photography)

After 21 years in Washington Park’s Rose Garden Amphitheater, Opera in the Park Portland will have a new venue—and a new rose garden—for next month’s performance. The summertime staple is moving across the river to Peninsula Park. The free Sunday, Aug. 4, performance of Verdi’s La Traviata will be at the historic gazebo there.

“It’s a really big change and certainly a lot of thought has gone into it,” says Jocelyn Claire Thomas, spokeswoman for Opera in the Park Portland. “It’s a really pointed effort to serve a larger and different audience in a different part of Portland.”

Moving to Peninsula Park in North Portland is a major step for the organization’s effort to increase access to world-class opera and an expression of its motto “Opera for Everyone.” The company made the move at the encouragement of its partner Portland Parks & Recreation and its Summer Free for All program.

So far, it is stated as a temporary move, but Thomas could envision a scenario in future years where the summer opera alternates between eastside and westside locations.

La Traviata is an Italian tragedy in three acts and follows the main character Violetta (Aubry Ballarò) through love, class conflicts, and tuberculosis. Tenor César Delgado will play her naïve lover, Alfredo. The performance includes a full chorus and orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Fox, under the artistic direction of Keith Clark.

Opera in the Park encourages attendees to bring a blanket, picnic dinner and family and friends to the event.

“We’re certainly hoping our regular audience will follow us to Peninsula Park and we’re making every effort to make sure everyone notices it’s in a new venue,” Thomas says.

GO: La Traviata will be performed in Peninsula Park, 700 N Rosa Parks Way, operaintheparkportland.org. 6-8 pm Sunday, Aug. 4. Free.

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