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Madison Opera's OPERA IN THE PARK Goes Online

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Madison Opera's OPERA IN THE PARK Goes Online

Madison Opera's Opera in the Park isn't in a park this year, but it will be available for people to enjoy for free in their backyards, in their living rooms, in their kayaks, or anywhere else with an internet connection. The digital concert will be released on Saturday, July 25 at 8pm Central, and can be watched on Madison Opera's website,

The annual free concert has moved online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a newly created program of opera arias and more. Digital Opera in the Park features soprano Jasmine Habersham, soprano Karen Slack, tenor Andres Acosta, and baritone Weston Hurt. Habersham makes her Madison Opera debut with this unique performance, and will sing Susanna in the company's production of The Marriage of Figaro next April. Slack debuted with the company in Dead Man Walking, and will be part of the company's digital fall season. Acosta sang Timothy Laughlin in Fellow Travelers with Madison Opera this past February. Hurt debuted as Germont in La Traviata last season and is part of the company's digital fall season.

The Four Singers are joined on the program by violinist Suzanne Beia and a fleet of pianists. John DeMain and Scott Gendel play multiple numbers, including DeMain accompanying Beia on the beautiful "Méditation" from Thaïs. Each singer recorded their arias with an accompanist in their home cities, and chorusmaster Anthony Cao both accompanies and conducts the Madison Opera Chorus in a virtual "Anvil Chorus" from Il Trovatore.

The evening is hosted by Madison Opera's General Director Kathryn Smith and WKOW TV's 27 News co-anchor George Smith.

"Reimagining Opera in the Park in the pandemic era has been a challenge, but one we have happily embraced," says Smith. "Our wonderful artists were game to record themselves in their home towns, to sing duets with each other through headphones, and to share their artistry with our community in a new way. Over 40 choristers joined a zoom call to get instructions, and then recorded their parts of the 'Anvil Chorus.' While in some ways this concert has required more work than our live Opera in the Park in Garner Park, it is always a pleasure to present beautiful music for everyone to enjoy."

Digital Opera in the Park features music from Verdi's Il Trovatore, originally slated to open Madison Opera's 20/21 season; Bock's She Loves Me, which the company performs in January; and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which will be performed in April. The program also includes selections from The Pearl Fishers, Arabella, Don Pasquale, Tosca, Hérodiade, William Tell, La Tabernera del Puerto, Thaïs, South Pacific, and more.

The concert will be available beginning at 8pm CDT on July 25, and will remain online until August 25, allowing for both repeated viewing and flexibility for people who are unable to watch on the first night.

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