Opera Under the Trees
by David C. Barnett
This weekend, opera trades the confines of the concert hall for a greener performance space. It's part of a new Northeast Ohio cultural tradition, growing on the east side of Cleveland.
Usually, the only sounds associated with the Italian Cultural Garden are the occasional bird chirp and a babbling fountain. But, for the past eight years, hundreds of opera fans have spead blankets and lawn chairs across the property to hear an annual musical concert, featuring the likes of Verdi, Mozart and Puccini.
Since last year, performers from the Kent-based Opera Circle ensemble have provided the singers, who perform a variety of familiar music from the operatic repertoire. Opera Circle's Dorota Sobieska says the members of her troiupe love the al fresco setting.
"The atmosphere in the Italian Garden is very inspiring, very accepting, and just lovely."
This year the new Cleveland ballet will be added to the Sunday evening mix, with dancers providing counterpoint to the baritones, tenors and sopranos.