New York’s vibrant community of opera singers, which includes some of the most renowned vocalists in the world, has been unable to perform for live crowds for over a year now. This summer, a team of creative and resourceful artists have taken matters into their own hands and found a way to deliver the inimitable experience of live opera to the masses. The new project, featuring the delightful portmanteau title Operacades, takes inspiration from the nostalgia-infused Zoltar machines that once heavily populated Coney Island’s boardwalks and puts opera singers “inside” the vintage machines. Featuring performances across the nation, the innovative concept will feature opera singers enclosed inside curtained “ticket booths” from which they’ll sing for onlookers. Think of it as “opera on tap.”
The performances are taking place across the nation this summer. However, New Yorkers will be able to watch the city’s very first Operacade performance this weekend! Falsetto will be served up in Dumbo, at the intersection of Washington and Water Streets, from noon to 9pm on Saturday, July 10. The lineup features multiple singers of color, bringing much-needed diversity to the art form, and will include appearances from Victoria Davis, Lindell O. Carter, Joy Jan Jones and other trained soloists and even an appearance from drag king-opera singer Rocky Duval. Created in collaboration with the New Orleans Opera, the makers behind Operacades call it a “pandemic artist dream brought to life.”
Gov. Cuomo recently declared this the “Summer of New York,” but it’s also the summer of opera. That’s because the art form has increasingly turned to public events during the pandemic. This summer, a host of opera classics will be performed in Bryant Park, including Bizet’s opera classic Carmen and Verdi’s Italian masterpiece Rigoletto. And the Met Opera, which had to cancel its 20-21 season last year, will stage a series of performances in Central Park this summer.
You can check out the full details for this weekend’s exciting Operacade performance here. All of the performances are free and open to the public.