Free Opera Is Back at the Italian Garden in Rockefeller Park

Sun 7/30 @ 6PM

The free annual “Opera at the Italian Garden” concert attracts thousands of people each year — and not all of them are opera-lovers. They come to enjoy the beautiful setting, the fresh air, the opportunity to spread out a picnic blanket on the grass or purchase some wine and a wood-fired pizza from one of the vendors, and just take in the scene — and incidentally enjoy a program of famous arias and traditional Italian tunes sung by high-quality professional singers, both Clevelanders and guest singers from elsewhere. The casual setting is perfect for families with kids; no one gets too upset if they get up and run around.

Each year, they bring in something new, perhaps a feature by a young, upcoming artist or, last year, the introduction of some numbers featuring the Cleveland Ballet, performed on a dance floor set up by the fountain. The Cleveland Ballet will be performing again this year. So will Polina Kornyushenko, who already has extensive opera experience at the age of 11.

Other singers include soprano Dorota Sobieska, a mainstay of the local opera scene as founder of Cleveland Opera Circle, soprano Claire Connelly, mezzo soprano Laura Avdey, tenors Mikhail Urusov, Leodigario Buenaobra del Rosario and Benjamin Bunsold, and baritone James Binion.

250 chairs are provided, but since the event drew nearly 2,500 last year, it’s wise to bring your own, or get down VERY early.

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