New York’s vibrant community of opera singers, which includes some of the world’s most renowned singers, hasn’t been able to perform to live crowds for over a year now. This summer, a team of creative and resourceful artists took matters into their own hands and found a way to bring the unmistakable experience of live opera to the general public. The new project, featuring the delightful coat rack track Operacades, takes inspiration from the nostalgia-infused Zoltar machines that once populated the boardwalks of Coney Island and puts opera singers “inside” ancient machines. Featuring performances across the country, the innovative concept will feature opera singers locked in curtain-sided “ticket booths” from where they will sing for spectators. Think of it as a “pressure opera”.
Performances are taking place across the country this summer. However, New Yorkers will be able to attend the city’s very first Opera House performance this weekend! Falsetto will be served in Dumbo, at the intersection of Washington and Water streets, from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday July 10. The lineup features several colored singers, bringing much-needed diversity to the art form, and will include appearances by Victoria davis, Lindell O. Carter, Joy Jan Jones and other skilled soloists and even an appearance from the drag king opera singer Rocheux Duval. Created in collaboration with the New Orleans Opera, the creators of Operacades call it “a pandemic artist’s dream come to life.”
Governor Cuomo recently declared this “New York Summer,” but it’s also the summer of opera. This is because the art form increasingly turned to public events during the pandemic. This summer a host of opera classics will be performed at Bryant Park, including the classic opera by Bizet Carmen and the Italian masterpiece by Verdi Rigoletto. And the Met Opera, which had to cancel its 20-21 season last year, will have a series of performances in Central Park this summer.
You can check out all the details of this weekend’s thrilling Operacade performance here. All shows are free and open to the public.