WASHINGTON, September 22, 2016 —Hold that date: September 24, 2016. That’s when the Washington National Opera (WNO) will simulcast a live performance of its first opera of the fall season, Mozart’s beloved “The Marriage of Figaro” (“Le Nozze di Figaro”). Sung in Italian with modern English subtitles, this brand new WNO production will be beamed in from the Kennedy Center Opera house to the big HD screen at Washington Nationals Park. Curtain time: 7 p.m., rain or shine.
“Figaro” is the latest in WNO’s popular “Opera in the Outfield” series of simulcast performances, which were—and are—free to the public, courtesy of title sponsor Mars, Inc.
For those who haven’t seen this particular opera, it’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s humorous musical take on a French comic tale, in which Figaro—that one-time notorious “Barber of Seville,” tries to stay one step ahead of his boss, Count Almaviva.
The Count, it seems, has developed a wandering eye despite being married to his luscious Countess. As a result, he’d like to sample the charms of Figaro’s fiancée, Susanna, before Figaro ties the knot. Predictable mayhem and trickery are the inevitable results, as all this nonsense plays out in song, courtesy of one of Mozart’s most inspired scores. It’s all a bit like a Broadway-style musical comedy, except that it’s been popular with audiences worldwide for over 200 years.
Did we mention the seating to this event is free? Opera fans, opera newbies and families alike will be admitted and seated free of charge for this performance, with seating available both in the stands as well as in the outfield grass. Outfield seating, however is limited on a first-come, first served basis, however.
For early-birds looking for that outfield seating, and/or for families with kids, the ballpark’s gates will open at 5 p.m. for “pregame” festivities, including live, onsite performance by local performing artists including singers from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Opera Program and dance students from Savoy Elementary School, a Turanaround Arts school of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Also on hand: a meet-and-great opportunity with M&M Brand “Chief Chocolate Officer, Ms. Brown.” Perhaps Ms. Brown will have the inside info on any new M&M’s colors the company may have in mind.
For the kids: Photo ops with a “living statue” of that Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, as well as crafts, dress up opportunities, and face-painting applied by veteran make-up artists.
For kids and adults: A screening of the immortal Warner Brothers cartoon, “What’s Opera, Doc?” starring that Oscar-winning rabbit, Bugs Bunny. We’ve seen this one a million times and it’s still funny—particularly Elmer Fudd’s musical attempts to “Kill the Wabbit!” Wagner’s still rolling in his grave with this one, even as we roll around in laughter.
Door prizes and other fun are also available before the show. For more detailed information on event particulars, just surf on over to OperaintheOutfield.org.
GETTING THERE: The following information was provided by WNO via the Washington Nationals.
Nationals Park is located at 1500 South Capitol Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003. Metro is the quickest and easiest way to get to Nationals Park. Take Metro’s Green Line to the Navy Yard-Ballpark station—it’s just a half block from Nationals Park. On Saturdays, parking is free at Metro Park-and-Ride lots. Buses that serve Nationals Park are the 74, P1, P2, V7, V8, V9, and the D.C. Circulator (Union Station-Navy Yard route). $10 parking is also available at Nationals Park in Lots B and C. For more information, go to www.nationals.com/waytogo.
CDN METRO NOTE: If you’re planning to take Metro, that service, frankly, has been dicey lately and will continue to be problematic during Metro’s long-needed but highly disruptive “surge” repairs. Be sure to consult the WMATA homepage for the latest track closing delays, alerts and closing times.