Opera Philadelphia

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Published2 Aug 2023

Opera Philadelphia announces a lineup of free outdoor opera events around Philadelphia

 Live performance at Dilworth Park and screenings of Hansel and Gretel at FDR Park, Esperanza Arts Center, and Drexel Park allow Philadelphians to enjoy the arts al fresco


Before summer comes to an end, join Opera Philadelphia at one – or more! – evenings of beautiful music out in the city.

On August 24, Opera Philadelphia teams up with the East Passyunk Opera Project (ePOP) for Center City District’s “Arts on Center Stage” in Dilworth Park. Opera singers will give a live concert in the heart of Center City, just outside City Hall.

Aubry Ballarò, Kathryn Leemhuis, Taylor-Alexis Dupont, John Viscardi, Jorell Williams, and Aurelien Eulert will be performing the program. The event is free and open to the public.

“All of us here at ePOP are thrilled to be teaming up with our friends at Opera Philadelphia again for this concert at Dilworth Park,” said Katrina Thurman, ePOP General & Artistic Director. “We had an amazing time last year and were so impressed by the huge crowd who came out to enjoy beautiful tunes and fabulous artists all framed by the gorgeous backdrop of Philadelphia's City Hall. This year, we have an even more spectacular concert up our sleeves, and we absolutely can't wait to share it!” 

Arts on Center Stage at Dilworth Park Credit: Dominic M. Mercier

In September, just before the fifth annual Festival O kicks off, Opera Philadelphia will bring free screenings of Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck’s family-friendly opera reimagined for film by Opera Ithaca, to parks around the city. FDR Park, Drexel Park, and Esperanza Arts Center will all host viewings of the film, equipped with both English and Spanish subtitles.

In this delightfully delicious adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, two children who are lost in the woods are captured by a celebrity chef witch, who hosts the kids on her cooking show as both the guest stars... and the main ingredients.

Director and librettist Ben Robinson says the film was inspired by his grandmother's love of Julia Child. “Ms. Child's ease in the kitchen - and ability to laugh at herself - is the backbone of the Witch character,” says Robinson, Artistic Director of Opera Ithaca.

A still from Hansel and Gretel

Produced in collaboration with PhotoSynthesis Productions, Resonance Works Pittsburgh, Raylynmor Opera, and the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus, this original film production stars Annie Rosen as Hansel, Marlen Nahhas as Gretel, Meghan Kasanders as The Witch/Mother, Mario Diaz Moresco as Father, Mariya Kaganskaya as Sandman, and Megnot Toggia as the Dew Fairy. 

Prior the film screenings, which all begin at 7:30, audiences can enjoy live performances by local artists. Performers include Kevin Godínez, Megnot Toggia, Ethel Trujillo, and Ting Ting Wong. The events will also feature a variety of food trucks and fun family activities.

“Much like the diverse history of opera itself, FDR Park is where speakers of myriad languages, cultures and backgrounds come together,” said Maura McCarthy, CEO of Fairmount Park Conservancy, which is overseeing the implementation of the FDR Park Plan, a multi-decade effort to transform the park with more trails, meadows, nature and water. “Opera in the Park is a fantastic opportunity for more families to experience this world-class public space.”

The William Penn Foundation provides lead support for Opera in the Park.


Arte en las Calles: Opera in the Park at Esperanza Arts Center Credit: Dave DiRentis

Arts on Center Stage

Thursday, August 24, 2023

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Dilworth Park

With East Passyunk Opera Project


Opera in the Park

Sunday, September 10, 2023

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

FDR Park

1500 Pattison Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19145

Featuring performances by Kevin Godínez, Ethel Trujillo, and Ting Ting Wong, and a screening of Hansel and Gretel.


Opera in the Park

Thursday, September 14, 2023

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Drexel Park

3100 Powelton Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Featuring peformances by Megnot Toggia, Ting Ting Wong, and others, and a screening of Hansel and Gretel.


Arte en las Calles: Opera in the Park

Saturday, September 16, 2023

6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Esperanza Arts Center (Parking Lot)

4261 N. 5th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19140

Featuring performances by Magdaliz and Her Latin Ensemble Crisol, Ethel Trujillo, Ting Ting Wong, and others, and a screening of Hansel and Gretel.


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