Arts & Culture Featured

Opera on the Streets Highlights Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville”

Throughout the pandemic, the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) hit a chord, literally, with its balcony opera performances on the Tresca 77 balcony. As the neighborhood gradually reopens, the opera singers brought their talents this weekend to the streets with “Pop-Up Opera: In the Streets of Boston’s Little Italy” showcasing highlights from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville! 

Posted by Nempac Opera Project on Saturday, June 6, 2020
Couple listens to opera in the rain on Hanover St. (Photo: Bill Galatis)

Featuring Wes Hunter as Conte Almaviva, Elizabeth Kinder as Rosina, and Gray Leiper as Figaro to the collaborative piano playing of Katie Barr. On June 6th, these three singers appeared around the North End performing moments from the opera spreading music and joy from a social distance to the North End Community.

 Alexandra Dietrich, Artistic Director of NEMPAC Opera Project, reflects on transitioning the mainstage production to a pop-up program: “NEMPAC was determined to find a way to safely present an abridged version of “The Barber of Seville”, an opera that was originally chosen to feature and thank the North End barber shops, as well as other trades and craftspeople, that have been maintaining their cultural heritage generation after generation in Little Italy. By popping up around the North End and having our trio of singers burst into song, I hope NEMPAC brings joy and community to those who can watch from their window, doorway, and balcony during this time when maintaining community from a distance is a challenge, but not an impossibility.”

The event was free to the public with sponsorships by Berkshire Bank, Brookline Bank and Tresca restaurant. Due to the cancellation of NEMPAC’s regular mainstage opera, NEMPAC asks that those able to donate the cost of a ticket to help support the NEMPAC Opera Project. Donations may be made to www.nempacboston.org/donate .

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