Opera Outdoors:

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By Natalie McGovern, Contributor

The transformation of the Pavilion at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing was a sight to take in. Crowds gathered Friday night to watch Opera Omaha’s outdoor performance of selections from “Carmen,” “Agrippina” and “Cinderella.”The concert began at 7:30 p.m. and was free to the public, attracting passers-by and opera aficionados.

Families made camp on the green and couples sat on blankets, soaking up the atmosphere. The vocal talents of Elizabeth Bieber opened the performance with the iconic “Habanera” from “Carmen.” Acoustics amplified the voices of an auditioned chorus, who appeared from the crowd unexpectedly as they made their way to the stage.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha partners with the End of Summer Concert Series at Midtown Crossing to provide concerts and performances to locals.

Omaha favorite Billy McGuigan of Yesterday and Today recently graced the stage and American Idol’s Tim Halperin also performed at the End of Summer Concert Series on Aug. 30.

“The end of the summer brings the beginning of a new school year at UNO and schools around Omaha and Council Bluffs,” said Emily Poeschl, UNO associate director of marketing. “We are excited to share the amazing atmosphere of Omaha’s Midtown Crossing and the music series with students, families and music fans for one last summer celebration for the community.”

The free concert helped present and promote Opera’s Omaha’s upcoming season, Breaking Boundaries. In an opening video shown, several directors and choristers from Opera Omaha spoke on the relevance opera has in today’s society, and how a stronger notion is being brought forth to create more of an appreciation for the classic art form.

“It’s the people’s art,” said chorus member Bridgette McQueen.

Director Roger Weitz said the season usually includes something well known, something unknown, and something adventurous. And this year, Opera Omaha’s season accomplishes just that. “Carmen,” the tragic love story of a vengeful gypsy runs Nov. 1-3.  “Agrippina,” a saga about the mother of Emperor Nero, debuts Feb.13 and 14. The comical performance of “Cinderella” will open the spring of April 25-27.

Season tickets for Opera Omaha’s Breaking Boundaries can be purchased for as low as $49 by calling 402-346-4398.

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