Score a musical home run at Thursday's Opera in the Outfield. Photograph by Scott Suchman
Washington National Opera’s current production of Tosca, reviewed last week, may not be worth the expense of seeing it at the Kennedy Center. However, it could still be considerable fun to view it for free and in a completely different context, say, while reclining on the field of Nationals Park. In what has become an annual tradition, Opera in the Outfield will offer Washingtonians a chance to experience Thursday night’s performance of Tosca, when it is beamed in a live simulcast to the big screen in the baseball stadium. This event on September 22 is free and open to the public.
The time for preregistration for this event has come and gone, but walk-ins will be directed to remaining space in the stands or on the field—note that only blankets, not portable chairs, are allowed on the field. The opera begins at 7:30 PM, but you can arrive as early as 5:30 PM, to experience various activities leading up to the simulcast, including performances by community groups, a screening of the classic Warner Bros. cartoon What’s Opera, Doc?, and more.
It probably goes without saying that this is not the best way to experience an opera; the magic takes place in the theater, with the resonance of the human voice reaching your ears directly and the drama of the action unfolding before your eyes. However, this event is always entertaining and fun in its own way, especially for anyone who has never experienced an opera before and wonders what all the fuss is about. Generally, families and children are present in large numbers, so the experience is not so much about serious, devoted listening. If the weather is beautiful—unfortunately, at the time of this writing, scattered showers are at least a possibility—it can be an agreeable (and affordable) way to pass the evening.