Gates open at 5 p.m. for pre-show activities with the highlight of the evening, Rossini’s comic masterpiece, The Barber of Seville, broadcast on the high-definition Nationals Park scoreboard at 7 p.m.
The opera is performed in Italian, with easy-to-follow English captions shown on the scoreboard. The approximate running time of the opera is three hours, including one 25-minute intermission.
Hosted by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello, this family community event features an outdoor broadcast of The Barber of Seville, a rapid-fire romp known to audiences for its instantly recognizable overture. The WNO production, directed by Peter Kazaras stars audience favorite Isabel Leonard (2015’s Cinderella), dashing American tenor Taylor Stayton in his WNO debut, and thrilling Moldovan baritone Andrey Zhilikhovsky in his U.S. debut.
“Our goal at Washington National Opera has always been to make opera more accessible to the District, and what better way than to welcome opera lovers and new friends to Opera in the Outfield,” said Francesca Zambello, WNO Artistic Director.
“Our signature community event offers something for everyone where friends and families can enjoy games, food, beer, and of course, one of our favorite productions under a starry sky on the big screen,” she said.
“We guarantee a good time for all with The Barber of Seville. Who doesn’t love happy endings?”
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the festive family-friendly atmosphere. The special pre-show entertainment will include:
- Performances by student artists, including the annual return of vocal students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Opera Program, starring the winner of their Virginia Williams Opera Prize as one of the featured singers.
- A meet-and-greet with M&M’S® Brand Chief Chocolate Officer, Ms. Brown.
- AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate demonstrations and lessons in chocolate history.
- A screening of the Warner Bros. cartoon “Rabbit of Seville” starring Bugs Bunny. Highlighting Rossini’s celebrated overture from The Barber of Seville, this parody of the opera features frenemies Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in break-neck chases, gags and laughs.
- Photo opportunities for kids of all ages with a living statue of Babe Ruth as well as roaming opera characters.
- Kids can enjoy the playground, dress up with items from the Washington National Opera costume trunk, visit the craft table, have their faces painted, and experience the National Symphony Orchestra’s instrument meet and greet.
- Chances to win prizes, including a family fun pack of four tickets to an event at the Kennedy Center, tickets to the Kennedy Center’s 21st Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor honoring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a prize from M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies, a subscription to the Washington National Opera 2018-2019 season, a pair of tickets to a 2019 Nationals home game, and more.
Opera in the Outfield® will take place rain or shine—in case of inclement weather, covered seating is available. Regular concessions will be available throughout the ballpark.
RSVPs are not required for admission into Nationals Park for this event. Walk-ins are welcome.
Due to the popularity of Opera in the Outfield®, patrons wishing to sit on the outfield grass will need to pick up a free wristband when they enter Nationals Park, beginning at 5 p.m. The wristbands (one per person) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed at a table to the left of Center Field Plaza near the Family Picnic Area (at sections 141–143).
Ample free seating will be available in the stands throughout the evening. Only seating in the outfield requires a wristband. For more information, visit OperaintheOutfield.org.