MUSIC HALL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS CELEBRATE GRAND OPENING OF WASHINGTON PARK WITH FREE CONCERT ON AUGUST 3
Featuring performers from Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati May Festival, and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra led by John Morris Russell
Cincinnati Opera’s Evans Mirageas to Host Event
Cincinnati Opera performance sponsored by The Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation
Cincinnati Pops performance sponsored by the William G. and Mary James Helm Charitable Foundation
CINCINNATI– Four of Cincinnati’s leading performing arts organizations will present an inaugural concert in Washington Park on Friday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will commemorate the opening of the newly-renovated park with a program of orchestral favorites, ballet selections, and excerpts from the great American opera Porgy and Bess.
Soloists from Cincinnati Opera, dancers from Cincinnati Ballet, and members of the May Festival Chorus will be joined by the full Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by John Morris Russell. Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera, will serve as host of this rare joint program.
The concert is free and open to the public, and will be presented on a large temporary stage on Washington Park’s Elm Street plaza at the new Civic Lawn. Patrons are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to view the performance.
“The new Washington Park is an extraordinary addition to Over-the-Rhine and our city as a whole,” said Patricia K. Beggs, Cincinnati Opera’s General Director and CEO. “It is a dream come true to have such a multifaceted space just across from our home at Music Hall, and we plan to collaborate with 3CDC on many future Opera programs in the park, including an annual concert to kick off the opera season.”
Added Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, “Washington Park has always been the heart of Over-the-Rhine, and to be a part of the renaissance of this grand civic space is an extraordinary thrill. The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops and our partners at the Ballet, May Festival, and Opera are presenting an inspiring concert together, celebrating the music and history of Cincinnati, Washington Park, and Music Hall. This free performance will delight everyone and is another milestone in rebirth of our city.”
Each of the arts organizations will present selections of classic repertoire. Cincinnati Opera soloists Jacqueline Echols, Luther Lewis, and Reginald Smith, Jr. will perform songs from the company’s 2012 Summer Festival, including the famous brindisi, or drinking song, from Verdi’s La Traviata and several favorites from its recent blockbuster production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Cincinnati Ballet will present three selections choreographed by Associate Artistic Director Devon Carney, including the entrancing Pas de trois from Act I of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. The May Festival’s contributions will include “Shenandoah” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” And, John Morris Russell will lead the Cincinnati Pops in crowd favorites such as Ives’s “Variations on America” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Washington Park is directly across from Music Hall, the home of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival, and numerous Cincinnati Ballet productions. Over the past two years, the park has undergone a major expansion and renovation led by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and the Cincinnati Park Board.
The Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for Cincinnati Opera’s performance at this inaugural Washington Park Concert, and has provided generous underwriting support to make the event possible. Support for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s appearance has been graciously provided by the William G. and Mary James Helm Charitable Foundation.