The Beach Times

Yes, Cape Cod Now Has an Opera
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 26, 2019

Cape Cod Opera

You no longer have to visit larger centers like New York and Boston if you want to attend the opera thanks to the Opera Theater of Cape Cod. Although the theater is in its infancy and only holds a few performances per year, the fact that you can take a late-summer vacation to the Cape and check out the opera is exciting news.

The opera is sure to expand in the coming years, giving lovers of the arts even more opportunities to see high-end performances featuring some of opera's most memorable stories. Stay up to date on everything the Opera Theater of Cape Cod has planned in the coming years and design your next vacation to the Cape around their shows.

Started as an Indiegogo Campaign

One of the great thing about the Opera Theater of Cape Cod is that it's a grassroots startup that received support from Cape Cod locals, visitors, and businesses when getting established. In May of 2018, founders Joseph Turbessi, Ethan DePuy, and Eileen Christiansen, all of whom are well-known in the opera industry, put together a crowd-funding campaign in an attempt to bring opera to Cape Cod.

The money raised was put towards paying the performers, coming up with travel and lodging money, renting the venues, advertising the shows, and producing the opera, all of which was completed on a shoestring budget. Luckily, the campaign was an immediate success, raising over $1,200 in its first 24 hours and $4,840 overall; far beyond its goal of $3,000.

Raising this cash provided Turbessi, DePuy, and Christiansen with not only the funds required to hold their shows but also with the confidence that the Cape Cod community would support their endeavor.

Season One in 2018

After a successful fundraising effort, the Opera Theater of Cape Cod was able to present its inaugural season in September of 2018. The first season was made up of two performances of "The Tragedy of Carmen", a Peter Brook adaptation of Georges Bizet's 1875 opera entitled "Carmen". The group was able to attract some big names in the world of opera, as Fran Rogers, Kathryn McKellar, Andrew Miller, Carley DeFranco, and Richard Wingert all had parts, while Christiansen played the title character.

These performances took place September 7 at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall and September 9 at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, captivating audiences with performances rarely seen outside of large cities.

The theater followed up its late summer shows with a February 16 performance called "Some Enchanted Evening", which was essentially a gala featuring renditions of some of opera's greatest hits. Proceeds from this show went towards the production costs of their summer 2019 schedule.

Season Two in 2019

In 2019, we'll see Giacomo Puccini's classic "La Bohème" take the stage on Cape Cod. This time, however, there will be three performances, including a special preview on August 30 at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall. The other shows will take place on September 6 and 7 at the Tilden Arts Center in West Barnstable.

This year, opera stars like Sarah Joyce Cooper, Fran Rogers, Hannah Carlson, Scott Ballantine, Matthew O'Donnell, Fred Funari, and Miles Rind will take the stage in what is sure to be an event worth attending. The shows will feature acts I and III of the original "La Bohème" opera. Also worth noting is that the cultural councils of Wellfleet, Eastham, Chatham, Brewster, Truro, and Orleans provided additional funding. Keeping opera alive on Cape Cod has become a team effort with many different groups getting together to help it succeed.

Check Out the Opera Theater of Cape Cod

Yes, it's small, but the reality is that Cape Cod now has an opera and it's quite popular. The fact that the theater is already attracting some well-known artists from around the country also bodes well for its future. While you certainly won't mistake the opera venues on Cape Cod for the Sydney Opera House, Palais Garnier, La Scala, or Metropolitan Opera House, you can't beat the value provided here. After all, tickets go for $20, and there isn't a bad seat in the house at the Tilden Arts Center.

If you're considering a visit to the Cape, you won't regret getting out for an opera during your time here.

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