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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Published: Friday, 7/11/2003

Toledo Opera heads outdoors

BY STEVEN CORNELIUS
BLADE MUSIC CRITIC

As reliably as songbirds migrate south for winter, Toledo Opera's songsters head outdoors for summer. The company opens its Summer Family Series at 1 p.m. tomorrow in Wildwood Preserve Metropark.

The concerts are informal and fun, says Toledo Opera's general director, Renay Conlin.

“Parents come with children and the family dog, spread out a blanket, and have a picnic,” she says. “Concerts are light, but still opera. It's a great opportunity to hear this kind of music for the first time.”

The programs are geared to children. The concert tomorrow features John Davies' popular 30-minute opera, Jack and the Beanstalk, with words set to music from six Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Vocalists are drawn from the company's Young Artists Program and will perform in costume.

Children aged 10 to 18 will also present works they studied during the company's recently completed two-week summer camp.

The Summer Family Series runs for seven programs and continues through Aug. 13. Future programs include selections from opera and musical theater, including preview scenes from the company's upcoming productions of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Puccini's La Boheme.

Other repertoire includes music from The Magic Flute Gianni Schicchi, The Secret Garden, Music Man, The Fantasticks, West Side Story, Rent, and Phantom of the Opera.

Now in its sixth year, the Summer Family Series was expanded last summer to include venues across the Toledo area.

The company performs at Side Cut Metropark on Wednesday, Pearson Metropark on July 23, Swan Creek Preserve Metropark on July 30, Providence Metropark on Aug. 6, Woodland Park (Perrysburg) on Aug. 7, and returns to Wildwood Preserve Metropark on Aug. 13. All of these concerts are at 7 p.m.

Toledo Opera will present “Jack and the Beanstalk” and other works in a Summer Family Series program at 1 p.m. tomorrow in Wildwood Preserve Metropark. Admission is free. Information: 419-255-7464 or www.toledo-opera.com.



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