Opera music returns to Marine Park June 14 with Regina Opera Company performance

Great Scots! Regina Opera sings a Scottish tragedy
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

It’s opera in the park!

A local opera company will bring outdoor musical theater back to Marine Park on June 14 — after a decades-long hiatus. The show will be an opportunity to keep the musical form alive for the younger generation, according to one local civic association member and opera aficionado.

“If we don’t put this music in front of them, they might not know it exists,” said Stan Kaplan.

Regina Opera Company will perform a variety of opera and Broadway tunes in front of the Carmine Carro Community Center on June 14, and the free show — sponsored by state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Marine Park) — will feature Regina Opera singers along with a pianist and a flute player.

Marine Park often hosts rock concerts, but opera hasn’t come to the vast, verdant field in years. The Metropolitan Opera used to perform there regularly, but hasn’t since 2006, according to its archives.

Kaplan, who is on the board of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association, said the show will provide neighborhood music fans something new, but will also determine whether there is enough interest to bring frequent opera performances back to the park.

“I’d like to see different forms of music, and see if there’s an appreciation for it,” said Kaplan. “It would be nice to have some operas now and again.”

Kaplan brought the idea to the attention of Golden, who then lent his support to the concert. An aide for the state senator predicted that the concert will be successful because of the quality of the Regine Opera Company’s performances.

“It’s a great way to spend the night in the biggest park in Brooklyn,” said John Quaglione.

The salad days of opera and classical music in Marine Park are still fresh in the mind of some locals. Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association president Ed Jaworski said he was in attendance the last time the New York Philharmonic played the iconic park in 1988.

It was incredibly impressive, and a terrific experience to see the orchestra set up a stage there and play,” he said.

Jaworski said if all goes well on June 14, there could be more opera and classical music shows in the park.

“I hope there’s a lot of interest,” he said. “And I hope to one day get the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic back here.”

Regina Opera Company at Marine Park (Carmine Carro Community Center, Fillmore Avenue between Madison Place and Marine Parkway). June 14 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.