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Upcoming Opera hits a sour note - Some fear traffic snarls around Prospect Park

The Brooklyn Paper
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Opera lovers like Jasmine Meltzer are torn over an event next month that organizers say could draw 150,000 people to Prospect Park.

Meltzer lives on Prospect Park West, and is excited about the Metropolitan Opera’s June 20 free concert headlined by Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu, a husband and wife duo with an international following.

But she worries about the traffic the one-day-only event, called Met Summer Concert: Live in Prospect Park, will generate.

“Central Park doesn’t want these things anymore, and there’s a reason why,” Melzer said.

At the 78th Precinct Community Council’s late April meeting, Melzer approached Deputy Inspector John Argenziano with her concerns.

“This is the only Metropolitan Opera performance in New York City the entire summer, and I just want to make sure the 78th Precinct is ready,” she said.

Argenziano, the precinct’s commanding officer, vowed to station traffic agents all along Prospect Park West to help “move the cars along.”

“Will there be some sort of traffic that day? I guarantee there will be traffic,” he said.

“But we will do our best,” the top cop promised.

A patron of the opera, Melzer said she is not trying to create an imbroglio.

She said she is more concerned with the traffic the event will generate than fan behavior.

After all, opera aficionados are not exactly known to be rowdy, she conceded.

She said she left the meeting satisfied.

“The police already have it on their radar, but I wanted to make sure they are able to handle a large crowd,” she said.

The tenor and soprano are expected to sing arias and duets by Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Massenet, and others.

Gheorghiu and Alagna will perform on a larger than normal stage in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow baseball fields, surrounded by six jumbo video screens that will be placed throughout the area, maximizing the viewing experience, according to the Metropolitan Opera.

A good number of audience members might be arriving to the park by subway

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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