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Opera returns to Marine Park

Belting it out: Taerra Pence sang with the Regina Opera Company in Marine Park on June 14. It was the first opera show the park in more than a decade.
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These singers hit a high note!

Opera returned to scenic Marine Park on June 14 with a performance by the Regina Opera Company. One local opera booster said the show, which mixed opera and Broadway show tunes, was a great step towards getting regular performances to come back to Brooklyn’s biggest park.

“They cross-blended different types of music for everybody,” said Stan Kaplan. “It was a great way to introduce people to opera and also Broadway.”

The singers, pianist and flautist played near the basketball courts to the audience of around 400. They performed Italian opera selections, as well as songs from Broadway classics, including “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Kiss Me Kate.” State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Marine Park) sponsored the event.

One Manhattan singer who said the concert was her first time stepping foot in Marine Park said the area is definitely suitable to hold opera shows.

“I think Marine Park is a beautiful venue,” said Taerra Pence. “It’s nice and pleasant with all the trees around.”

But he musicians had to contend with strong winds that contrasted with the area’s tranquil aesthetics.

“It was windy as can be. They had problems holding the sheet music,” said Kaplan. “But I think everyone loved it.”

Kaplan and other members of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association hope the June 14 concert will spur interest in getting more opera and also classical music events in the park. In decades past, both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic played in Marine Park.

There were enough people in attendance — both opera lovers and people curious about the genre — to warrant working on getting more opera performers to come to the neighborhood, according to Kaplan.

“It was very positive,” he said. “I assume we’ll have a next go-round.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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