In Monday’s (8/17) Washington Post, Anne Midgette reports, “The Washington National Opera announced Monday that for the second straight year, the company’s opening-night performance—this year, ‘The Barber of Seville‘ on Sept. 12—will be simulcast live at Nationals Park, free of charge. Last year’s simulcast of ‘La Traviata,’ the first such broadcast at the stadium, was planned within a matter of weeks and drew about 15,000 people. The stadium offers obvious advantages over the Mall (where the company broadcast three previous operas): a built-in screen, optional stadium seating in addition to picnic blankets on the playing field and, of course, concessions. Planning for this year’s simulcast began virtually as soon as last year’s event was over. … Certainly, WNO is eager to emphasize the evening’s populist tone. Mark Weinstein, the company’s executive director, called it ‘the most important public-access event WNO offers, and reinforces the company’s longstanding commitment to the community.’ And in a statement, Plácido Domingo, WNO’s general director, called ‘The Barber of Seville’ ‘the most popular comic opera of all time’ and ‘one of the very best operas for young people, families and first-time opera-goers.’ ”

Posted August 17, 2009