New Yorkers flock to opera in Central Park

New Yorkers flock to opera in Central Park

NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
New Yorkers flock to opera in Central Park

This week New Yorkers have enjoyed a production of Puccini’s ‘Tosca’ in Central Park. AFP photo

It is an opera lover’s midsummer night’s dream: a picnic blanket, a bottle of wine and blissful strains of Mozart, Verdi or Puccini in New York’s Central Park.

In a nearly 40-year tradition, city dwellers converge in Manhattan’s Central Park to experience the sumptuous operatic fare usually only enjoyed by those willing to pay top-dollar at the city’s celebrated symphony halls.

This week, under the baton of the octogenarian maestro Vincent La Selva, music lovers enjoyed a production of Puccini’s “Tosca.” The performance took place in Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, where many music lovers snubbed the amphitheater’s built-in seats in favor of folding lawn chairs – or simply took in the music while reclining on the grass.

“I do operas that I think people want to see. They come from all around the country,” said La Selva, founder and director of the New York Grand Opera, which staged the free public production.

“What’s very interesting is that we have a lot of young people, which is unusual. The young people – 19, 20 years old – they don’t go to the opera, they are not opera-goers,” he said.