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Sixth annual Opera in the Park

Sixth annual Opera in the Park

By Sherri Coner

From that first performance six years ago, there was magic.

Incredible music wafted through the evening air.

Beautiful voices seemed to rest in the trees.

It was an incredible, perfect evening for Indianapolis business executive P.E. MacAllister’s 100th birthday celebration.

“His massive passion was opera,” said David Starkey, general director of Indianapolis Opera.

“The best way to celebrate him was with an opera concert.”

Artistic and Educational Ambassador of the Indianapolis Opera, Angela Brown is an internationally loved soprano and a native of the Indianapolis area. (Photos by Roger Manning)

As a child growing up in Wisconsin, MacAllister fell in love with opera.

Along with his many involvements to improve the Circle City, he served as president of the Indianapolis Opera Company and established a national competition for opera singers.

That evening it was only fitting to invite Mr. MacAllister to join music greats on the amphitheater stage.

He too could look out at families and friends relaxing on the lush grass of Garfield Park while some of the most renowned musical artists spun all that magic on the stage. There was no better way to honor 100 years of this wonderful man’s humble but vision-filled life.

From that evening forward, this annual September event has been known as Opera In the Park.

The very loved jazz, blues and opera performer of Indianapolis, Everette Greene, is also internationally loved for the depth and warmth of his voice.

Indianapolis native and nationally known soprano Angela Brown, known to perform “God Bless America” at the Indy 500, will again thrill the audience with her powerful voice.

Joining Brown is an Indianapolis jazz and blues legend, Everett Greene.

After serving as a United States marine in the Korean War, Greene settled in Indianapolis and eventually became a nationally known performer. Along with touring internationally, Greene made his first album at age 60. His smooth, velvety voice is always a treat for every audience.

Also on the stage is Butler University graduate, Artistic Advisor and Principal Guest Conductor of the Indianapolis Opera, Maestro Alfred Savia.

DePauw University graduate, pianist and Creative Partner in Residence with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Joshua Thompson, known on stage as Sock Joplin, never wears shoes when performing. He is internationally known for his musical talent along with the crazy, colorful socks he wears on stage.

The goal of the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra is to nurture musical talents and personal growth through rehearsals and performances. Again this season, these wonderfully talented young people will take the stage during Opera in the Park.

Indianapolis Youth Orchestra star, grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Kirsten Gunlogson is also set to perform.

Along with jazz, opera and musical theater hits, guests can look forward again this year to enjoying another spectacular Sept. 11 tribute.

With capacity set at 2,000, guests are encouraged to register in advance, Starkey said.

Picnicking is encouraged from 6 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 and allows guests to bring goodies from home or enjoy purchases from food trucks.

At promptly 7 p.m., the show will begin.

“We truly want anyone to come,” Starkey said. “It’s free so there is no financial barrier. We’re in one of the best parks. It’s a great time to celebrate with people you love.”

Just like all the past Septembers, Starkey will be there, witnessing the magic in Garfield Park.

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