Opera is getting in on the summer arts "under the stars" game.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced Thursday at a press conference that Opera Under the Stars will debut Aug. 8 at the MoonDance at Midnight Pass amphitheater, an arts venue in the Beaumont neighborhood. The concert will feature students in and graduates from the University of Kentucky's nationally acclaimed opera training program. They will perform acclaimed arias from operas including La Traviata, The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro.
Opera Under the Stars joins Ballet Under the Stars, next week at Woodland Park; SummerFest, which continues through next weekend at MoonDance; bluegrass and jazz series; and next month's Woodland Art Fair as events that take arts out of concert halls and galleries and present them outside.
"When Ballet Under the Stars started, they found there were a lot of people who attended who had never been to the ballet before," said event coordinator Patrick Joel Martin. "We are hoping to find the same thing, and that if people like what they hear, they will come see an opera."
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The event will bring yet another attraction to the MoonDance amphitheater, which developer Andy Haymaker and 10th District Urban-County Councilwoman Amanda Mays Bledsoe say has thrived since the Department of Parks and Recreation took over programming for the venue last year.
"It's become a neighborhood hangout," Haymaker said.
All involved acknowledged that there was an appeal to the "under the stars" format that was applicable to a variety of genres.
Bledsoe said, "It's the purity of the outdoors and the purity of the arts at the same time."