Opera in the Outfield Returning to Nationals Ballpark with Cinderella

WNO & M&M’s Opera in the Outfield Cinderella from 2015. Image credit: Scott Suchman

It has been three years since fans have been allowed to lounge in the outfield at Nationals Ballpark and watch an opera broadcast, but Opera in the Outfield® is back with Rossini’s charming take on the classic rags-to-riches story, Cinderella.

Washington National Opera (WNO) is offering its twelfth free opera broadcast, Opera in the Outfield® , at Nationals Park on Saturday, August 28, hosted by General Director Timothy O’Leary and WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello. Gates open at 5 PM for pre-show activities, and the evening broadcast on the high-definition Nationals Park scoreboard begins at 7 PM.

“One of our goals at the Washington National Opera is to make opera more accessible to everyone, and what a better way to return to that commitment than to welcome opera lovers and new friends back to Opera in the Outfield,” said O’Leary and Zambello in a statement.

“Our signature community event offers something for everyone, where friends and families can enjoy games, food, beer, and of course, one of our favorite productions under a starry sky on the big screen. So bring your blanket to sit on the field or grab a seat in the stands. We guarantee a good time for all with a shortened 90-minute version of Cinderella.”

The production that will be broadcast is from 2015 — a co-production of Houston Grand Opera Association, Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Grand Théâtre de Genève — featuring a stellar cast led by the American star Isabel Leonard, who will also lead the cast of Carmen in WNO’s 2021–2022 season. The cast also features Maxim Mironov as the prince Don Ramiro, Simone Alberghini as the prince’s valet Dandini, Paolo Bordogna as Cinderella’s stepfather Don Magnifico, and Shenyang as the prince’s wise tutor Alidoro. WNO Cafritz Young Artist alumna appear as Cinderella’s wicked (and wickedly funny) stepsisters: Jacqueline Echols is Clorinda and Deborah Nansteel is Tisbe.

The opera is performed in Italian with English captions, making it easy to follow along with the story and music. The performance is also acclaimed for its bright sets and costumes, sure to dazzle audiences of all ages.

Ample free seating will be available in the stands, while access to seating on the outfield grass will be limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Outfield grass seating is free, though will require a wristband, which will be distributed near the Family Picnic Area (at sections 141–143) beginning at 5 PM.

Other reasons to arrive early include pre-show family entertainment, like the 5 PM broadcast of Mo Willems’s first opera Elephant & Piggie present SLOPERA!: A Bite-Sized Opera. This 20-minute family opera features music from the Kennedy Center’s Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon and is directed by long-time Kennedy Center collaborator Felicia Curry. Baritone Daniel Smith, soprano Ariana Wehr, and Music Director Dana Scott bring Elephant and Piggie to life in this children’s opera about friends learning to respect and appreciate their differences.

Opera in the Outfield® will take place rain or shine. Regular concessions will be available throughout the ballpark­. No registration is required to attend.

Accessible seating is available throughout Nationals Park, and assistive listening devices are also available. The event will be fully captioned.  

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