Tenor Paul Moore gives the mic to a young opera star at last year’s Opera in the Park. This year’s free event in Polson Park

Tenor Paul Moore gives the mic to a young opera star at last year’s Opera in the Park. This year’s free event in Polson Park

Opera/classical music celebrated at Vernon Proms

The free event Opera in the Park kick-starts Vernon Proms, a brand new classical music festival in Vernon, July 16 to 30.

The annual Opera in the Park is growing into a full-fledged festival.

The free event kick-starts Vernon Proms, a brand new classical music festival July 16 to 30.

Last year, the free Opera in the Park concert was enjoyed by more than 700 attendees. This year, organizers expect the event in Polson Park will grow.

“If you love classical music, you will have an unforgettable evening of pleasure. If you think you don’t like classical music, give it a try,” said Paul Moore, a successful tenor, choral director and vocal teacher, who is once again hosting the event.

Guests include soprano Stephanie Nakagawa (back from Vancouver by a popular demand), the Inspirati Chorale, and several advanced students from Moore’s vocal studio.

Originally from Salmon Arm, Nakagawa says she is excited to be back to perform with Moore.

“The program should satisfy all the classical music lovers,” she said. “There will be favourites from music theatre repertoire, operatic blockbuster arias, and famous ensembles,  duets, a trio and a quartet.”

Included on the program will be come of opera’s greatest hits such as the Duke’s flamboyant aria La Donna e mobile and a famous quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto, Quando m’en vo from La Boheme, O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Libiamo from Verdi’s La Traviata.

Musical theatre numbers such as Maria from Bernstein’s West Side Story along with other favourites will also be performed.

Opera in the Park takes place Saturday, July 16 at 6 p.m. at Polson Park. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, and a picnic basket.

The inaugural Vernon Proms also includes free singing workshops with Moore for children and adults, an opera afternoon at Heaton Place retirement residence, as well as two ticketed events:

The Early Music Concert, July 22 at 7 p.m. at All Saints Anglican Church, features baroque and early classical vocal solo and choral music by Mozart, Bach, Handel, and others. Vocalists include soprano Tracy Fehr and Paul Moore, with the period instrument ensemble Oko Baroquo and the Inspirati Chorale.

Gala at Trinity includes highlights from the festival, including classical, crossover, and operatic music performed by Moore, Nakagawa, the Kokanee Singers, Inspirati Chorale, and workshop participants, July 30 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for these performances are available at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, ticketseller.ca. For more information on the festival, visit vernonproms.ca.