Opera Omaha Moves Annual ‘Opera Outdoors’ Concert to the Airwaves

By Chris Ruel

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the Omaha area, concerns about safety have prompted Opera Omaha to move the company’s annual concert, Opera Outdoors, from the lawn to live audio broadcast.

Opera Omaha has partnered with radio station, Classical 90.7, KVNO, to ensure all who wish to enjoy the concert can do so from the safety of their homes. The streaming and radio broadcast is scheduled for Friday, August 21 at 8:00 p.m. CDT, with KVNO’s music hosts Colleen Cook and Ben Rasmussen anchoring the broadcast. Listeners can tune in to 90.7 FM, kvno.org or the KVNO app or operaomaha.org

“Making the change creates a safe alternative for enjoying live opera. It also allows us to share these outstanding singers and their performances with the entire community and beyond. We are grateful to KVNO for their partnership and dedication to the arts,” General Director Roger Weitz stated in a press release.

This year’s concert presents the music of Puccini, Donizetti, Verdi, Mozart, and others. Opera Omaha’s free outdoor concerts are part of the company’s mission to share opera within the local community and beyond, bringing opera to over 15,000 people since 2013.

The August 21st broadcast will feature singers from Opera Omaha’s Holland Community Opera Fellows, Nicholas Davis, Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, Jared Hiscock, and Kaitly Zardetto. Special guests include soprano Eleni Callenos, tenor Peter Drackly, and bass David Crawford. The performance will be conducted by the company’s Head of Music, Sean Kelly, and hosted by Stage Director John de los Santos.

Sponsors of the concert include Holland Foundation, Fred and Eve Simon Charitable Foundation, Omaha Steaks, First National Bank, and KVNO with support from MECA, Omaha’s Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority.