Pacific Opera Project Embraces Drive-In Opera for 2020 Fall Season

By David Salazar

Pacific Opera Project has announced its 2020 fall season, which will feature Drive-In operas at the Camarillo United Methodist Church in Ventura County.

“We saw an opportunity to do live performance, to give our artists work, to give our fans a show, and to prove that, as always, POP will do whatever it takes to make accessible, affordable, and entertaining opera. People say they want opera that is relevant – that it can and should speak to current events. Here we are in the midst of the most life-changing event any of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. Should we act like it isn’t happening? I don’t think so. Should we wait five or 10 years until the pandemic is more of a memory and we have some ‘distance?’ Why? There was a time when opera was regularly written about current events. Granting organizations and patrons consistently state that they want opera that is about our time, our situations. Well, here’s a chance to make some opera about what is happening right now. Yes, it might be extra painful, but I think it will also be extra uplifting, extra humorous, extra cathartic – and I know for myself and many others on both sides of the curtain, it is extra needed right now,” POP Founder Artistic Director Josh Shaw says.

Pacific Opera Project is the latest American company to embrace the Drive-In experience, following the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice and San Diego Opera.

The first opera of the season will be “COVID Fan Tutte” starring three real-life couples including Jamie Chamberlin and Nathan Granner (Fiordiligi/Ferrando), Christina Pezzarossi and Colin Ramsey (Dorabella/Guglielmo), and Ariel Pisturino and E. Scott Levin (Despina and Don Alfonso); the ensemble will quarantine together throughout the run. Kyle Naig will conduct a socially distanced orchestra.

Performance Dates: Nov. 14, 15, 22, 2020

Next up will be a production of Gluck’s “La Corona” and “Il Parnasso Confuso.” The showcase will feature Jessica Sandidge, Tiffany Ho, Meagan Martin, and Audrey Yoder in dual roles. Kyle Naig conducts.

Performance Dates: Nov. 20, 21, 2020

 The fall season concludes with the company’s renowned “La Bohème AKA ‘The Hipsters’ in a 2020 edition directed by Josh Shaw and led by Music Director Parisa Zaeri.

Performance Dates: Dec. 11, 12, 13, 2020