Palm Springs Opera Guild's Opera in the Park Returns for 20th Anniversary!

Last year’s singers, left to right: Ricardo Garcia, Guadalupe Paz, Ben Lowe, Amina Edris, Madison Leonard, Joshua Wheeker, Jacquelynne Fontaine and Marcus Klotz

Palm Springs Opera Guild, one of the longest-standing cultural institutions in the Coachella Valley, will host the 20th Anniversary Opera in the Park on Sunday, April 8, 2018 from 1 – 4 pm at Sunrise Park in Palm Springs (located at 2000 East Ramon Road). This popular free event regularly attracts more than 5000 attendees, who will be treated to performances by eight career-ready singers accompanied by a professional orchestra.  The concert will feature eight career-ready singers accompanied by a professional orchestra conducted by Maestro Valery Ryvkin. Event attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a day of beloved opera arias. Limited shade space under the main tent may be purchased by making a contribution through the Opera Guild office at 760-325-6107. The event draws people from all over Southern California who unite to celebrate great opera music.

This year, the event will feature a new, larger tent, a new focus on eco-responsibility, and improved accessibility for the disabled and senior communities, as well as a complimentary shuttle from the general parking area at the nearby Palm Springs High School.

The cast for this year’s concert includes: Liv Redpath, Alyssa Wills and Sunmi Shin, sopranos, Erin Gonzalez, mezzo-soprano, Jesús León, Carlos Enrique Santelli and Joshua Wheeker, tenors and Ben Lowe, baritone. These talented singers will perform arias from operas by Bizet, Delibes, Donizetti, Gounod, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi. In addition, a special tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s Centennial will feature music from West Side Story and Candide.

A scene from Opera in the Park 2017

Opera in the Park is one of the most popular cultural events in the greater Palm Springs area. The Music Director is Mona Lands, the Artistic Director Andrew Eisenmann, the event coordinator  Richard DeSantis and the executive producer  Guild President Bruce Johansen. 

“For the last twenty years, the Palm Springs Opera Guild’s Opera in the Park has attracted tens of thousands of music lovers to this beloved free event,“ said Bruce Johansen, Opera Guild President. “We are thrilled that we can provide this wonderful experience for residents and visitors to the Coachella Valley. 

This year’s presenting sponsors include: The Augustine Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Wells Fargo, and The Auen Foundation

Fifty Years of Cultural Impact

Since 1968, Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert has made a significant impact on the cultural life of the Coachella Valley.  Now in its 50th year, the organization is celebrating some significant milestones and is paying homage to its rich tradition of offering top-notch opera and other cultural events to its members and the entire community.

Over the years, the organization sponsored or produced a variety of important, entertaining, and well-loved cultural and fundraising events, including the annual Palm Springs Vocal Competition (an annual program since 1983 that enables eight emerging young opera singers to compete for various prizes and have their performances judged by a distinguished panel of experts), Opera in the Schools (an annual program that educates youth in the greater Palm Springs area that last spring introduced operatic music to more than 15,000 students), the beloved Opera in the Park (since 1999, a free annual concert of opera arias that draws people from

A scene from Opera in the Park 2017

all over Southern California to celebrate great opera music) and the Prime Time Outreach series (a free program featuring compelling lectures and performances at the Rancho Mirage Public Library). 

About Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert

Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert is a 501 (c)(3) cultural organization which works to encourage and support young singers with financial assistance and performance opportunities and to promote opera in the community through student and adult Outreach programs.  Their significant community programming includes the annual Dorothy Nocita Memorial Vocal Competition, the Annual Gala, Opera in the Park, and the annual Opera in the Schools program. For more information about Palm Springs Opera Guild, visit palmspringsoperaguild.org.

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