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Yelp Cleveland’s Opera Night



This April, Yelpers gathered at the breathtaking Maltz Performing Arts Center for a VIP opera night. The Cleveland Opera Theater welcomed Yelpers for an exclusive rehearsal preview of their upcoming production La Traviata.  Focused on making opera inclusive and accessible to all, Cleveland Opera Theater is Northeast Ohio’s premier opera company. Their diverse programming ranges from main-stage productions to a free summer concert series and even a monthly opera club. Cleveland Opera Theater provides gateways to discover opera, to experience opera, and to learn about opera. They foster arts and culture awareness in the community and empower the audience and artists of the future through exceptional educational programming. Yelp’s VIP Opera previewed a behind-the-scenes look at the stellar La Traviata.

Yelpers arrived at Maltz Performing Arts Center and were welcomed by Scott Skiba, Executive Artistic Director and Megan Thompson, Director of Education and Outreach. Scott explained how his job is to bring together the experience in the theater, from costumes to stage design and music. Megan also explained the mission of Cleveland Opera Theater, including to make opera open to all and to dispel stereotypes about the art form. Cleveland Opera Theater offers big productions like La Traviata, mid-size events such as dinner with opera and outdoor concerts for the family (including the dog!).

Since opera is the one art form where spoilers enhance your experience, Yelpers learned a brief overview of the story. In La Traviata, boy meets girl and they fall in love despite differences. The woman, Violetta, is used to a lavish life the man, Alfredo, can’t provide. Alfredo’s father guilts Violetta into leaving his son and (spoiler) there’s a sad ending. The performance is in Italian, but is fully translated to English with a screen above the stage. Our preview of this timeless opera was nothing short of impressive. Yelp Elite Agnes I. commented on the incredible performance, writing, “The music and voices of the singers were amazing. Singing is hard enough, let alone singing in a different language. So, I can tell that the whole team has been working hard to perfect their roles and voices.”

After previewing Act I, Yelpers stepped backstage to chat with cast members. The insightful interactions opened eyes to the world of opera and the intense work that goes into training. Yelp Elite Jacqueline P. noted, “We also had the honor to meet several cast members who had the trained voices of angels, some well seasoned and some students. They explained that they were not born singing opera, but classically trained. They must learn Italian, German and French as well as how to dialect in song. Just fascinating and awe inspiring talents.”

Cleveland Opera Theater opened Yelper minds to the art of opera. Megan, Scott and conductor Domenico enlightened the group through their passion and love for opera. Yelp Elite HerBrina S. left with a newfound appreciation, writing, “So, I have always wanted to know more about the opera and this event broaden my horizons so much! The singing, the cast, the atmosphere had me in awe!… I really did learn a lot that evening.”

For upcoming performances and events, check out Cleveland Opera Theater’s website. Don’t miss out on the free concert series this summer, with the first performance on  June 15 at Uptown Park Medina from 7-9pm. Grab your blanket, pack a picnic and discover the art of opera! Check out the outstanding reviews and photos here. For more information about the Yelp Cleveland Elite Squad, visit yelp.com/elite.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Cleveland Opera TheaterElizabeth Sturm Photography

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