One of the joys of attending an opera is the experience — dusting off the fancy clothes from the back of your closet that you never get the chance to wear and drinking wine at intermission. It might be a while before we can attend theatres in person again, which is why Edmonton Opera is offering a socially distanced opera experience.
Edmonton Opera started the Drive-In Opera series during the pandemic when live venues were shut down, and they continued to be fan-favourite events. This weekend, Edmonton Opera offers another Drive-In Opera concert for Father’s Day.
How does a drive-in opera work? Pack your family into the car, grab your snacks and head over to the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium parking lot, where a selection of Edmonton Opera vocalists and musicians will perform from the roof. Yes, the roof.
“We were really curious to see how audiences would respond,” says Cameron MacRae, director of marketing and communications at Edmonton Opera. “We’re used to clapping or standing ovations, but there’s nothing like 100 cars honking their horns wildly and flashing their lights. It’s such a unique and high-energy experience.”
Edmonton Opera has done four drive-in opera events with 11 concerts since the pandemic started. What makes these events popular, says MacRae, is how accessible they are. The concert is suitable for all ages, with even newborns attending in the past. Some attendees even bring their cats and dogs.
“Not to say it’s the same as what’s on stage when we’re in full force at the Jubilee, but I think it’s a lot more relaxed,” says MacRae. “You can bring snacks, you can grab some take-out on your way there, and it’s really just breaking down barriers.”
The Edmonton Opera Father’s Day Drive-In Opera is 45 minutes long — the 3 p.m. show on June 20 is already sold out, but there are still limited tickets available for the 1 p.m. performance. Tickets are $40 per car and must be booked online in advance.