For most of the last five years, the majority of my video work has been for performing arts organizations. And 2020 started off no different. Then came the Covid-19 Pandemic, and the ensuing shutdowns that have ground all traditional performances to a halt. But you can’t really stop the arts. Artists and organizations have scrambled to find a way to share their work with audiences, and video happens to help in that regard. This post will be the first in my series “Performing Arts in the Pandemic,” highlighting how organizations in the performing arts have rethought the way they present work to audiences.
Back in late September, Opera Philadelphia held an outdoor performance after seven months without a live show. Featuring the Opera Chorus, it was entitled “Love in the Park,” and took place at Dilworth Park in Center City Philadelphia. It was a visually stunning setting, with Christmas lights, fountains, and the city skyline surrounding. Audience members sat at the cafe tables eating and drinking their BYO items while the Opera Chorus serenaded them into the night.
It was a stellar performance that included opera classics from Rossini, Verdi, Bizet, Strauss, and Mozart to more contemporary selections from shows like Porgy & Bess, West Side Story, Waitress, Godspell, and even Spamalot. There was truly something for everyone.
And to make the performance live for more than one night, Opera Philadelphia decided to film it. Since they took their entire 2020-2021 season online at the new streaming service, The Opera Philadelphia Channel, “Love in the Park” will premiere on the channel on December 11. You can watch the whole performance in five shorter episodes. Click here to subscribe.
This shoot was pretty big, with five cameras and a drone, so I want to thank the fantastic crew that made this production possible. Sharon Torello, Gina Poulos, and Gustavo Garcia filmed the performance and some audience reaction. Patrick Rapa assisted in production and was my visual observer while flying the drone.
George Blood recorded the audio in the middle of the city with busses, motorcycles, and ambulances going by throughout the night. What an incredible job he did.