WALDOBORO—If the word “opera” brings forth the picture of a stuffy evening centered in a large concert hall, think again.
Opera in the Pines, an alternative opera company committed to reinventing the opera experience, will present Bar Crawl Bohème, an immersive, community-focused adaptation of the operatic classic “La bohème” in a first-of-its-kind bar crawl across Maine and they’ll debut their Midcoast performance at Oyster River Winegrowers in Warren May 12 at 7 p.m.
Three Maine-raised singers in their 30s are behind this company and their mission is to take the boring stigma out of the traditional opera experience and take it to new audiences.
Lauren Yokabaskas, one of the founding members and the General Director of Opera in the Pines, said she and her colleagues, Aaren Rivard and Sable Strout were all individually pursuing opera careers in Maine when they decided to join forces. “it’s kind of unique that we’re all working opera singers and during the pandemic were challenged to find a way forward, which is how we started Opera in the Pines.”
“When we started this, we wanted to create opportunities for Maine artists, do site-specific productions, and take opera into places you normally wouldn’t associate with the art form,” said Yokabaskas. “Classical music has this reputation of being a bit elitist and stuffy and that wasn’t how it started. Opera started as entertainment for the masses in a barroom setting where it was loud. Opera singers were kind of the rock stars of their era.”
What it is
“La bohème” is the traditional version that inspired the musical “Rent,” featuring various scenes in the lives of four struggling artists: a poet, a painter, a musician, and a philosopher. according to the opera description, “One Christmas Eve, their neighbor, the seamstress Mimì, knocks at their door, asking for a light for her candle. She quickly falls in love with the poet, Rodolfo, and their lives are changed forever. Our Bohemians attempt to find their way despite the dark realities of the world in this timeless story of the magic of first love, the special innocence of youth, and the devastation of loss.”
Where it is
“We’re staging the show at Oyster River Winegrowers, a gorgeous farm and barn space where they make all of the wine on-site,” she said. “It’ll be a unique place to be to experience the beauty of Maine, but the set is going to look like a standard 20-something apartment with random Ikea furniture to underscore how genuine the story is.
Food & Drink
Opera in the Pines Bar Crawl Schedule
May 10 - Maine Beer Co.
May 11 - Three of Strong Spirits
May 12 - Oyster River Winegrowers
The menu will mirror the Italian opera with The Uproot Pie Company, a mobile pizza oven serving up sourdough pizza pies with local ingredients as well as cider, and wine offerings.
“I think Mainers can appreciate opera and there is a place for classical music but it has to be an evolving art form and accessible to everyone,” said Yokabaskas.
For more information visit: operainthepines.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com
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