One of my goals for this summer was to take more advantage of many wonderful free concerts in the Milwaukee area. So last night I hopped on my bicycle and pedaled down to the Alterra on the lake for an evening of music with the Florentine Opera. The Florentine Opera is one of Milwaukee’s oldest and well-known performing arts companies (they are celebrating their 75th anniversary) and I have be fortunate to attend on of their operas a while ago.
But opera…outdoors! This was something I hadn’t done before. The concert featured R. Stuart Mitchell (who was a bit late as he got caught in traffic), Jason Melik, Doug Clemons and James Barany, with Anne Van Deusen at the piano. All I can say is…why haven’t I attended any of these before? The singing and music were awesome. I was more than impressed by the range of the voices and the talent of the performers.
The repertoire of music was also quite varied – we had songs from West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate, Carousel, Mexican Hayride, Man of La Mancha and more. They sang several of old favorites that most people would recognize as well. The song “If you’ve only got a mustache” was especially fun.
The concert took place right in front of the coffee shop, with guests spread out on blankets and portable chairs on the lawn (the grassy area is quite large actually). Some folks brought picnic baskets, complete with high-end wine and cheeses. Others enjoyed the array of sandwiches, desserts and coffee offered by Alterra. Alterra had a tent set up outside making it convenient to purchase goodies during the show. I was pleased to see that there were a couple of portable restrooms set up as well.
I’ll close by saying that I was thrilled by the performance and am already looking forward to their next one on July 23rd. It will once again be held at the Alterra, located at 1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive across from McKinley Marina.
If you’d like to find out more about the Florentine Opera, visit their Web site for news and information about their upcoming performances.