Harrisburg Opera Association - Opera in the Park

Opera in the Park

Conceived by Lee Swartz, Board President, HOA hosted a free music program to the public which occurred in Reservoir Park from 1993-2000 and in Riverfront Park in 2001. This program returned on August 19th, 2018 at 4 PM at Italian Lake heralding the comeback of our company! Concerts take place on a Sunday afternoon every August where hundreds of attendees from Harrisburg and neighboring communities are exposed to opera, contemporary opera, operetta, art song, musical theater, cabaret and folk music with performances by local, regional and international artists. Narration provided by Michael Gamon (Director of the Center for the Creative Arts at The Harrisburg Academy), creates a friendly educational, accessible environment for children, adults, classical music lovers and newcomers to these art forms. Below is an archive of past videos, artists, programs and pictures. Current underwriters include The McKenzie Fund for the Arts and Animals, The David Katz Trust and The Arts for All Partnership - a partnership between the Cultural Enrichment Fund and the Greater Harrisburg Community Foundation, a regional foundation of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Past underwriters included: The Louis Lehrman Grass Foundation and The Harrisburg Parks and Recreation Department. These concerts are publicized / reviewed by Harrisburg's local television stations, radio stations and media consistently receiving positive ratings.

Featured Photos from Opera in the Park 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 - Photography by David Hooker and Others

Video Clips
Opera in the Park - Songs of Freedom - Entire 2022 Concert
Opera in the Park - Birding for a Better World - Entire 2021 Video Presentation
Opera in the Park - Outside While Inside - Entire 2020 Video Presentation
Opera in the Park Highlights - Features highlights of concerts and TV coverage from 1994-1999

Our Executive / Artistic Director and Vice President visited with Amy Kehm of ABC27's Good Day PA! show promoting HOA's return to live performances with Opera in the Park 2022 - Songs of Freedom. View the interview here.
Opera in the Park 2018 interview featuring Executive/Artistic Director, Tami Swartz and Michael Gamon on Tom Richards "By the Way" radio talk show
Tami Swartz's 8/11/2018 live interview with Logan Wilson on ABC 27 regarding HOA's comeback
Opera in the Park 2018 promo article in Pennlive
Opera in the Park 2018 feature article heralding our comeback in The Burg Magazine here!
Opera in the Park 2018 Press Release
Complete Harrisburg Patriot News Article for 2000 Production

Excerpt from the August 28th, 2000 article from The Patriot News - Headline: Powerful voices shatter opera's solemn stereotype.
Nikki Tanberg and Phil Jurick always considered opera a formal type of music that was out of their league. But the teenagers attending the "Opera in the Park" program in Reservoir Park last night found their first brush with opera as soft as the blue fleece blanket they sat on for the musical program. "Whenever I think of opera, I think of dressing up and acting formal," Phil Jurick, 17, of Mechanicsburg said as he and six friends from the Pennsylvania Bible Fellowship youth program enjoyed their outing. "It's not like that here. This is out of the ordinary and pretty cool. I'd go to opera on a date."

Program Archive
Sunday August 14th, 2022 - Songs of Freedom
Sunday August 28th, 2021 - Birding for a Better World
Sunday August 29th, 2020 - Outside While Inside
Sunday August 11th, 2019 - Exotic Places
Sunday, August 19th, 2018 - Looking Forward
Sunday, July 8th, 2001 - A Patriotic Finale to Celebrate the City of Harrisburg's Fireworks Display at Riverfront Park
Sunday, August 27th, 2000 - Operetta in the Park
Sunday, August 29th, 1999 - Your Favorite Things
Sunday, August 30th, 1998 - Our Favorite Things
Sunday, August 17th, 1997 - Music from America
Sunday, August 25th, 1996 - Mostly Twentieth Century
Sunday, August 27th, 1995 - An Operatic Bestiary
Sunday, August 28th, 1994 - Selections from The Magic Flute, La Boheme, The Barber of Seville and Carmen
Sunday, August 29th, 1993 - Operatic Selections

Artist Highlights - Past and Present
(Photography Courtesy of The Patriot News and Don Giles)
Gwendolyn Bowers, Mezzo Soprano
Marta Burton, Soprano
Heidi Clark, Mezzo-soprano
Richard Crist, Bass
Hon. John C. Dowling, Narrator
Michael Gamon, Narrator, Violin, Viola, Jembe
Kofi Hayford, Bass
Richard Hobson, Baritone
Kelly Horsted, Music Director, Piano
Thomas Hostetter, Narrator
Sarah Jamison, Soprano
Adam Klein, Tenor, Composer, Arranger, Banjo, Jembe,Mandolin
Timothy Lafontaine, Baritone
Ryan Leeds, Baritone
Dillon McCartney, Tenor
Len Meledandri, Narrator
Jeryl Metzler, Baritone
Charlotte Paulsen, Mezzo-soprano
Jessica Phillip-Rife, Soprano, Piano, Composer
Christyan Seay, Tenor
Hannah Shea, Mezzo Soprano
Kimberly Sogioka - Mezzo Soprano
Greg Strohman, Piano
Tom Strohman, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophones
Tami Swartz, Artistic Director, Soprano, Composer, Arranger, Jembe
The Lancaster Marimba Ensemble

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