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Tomorrow Is Free Opera Night At AT&T Stadium
by Gus Contreras 20 Mar 2015

And this time there’s free parking as well. It’s only fitting: Puccini’s beloved classic, La Boheme, is about romantic but severely impoverished Parisians.

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Free opera in a giganto football stadium seems to be habit-forming, so we may have started to overlook how remarkable the opportunity actually is: For  three years now, the Dallas Opera has been drawing crowds to simulcasts of its performances — via the largest TV set in the area, the giant hi-def screen at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Saturday, La Bohéme — the Puccini classic of the attractions of love and the spread of consumption — will be streamed live from the stage at the Winspear Opera House.

It’s the tenth simulcast overall (they’re also presented at the Annette Strauss Artist Square next to the Winspear), and the fourth time the Dallas Opera has shown a performance at the stadium. They’ve attracted more than 50,000 people the past few years. Stadium doors will open at 6 pm, and the curtain is at 7:30. And the simulcast will be preceded by a repeat screening of the 1957 Bugs Bunny classic cartoon, “What’s Opera, Doc?

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Dallas Opera’s ‘La Boheme.’ All photos: Karen Almond

What’s noteworthy about the whole opera-going experience this time is that the DO has removed one more obstacle from your path to enjoying a free performance: The parking at the stadium is free as well.

“It’s been a personal goal of mine to engage the finest world-class artists to create an unforgettable entertainment experience for people from all walks of life,” said Dallas Opera CEO Keith Cerny. “Nothing does this better than opera—a spectacular art form made even more so when viewed on the largest high-definition screens in the country.”

Advanced passes are available, and walk-ups are welcome. For anyone still leery of all these impoverished, romantic, wine-drinking-and-slowly-dying foreigners singing on stage (think of Rent, but in Italian with subtitles in English ), we offer this brief, stick-figure-animation introduction to La Boheme. 

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