Washington trucks off opera into Virginia

Washington trucks off opera into Virginia


norman lebrecht

October 21, 2020

From a press relese:

Washington National Opera is bringing live performance to outdoor venues in its traveling Pop-Up Opera Truck mini-tour. Locations range from public parks to farmers markets and medical centers.

‘We are taking opera directly to the people in special outdoor surprise performances for our local communities,’ said Rob Ainsley, Director of the Cafritz Young Artists program. There has never been a more important time for the healing power of live music. While safety must remain our first priority, this is a way for us to continue to serve our community.’

In creating the pop-up opera truck experience, WNO collaborated with The Concert Truck, a Baltimore-based company founded by pianists Nick Luby and Susan Zhang. By converting a standard moving truck into a mobile concert venue, complete with stage, lights, sound, and an electric grand piano, The Concert Truck is worked with WNO to help deliver music to the greater DC area, especially during the trying circumstances of the ongoing pandemic.



  • James says:

    A nice diversionary side effort in these times but let’s be clear: it’s only an attempt to somehow, by the fingernails, cling to a little “relevance”. There was never any interest in a “concert truck” before and there is no need for one. If this is where we are as an industry we have almost nothing to offer.

  • William Safford says:


    I hope that many of these outreach initiatives are preserved and continued after the crisis is over. Outreach is a good thing.

  • Papageno says:

    people have tons of entertainment options they don’t need this. great art should not lower itself to the masses.

  • Olga says:

    It brings the classical art of music, singing, performing closer to people; makes it more visible and reminds us that the quest for the true, the good and the beautiful is infinite.

  • caranome says:

    These “symbolism over substance” moves are useless, but makes many people feel good because “it’s doing something.” In order for these outreach efforts to work–getting new audiences for now & future–requires massive and consistent exposure for a long time, like 20 years. Because each symphony or opera company is not just competing against another entertainment outlet but is up against a total cultural tide against classical music for the past 50 years or so which has nearly wiped out the form. So for any individual company to do these musical trucks here & there, do outreach into underserved communities a couple times a quarter, and otherwise bring the music to the people so it’s “accessible & relevant”, is the proverbial drop in the ocean. The heart is in the right place, but the harsh reality is difficult to overcome.