As a native Minnesotan, I tend to celebrate the start of spring training with a certain amount of gusto. Sure we've had a mild (dare I say pleasant?) winter, but anyone who has lived in the Midwest knows that March is famous for unexpected snowstorms that slow our commutes, require a calculated change in footwear, and reunite us with that dreaded task of scrapping off the car.
But there's hope! On February 21, pitchers and catcher reported, and that means there’s sunshine somewhere and it’s only a brief matter of time before we too will get a natural dose of Vitamin D. So in honor of that annual celebration, I thought I’d give a nod to the unlikely marriage of baseball and the arts.
Take me out to the opera
The product of a collaboration between the Washington National Opera and the Washington Nationals, Opera in the Outfield is an annual event that invites audiences to experience opera from the stands (or turf) of Nationals Park.
“Broadcast live from the Kennedy Center Opera House to the high-definition NatsHD scoreboard” Opera in the Outfield is designed for fans of all kinds–no matter what drew them there, the arts or the sports.
Seventh inning soprano
Promoting photo opportunities for kids of all ages, performances by local artists, and even a chance to play dress up with items from the Opera’s costume trunk, it’s easy to see why the event grows in popularity each year.
Aside from the pure fun–and the myriad opportunities for families and friends to connect with each other so casually while witnessing an art form that isn't always perceived as "casual"–Opera in the Outfield gives us a new model of how we, as arts providers, can think differently about how, and where, we engage our audiences. And that feels like a home run.
M&M'S® Opera in the Outfield photos by Margot Schulman