An Opera Al Fresco Playlist for Your Classical California Summer


KUSC is here to help you get the most out of your Classical California Summer. So we asked our hosts to recommend music for some iconic California summer experiences. If you’re missing your favorite outdoor concert series, Jennifer Miller is here to help with a playlist of opera favorites. So open a bottle of wine, turn on the backyard twinkle lights, and enjoy an evening under the stars with these operatic gems:

Tales of Hoffmann: Belle nuit, o nuit d’amour (aka the Barcarolle)

This duet from Hoffmann is the perfect mood for an evening under the stars, with lyrics that celebrate a cool summer evening full of love.

Tosca: E lucevan le stelle

Mario Cavarodossi has found himself in an impossible situation. He turns to the stars and memories of his beloved Tosca to bring him strength and reignite his love for life.

Lakme: The Flower Duet

The descriptions of the canopy of flowers and the vibrant colors are like something out of a dream.

Thais: O Messager de Dieu/Baigne d’eau mes mains

Thais and Athanaël have been traveling the desert by foot for many days. As the sun sets, they reach an oasis where Thais is able to thank God for their discovery so they can cool their hands and lips. It’s a platonic, yet romantic moment.

Rusalka: Song to the Moon

The moon is high above the forest as water nymph Russalka asks the moon to send her feelings of love to her human prince.

Susannah: Ain’t it a pretty night

Young Susannah is sitting on the porch of her small house in the Appalachian Mountains. And the stars astound her.

Turandot: Nessun dorma

And to finish our evening – a musical dessert as sung under the stars.

Bonus entry: Floresta do Amazonas: Melodia sentimentale

Written for a film that takes place in the lush, humid rainforests of Venezuela