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Opera Delaware buys new mobile stage for outdoor performances

Pop-up Opera Trailer
Sam Wilson/Moonloop Photography
Opera Delaware
Pop-up Opera Trailer

Opera Delaware now has a mobile stage to take performances on the road.

During the COVID pandemic when venues had to close their doors, Opera Delaware offered performances on a construction trailer in its parking lot.

When things reopened, Opera Delaware decided to continue outdoor programming and purchased a custom-built trailer with an 8-by-20-foot covered stage.

“When we were forced outside into our parking lot we saw something really interesting happen," said Brendan Cooke, general director of Opera Delaware. "And that was that we saw faces we didn’t recognize. And we started thinking - well hey - if you’re not ready to come inside but you’re ready to come to the parking lot and what if you’re not ready to come to the parking lot - well be better come to you. So we started designing this mobile stage so that we could deliver opera to the community.”

Cooke says they worked with a company in Tennessee to design the fire-engine red mobile stage, which includes lighting, an air conditioned green-room for singers, a state-of-the-art sound system and a bubble-making machine.

The mobile stage has been used at about a dozen events so far, including shift-changes at hospitals, retirement communities and state parks. This weekend, it’s at the Brandywine Festival of the Arts in Wilmington, both Saturday and Sunday.

“This weekend we had a tough call - either to park the stage in front of The Grand Opera House for our opening season concert with the DSO and The Grand - we wanted to park it there," Cooke said. "But we were asked to participate at the Brandywine Festival of the Arts this weekend. So we will have the trailer parked in the children’s area of the Brandywine Festival of the Arts this Saturday and Sunday.”

Cooke says their time at the Brandywine Festival for the Arts will feature live performances, opera trivia, and bubbles and fun games for the kids.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.