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November 9, 2020

Access: Honking Is Encouraged at San Diego’s Drive-in Opera

“After hearing these beautiful arias, people would honk. They would actually honk and blink their headlights! To be standing backstage hearing that, I could feel it come up from my solar plexus and into my heart. It meant that people were really there and were really engaged!”

What is INTIX colleague Risë Walter talking about? San Diego Opera’s recent, four-night parking lot production of Puccini’s “La Bohème!” Yes, a parking lot production. Billed as San Diego’s first “drive-in opera,” “La Bohème” was performed on the evenings of Oct. 24, 27, 30 and Nov. 1 in the Pechanga Arena’s parking lot. Guests remained in their vehicles, and the opera was transmitted to car stereos via FM radio. A half-dozen big screens were set up, showing simulcasts of the various singers onstage.

The end result still has Walter, Chief Marketing Officer for San Diego Opera, buzzing. And she gives complete credit to her colleagues who made it all happen. “I love my team — marketing, PR, patron services and education,” she says. “Everybody stepped up without complaint. One of the core values in our mission statement is ‘Nimble adaptation to the changing marketplace.’ Well, this was the living example of that core value.”

Read more here from Access.