Opera in the Outfield returns for another heady night at Nationals Park on Saturday, this time with a simulcast of the Washington National Opera’s production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” If you’re wondering whether the show is worth catching, we’re happy to report: It’s not boring.
The free simulcast Saturday will offer a chance to watch it outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous weather. (Plus you can nosh on pretzels and beer while watching opera.)
Gates for the event will open at 5 p.m. If you’re hoping for good seats and the chance to see some performances and possibly win Kennedy Center tickets, that’s a good time to arrive. For those between 18 and 30, this year, Brightest Young Things and the Kennedy Center’s MyTix are throwing a free pre-party, dubbed the Fly Ball, featuring DJs and a photo booth in the Stars and Stripes Club (it starts at 5 p.m.).
Here are a few other things to know before you go:
How should I get there?
Taking Metro to Navy Yard is ideal, though plenty of people in the ’burbs could consider parking at Metro stations including Greenbelt and taking the train in (here’s a list of parking lots on the Green Line.) Don’t rule out the bus: The Circulator makes a fairly quick zip from the park to Union Station, for those wanting to take the Red Line without having to switch trains, or deal with the crowds in the Navy Yard station that day. Parking at Nationals Park will also be greatly reduced the day of the event — it’s just $10 in lots B and C, cash only — so if you want to drive, that’s an option.
Will the concession stands be open?
Only concessions in Nationals Park Main Concourse will be open for Opera in the Outfield. That means some of our favorite pit stops, including Shake Shack and El Verano Taqueria, won’t be available to hungry opera fans in search of ’Shroom Burgers and elote. But others will be open for business, including Ben’s Chili Bowl, Funnel Cakes, and Flippin’ Pizza.
Can I picnic at Opera in the Outfield?
The regular rules for the park apply. You can bring small servings of food (no alcohol). Hard coolers are banned, however, so pack yours in bags or soft coolers. One water bottle per person is also acceptable. Also on the “no” list are dogs.
Where’s the best view?
If it’s soggy, head for the stands. Michael Solomon, spokesman for the Washington National Opera, offers another reason to choose seats: It’s your chance to sit in the coveted seats you can never seem to land on game day. But Opera in the Outfield also gives you a very rare opportunity to spread your blanket out on the same field where the Nats are currently wowing crowds. (Just be sure to remember your blanket; chairs are not allowed.)
Should I bring my kids?
Well, yes and no. It’s worth noting the show’s run time here: Three hours and 30 minutes. Since it’s a simulcast of a live performance at the Kennedy Center, you can bet it will start on time, at 7 p.m., give or take five minutes. But a 20-minute intermission around 8:30 means that the performance will not end until 10:30 p.m. If you have young ones with strict bedtimes and a tendency toward crankiness, you might want to find a babysitter. Older children should enjoy the show quite a bit thanks to its accessible storyline, but especially because it will be subtitled in English, so they can follow along.