Aria listening?

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After a summer of laying low, the Regina Opera Company is dusting off its pipes for its 38th season, beginning Sunday, Sept. 30. Opera fans won’t need their Viking hats and opera glasses just yet, since first show will be a concert combining classic opera with Broadway tunes from crowd favorites like “West Side Story.”

“The concerts are aimed at introducing people to the Regina Opera Company,” said Francine Gerber, Regina’s executive vice president. “For people who are afraid of the opera, this is just a taste.”

If you can’t commit to a full opera, there are five additional Sunday matinee concerts, each with a unique bill including opera, Broadway and international tunes.

But who could be afraid of the borough’s most dedicated opera company?

“Our main goal is to expose people to opera,” said Garber, adding that regular opera tickets are $20 and concert tickets are $10 — pocket change for some seriously rich family fun.

This season the professional company — “Call us anything you want,” said Garber, “just don’t call us an ‘amateur’ opera!” — will perform “Rigoletto,” “La Traviata” and “Il Trovatore,” all by Verdi and all accompanied by a full 30-piece orchestra. (So much for amateur opera!)

If the pop opera concerts whet your appetite, Regina is also offering a full schedule of traditional opera fare. This season’s Verdi lineup, said Garber, will prove to audiences that they are already familiar with the songs.

“You walk out of a Verdi opera humming the tunes,” said Garber. “How could you go to ‘Rigoletto’ and not leave humming ‘La Dona E Mobile?’”

“Opera + Pops” will be performed on Sept. 30 at 3 pm at The Regina Opera Company (12th Avenue and 65th Street in Dyker Heights). For information and a full schedule, visit

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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