By July 3, 2020 Read More →

UnpluggedView: Opera In Open Air

Unplugged View: Opera In Open Air
by Aaron Rowan

Signs of musical life are returning to downtown, and my opera friends are getting in on the action where some of the best action has been unfolding. Award-winning Modesto favorite Patty Castillo Davis and her bandmates have already given two outdoor concerts on the green of the Gallo Center grounds, and on July 10 it’s Opera Modesto’s turn. An hourlong show will feature a number of their Young Artists performing opera and musical theatre tunes. Bring a lawn chair/blanket, picnic lunch, and perhaps a Phantom mask if you’re feeling playful. Music goes from 12-1 pm. Opera Modesto has given many gifts to our community over the years, but this one is free for everybody, so come down and enjoy!
That’s not all O.M. has got to offer this month. The Summer Opera Institute is back for its third year, with 32 young vocalists involved, most of them from our tri-county area. The program has adapted to our current climate with online lessons and training/coaching sessions, followed by small and safe in-person sessions during the final two weeks of July, leading up to a finale concert which with any luck will be open to the public. Also because of current conditions and financial struggles many families are living through, Opera Modesto has very generously decided to offer free-tuition scholarships for all participants. They are hoping that that donors and supporters of the SOI will help to make up the difference. Similar programs cost $1,500-$8,000, but the SOI tuition would have been a mere $200 per youth. Anyone who would like to donate to support an SOI teen/pre-teen artist can do so at
Friday, July 24, True South will be providing the outdoor entertainment at Ralston’s Goat. This rousing country-rock band is led by my friend and former Nashville songwriter David Finley. Not sure yet whether Music In The Plaza will be on for that night across the way, but you can catch True South starting at either 7 or 9 PM depending.
Finally, it’s still a few months away, but you can put in your early seat reservations for the season premiere concert at Moon & Sixpence, one of the only listening-room style venues in town. Friday, October 16, our headliners are the always super-crowd-pleasing Dirty Cello, with some special guests. Learn more about them at For reservations: or 209-543-5306.
Intimate performances. Infinite playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED.

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