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‘Opera for Your Soul’ Concert at the Lincoln Memorial

A foundation called “Opera Italiana Is in the Air” is sponsoring free, open-air concerts across Italy, as well as in Miami, Washington, and New York. Their mission is to bring opera to everyone. There are no tickets or dress codes, just opera, in its “purest form,” said Alvise Casellati, the founder. In addition to the open-air concerts they also frequently perform in hospitals.

The June 1 concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington drew an audience of opera aficionados, diplomats (especially from the Italian Embassy), tourists, and locals having a picnic on the National Mall. Among the locals was a sizable group of hometown fans for baritone Anthony D. Anderson, who grew up in a poor neighborhood in Washington. When Anderson was young, his father was killed in a drive-by shooting, but Anderson overcame his sadness, when he discovered opera in high school. He is now on a mission to bring opera to others, especially to those from disadvantaged communities. Anderson was delighted to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, standing in the exact spot from which Marian Anderson sang the National Anthem at Easter 85 years ago. In the June 1 audience were several of Anthony Anderson’s public school teachers and family members.

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