Happy birthday from local opera lovers! The Queens Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the bicentennial of famed Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s nativity and the group’s own 60th anniversary by offering two free concerts this summer. On July 30 at St. John’s University, the borough’s only professional orchestra will perform Viva Verdi & Friends, a show which includes selections from such classical Verdi operas as Aida, Falstaff, La Traviata and Rigoletto. A second Viva Verdi & Friends will take place in Forest Park on Aug. 4. Led by music director Constantine Kitsopoulos (seen conducting with back to camera in above photo), the performances will feature solos by soprano Victoria Cannizzo, mezzo-soprano Melisa Bonetti, tenor Benjamin Werley and baritone Avi Albrecht.
Details: Viva Verdi & Friends, St. John’s University’s Great Lawn, 80-00 Utopia Pkwy., Jamaica, Tuesday, July 30, 7 PM, free. (Rain location: Marillac Auditorium).
Additional details: Viva Verdi & Friends, George Seuffert Bandshell, vicinity of Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard in Forest Park, Sunday, Aug. 4, 5 PM, free.
Photo: Queens Symphony Orchestra